Chalk it up to the recession; it’s making all of us behave in unexpected ways. The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, a not-for-profit organization founded a century ago by socialist, Yiddish-speaking immigrants, recently launched its own credit card. With the organization’s logo in the upper-left corner, the Visa Platinum card offers new users the standard 0% annual percentage rate for the first six months. The Workmen’s Circle gets $50 whenever someone signs up and makes his first purchase, and then 0.3% of whatever the cardholder spends after that. “It’s such an easy way to share with the Workmen’s Circle/Arbiter Ring and continue our mission of progressive and cultural Jewish identity building,” the Workmen’s Circle’s executive director, Ann Toback, told The Shmooze. “I thought it was a win-win all around.”
The cards are issued by UMB Financial Corporation and marketed by the online company CardPartner, which helps small organizations and not-for-profits create customized credit cards.
What would the labor union-organizing generation that founded the Workmen’s Circle think about this new nod to consumerism? “Times have changed,” Toback said, “and the organization is changing with the times.”
This story "How Do You Say ‘Charge It’ in Yiddish?" was written by Beth Schwartzapfel.