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Our History

Touro Fraternal was founded in 1917 as a group within the Rhode Island Jewish community and organized a year later, to offer men a sense of fraternalism, a sense of community and a sense of belonging. In its early days, Touro was a burial society and insurance corporation.

It helped to integrate the new immigrants into society and provided them with assistance. As an example of its work, Touro arranged for the delivery of coal to needy members during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.


The Hon. Jacob A. Eaton, our founding father and a charter member, was Rhode Island’s first Jewish member in the General Assembly, serving Providence’s North End from 1911 until he died in 1921.  Born in 1871, he came to this country in 1894 and a year later, came to Providence on a business errand.  He never left.

Representative Eaton saw the needs of the immigrants coming in and decided to help families get more integrated into R.I. society.  According to his biographer, “Eaton was a man of strong integrity and vast generosity, often fulfilling the Torah’s commandments to feed the hungry and clothe the naked.”

In 1967, Touro celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Colony Motor Hotel. RI Governor John Chafee was the special guest speaker at that event.

On September 16, 2017, Touro celebrated the start of its centennial year with a grand gala at The Crowne Plaza in Warwick. Over 350 members and guests attended. This program book, distributed at the event, highlights some of the significant achievements of the Touro Fraternal Association over the past 100 years.