The landsmanshaften, organizations named after their old world origins, were a significant part of the immigrant experience. The Chicago segment was part of a universal manifestation from 1880-1980, which included European and Asian immigrants. These voluntary associations, both independent and secular, served each ethnic group with a wide variety of critical services during a stressful time of alienation and adjustment. For some, these societies became a refuge of comfort and security. For many others, perhaps the majority, the societies became a bridge into the mainstream of America.