Its communities were bound together by a sense of close fraternal relation.
It was founded at New York in 1843 by a number of German Jews, headed by Henry Jones, and is the oldest as well as the largest of the Jewish fraternal organizations.
In support of their views they appealed to scripture and to the Western Fathers, who had used the term "adoption" as synonymous with "assumption" in the orthodox sense; and especially to Christ's fraternal relation to Christians - the brother of God's adopted sons.
The pope still addresses his fellow-bishops as "venerable brothers"; but from the Roman Catholic Church the fraternal union of coequal authorities, which is of the essence of episcopacy, has vanished; and in its place is set the autocracy of one.
Among the gildsmen there was a strong spirit of fraternal cooperation or Christian brotherhood, with a mixture of worldly and religious ideals - the support of the body and the salvation of the soul.