Ever since its founding in 1904, the Slovene National Benefit Society has been helping to preserve, promote and perpetuate the culture and heritage of Slovenia in the United States. Through a series of cultural activities and performances, and by establishing the Slovenian Heritage Center, hosting the annual Slovenefest celebration, planning regular trips to Slovenia and publishing a Slovenian language page in the Society newspaper, PROSVETA, SNPJ has supported the country of Slovenia in its efforts to establish and maintain its identity across the Atlantic.
Like most fraternal societies, language has played a key role in the development of the Slovene National Benefit Society. Initially, all SNPJ business and social meetings were conducted in the Slovenian language, mostly due to the fact that the vast majority of SNPJ members were Slovenian immigrants who hadn’t yet perfected their English language skills. But more so the simply allowing SNPJ members to communicate with each other, by speaking the language of their homeland these early members managed to keep ties to their families and friends back home in Slovenia. These friendly ties soon led SNPJ to promote Slovenia and the Slovenian culture here in America.
Over the course of the past century, the Slovene National Benefit Society has grown to become the largest Slovenian-based fraternal benefit society operating in the United States. As such, SNPJ has welcomed numerous Slovenian dignitaries to a variety of Society-sponsored events — including former President of Slovenia Milan Kucan on three different occasions — while enjoying the hospitality of the Slovenian people during tour excursions to our “homeland” across the Atlantic.
The information presented in this section of the SNPJ web site offers only a small glimpse at the unique features of Slovenia and the Slovenian culture. We invite you to further explore the heritage and culture of Slovenia by visiting the sites listed on our related links page. Enjoy your visit!