Shareholders at the Rochdale Village Cooperative in Jamaica Queens have always enjoyed a robust social life. Dating back to its inception, cooperators engaged in activities that were largely centered around the sprawling 3-wing community center that is built on the grounds.
Designed with an entirely glass facade and ceilings that seem to soar endlessly into the sky, the Rochdale Village Community Center at one time possessed a full auditorium with capacity for 500, a professional theatre stage with dressing room, along with a working fountain that sat outside of the entrance.
Ad Hoc Committee co-chair Kevin Dilworth, a former editor-in-chief for the Rochdale Bulletin newspaper and self-appointed historian for the cooperative weighed in on what it was like being social at Rochdale Village.
Mr. Dilworth comprised a list of the clubs that were active at the Rochdale Village Community Center from 1963 to 1985. According to author and former Rochdale resident Peter Eisenstadt, “there were 130 to 140 organizations here, however he said he “heard that information and never saw verification of it.”
Eisenstadt received a lot of his information from the United Housing Foundation files. Based on Dilworth’s research, the current talley numbers 126 but of course he is reaching out to past and present RV cooperators to assist him with adding more.
See how many clubs you can recognize, and what clubs may be missing from Kevin Dilworth’s list.
Rochdale Village organizations of yesteryear (1963-1985)
1. Adult Hobbycraft Group
2. American Contract Bridge League. (A.C.B.)
3. American Jewish Congress of Rochdale Village
4. American Legion Post #1858
5. Astro Bridge Club
6. B’nai Brith Lodge
7. B’nai Brith Chapter
8. Boy Scout Troop 27
9. Brownie Junior Troop 4-725
10. Brownie Troop 4-930
11. Brownie Troop 9-187
12. Cadette Girl Scott Troop 4-178
13. Cancer Care support group
14. Cerebral Palsy support group
15. Committee for Civil Rights
16. Committee for the Beautification of Rochdale Village
17. Committee to Save Rochdale Village (CSRV).
18. Community Singers.
19. Concerned Cooperators political organization.
20. Cosmopolitan Bridge Club.
21. Community Jazz Organization.
22. Cub Scout Pack No. 27.
23. Cub Scout Pack No. 165.
24. Deborah Hospital support group.
25. Film Program for Juveniles.
26. Girl Scouts: Daisies and Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes.
27. Group 5 Theatre Group of Rochdale Village.
28. Health Insurance Plan (HIP) Consumer Council.
29. Horticulture Society.
30. JASA (Jewish Association for Services for the Aged).
31. JASA (Jewish Association for Services for the Aged) Forum at Rochdale.
32. JASA (Jewish Association for Services for the Aged) Knitting Class.
33. JASA (Jewish Association for Services for the Aged) Luncheon Club.
34. JASA (Jewish Association for Services for the Aged) Volunteers of Rochdale.
35. Jewish War Veterans, Mickey Hirschman – (Rochdale) Post 771.
36. Junior Girl Scout Troop 4-178
37. Knights of Pythias.
38. Monday Discussion Group.
39. (113th Police) Precinct Senior Citizens Council.
40. Queens Duplicate Bridge Club.
41. Queens Federation of Churches, Inc.
42. Rochdale Academy Tennis Club.
43. Rochdale Athletic League..
44. Rochdale Civilian Patrol.
45. Rochdale Consumer’s Co-operative Society.
46. Rochdale Co-op Federal Credit Union.
47. Rochdale Freedom and Peace group.
48. Rochdale Golden Age Club.
49. Rochdale Hadassah chapter.
50. Rochdale Health Insurance Plan (H.I.P.) Consumer Council.Rochdale Interfaith Committee. Group that dealt with distributing house of worship brochures and information to cooperators.
51. Rochdale International Folk Dance group.
52. Rochdale Jets, Pop Warner Junior Bantam division, football team. Founded in 1967. A one-time team captain was Ira Mevorah, a full-back.
53. Rochdale Jewish Center,
54. Rochdale Jewish Chorus.
55. Rochdale Karate Club.
56. Rochdale Lodge No. 848.
57. Rochdale Men’s Bowling League.
58. Rochdale Negro Cultural Society / Rochdale Black Cultural Society.
59. Rochdale Negro Cultural Society Teenage Spotlight newspaper.
60. Rochdale Nursery School.
61. Rochdale Pioneer Women’s Club.
62. Rochdale Players theatre group.
63. Rochdale Runners Club.
64. Rochdale Senior Citizens Club.
65. Rochdale Senior Cultural Club / Association.
66. Rochdale Social Club.
67. Rochdale-Springfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps (VAC).
68. Rochdale Stamp Club.
69. Rochdale Sub-Teens group.
70. Rochdale Tenants’ Council.
71. Rochdale Times monthly newspaper.
72. Rochdale Village Blood Committee.
73. Rochdale Village Bowling League.
74. Rochdale Village Bulletin monthly newspaper.
75. Rochdale Village Chiefs football team.
76. Rochdale Village Camera Club
77. Rochdale Village Chapter of the American Jewish Congress(AJC).
78. Rochdale Village Chiefs football team.
80. Rochdale Village Civic Association.
81. Rochdale Village Chorus.
82. Rochdale Village Community Singers.
83. Rochdale Village Craftsmen’s Club.
84. Rochdale Village Day Camp (RVDC).
85. Rochdale Village Defense League.
86. Rochdale Village Horticulture Club.
87. Rochdale Village House Congress.
88. Rochdale Village Jewish Center Sisterhood
89. Rochdale Village Jewish Chorus.
90. Rochdale Village Karate club.
91. Rochdale Village Ladies Bowling Club.
92. Rochdale Village Little League.
93. Rochdale Village Men’s Association.
94. Rochdale Village Men’s Bowling League.
95. Rochdale Village Nursery School.
96. Rochdale Village Recreation Organization (RVRO).
97. Rochdale Village Recreation Organization (RVRO) Adult Bowling League.
98. Rochdale Village Senior Citizens Club / Cultural Association Inc.
99. Rochdale Village Southeast Queens Health Council.
100. Rochdale Village Teenage Council.
101. Rochdale Urban Gardeners (R.U.G).
102. Rochdale Village Veterans Club. Rochdale Village Women’s Strike for Peace.
103. Rochdale Village Youth Patrol.
104. Rochdale Voter Registration Committee
105. Rochdale Youth Committee.
106. Rochdale Youth Escort Patrol.
107. Scooter Club of Rochdale Village.
108. Senior Council of the 113th Precinct.
109. Senior Rap Group
110. S.H.A.R.E. (Self-Help and Resource Exchange) program.
111. Teen Village youth group.
112. Temple Beth Am.
113. The Teenage Council.
114. Thirty Second (32nd) Assembly District (A.D.) Democratic Club.
115. Thirty Second (32nd) Assembly District (A.D.) Youth Council.
116. Traditional Synagogue of Rochdale
117. Treehouse Development Center (pre-kindergarten to kindergarten child care, day care, nursery school),
118. United Fund – Leukemia support group.
119. United Neighbors Civic Association.
120. United Shareholders of Rochdale Village political group.
121. Women Strike for Peace (WSP) peace activist group.
122. Women’s American ORT organization that promotes education and training worldwide.
123. Workmen’s Circle No. 1078 Yiddish School and organization.
124. Workmen’s Circle No. 619.
125. Workmen’s Circle Seniors Group Yiddish Culture Club.
126. Youth and Tennis Inc. tutoring and tennis instruction program.
Photo Credits: Images contributed by Rochdale resident Elaine Speer