Fraternal Benefit Society

CSA Fraternal Life is America's oldest fraternal benefit society, and was established to help those in need. Formerly the Czechoslovak Society of America, CSA was founded in 1854 on the principles of equality, harmony and fraternity. From our Home Office in Lombard, Illinois, we service our 24,000+ members spread throughout 64 lodges in 21 states.

When an individual buys an insurance or annuity product from CSA, they become a member, and are eligible for all the fraternal benefits we provide. In addition there are many programs and activities on the local, regional and national levels in which members can participate, many of which are described on this page. Members belong to lodges and are encouraged to involve themselves in that core unit's organization and functions, including charitable opportunities.

CSA encourages participation in lodge functions but it is completely voluntary. Our purpose includes these intentions:

to Foster fraternity, charity, and patriotism among its members;

to Promote the social, recreational and spiritual welfare of its members and mankind in general;

to Encourage its members to practice physical fitness and to cooperate with and support organizations promoting such programs;

to Encourage and support every effort to perpetuate the Czech and Slovak heritage, language, and customs;

to Promote and support all activities and principles as befits a fraternal society.

  • Miss National CSA Contest

    This year, four young women competed for the title of Miss National CSA. The competition, held at our annual Get-Together in Countryside, IL featured contestants speaking and answering questions from judges. Questions are devoted to lifestyle, education, hobbies, future goals, and other subjects of interest.

    Sis. Cassandra Stone of Lodge Brookfield #475 was crowned Miss National CSA for 2018-19. Cassandra is 19 years old and resides in Chicago, IL. She is 5'1" tall with brown hair and brown eyes. She comes from a culturally blended family and knows both English and Spanish. They are a family of long-time CSA members, and she has a sister, Marilyn, who has also competed in past Miss CSA Contests. She is a member of the National Honor Society, was voted Secretary of her senior class, and was her high school's Prom Queen. Cassandra is attending Saint Xavier University, and her goal is to pursue a career as a Pediatric Registered Nurse. Cassandra is a CSA Scholarship recipient. You can keep up with Cassandra's activities and travels through her monthly Journal articles. She will be our traveling Good Will Ambassador as she visits lodges, festivals, parties, and other fraternal activities.

  • Scholarship Program

    Student-members meeting requirements are awarded scholarships based on grade point average, college placement scores, CSA and extracurricular activities, and essays. Scholarships also can be awarded to students seeking a certification in a trade school or other professional program of study.

    Sis. Marianna Schrack of Lodge Christa #479 received the 2018 Best of Class Award of $4,000. Marianna will be attending Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY where she plans to double major in Social Work and International Business and minor in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Her dream is to help victims of human trafficking and increase awareness of this global atrocity.

    CSA Scholarships are awarded for one year, provided the student earns a 3.0 or higher grade point average and meets insurance and application requirements.

  • Fraternalist of the Year

    Having started in 1985, this is the 33rd year we honor a CSA member who has gone above and beyond to exhibit Equality, Harmony, and Fraternity.

    On Saturday evening, August 4, 2018, Sis. Jennifer Zeman on Lodge Washington #30, was named the Fraternalist of the Year from 2017-2018 at the Get-Together banquet in Countryside, IL. Our Fraternalist, a fourth-generation CSA member since birth, has remained active in both their Lodge and District level. In the fall of 2017, Jennifer took the time out of her busy schedule to make several fleece blankets by hand to benefit a deserving nonprofit organization that helps ill children in need. She will also bake generous amounts of goodies that are sold to raise funds for her lodge's CSA Serves Project. You can see the love she has for her heritage when looking at the various Czech and Moravian displays she's shown in a local educational center - all of which taking a lot of time, research, and creativity to put together. When a lodge member passes away, a local nonprofit organization needs a centerpiece, or a benefit event is in need of corsages and boutonnieres, this member goes out of her way to design and create the flower spreads. For CSA youth, Jennifer has arranged gift exchanges, game nights, baseball outings, brunch, and other events. Last but not least, she takes any opportunity they can to model their authentic Moravian kroje, demonstrate the art of Czech Easter egg decorating, and perform with Czechoslovak dancers.

    A $100 gift will be donated to Jennifer's favorite charity in her name. This year, ten total members were nominated for this prestigious award. We thank all active members for their continued good work.

  • Annual Get-Together


    The 82nd Annual CSA Get-Together was held at the Holiday Inn William Tell Hotel in Countryside, Illinois from August 3-5, 2018. Over 140 members and guests enjoyed a weekend of fraternal goodwill including a service project, a bus trip to downtown Chicago, a boat ride on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, our annual Miss National CSA Contest, and social activities. Outings and trips are being planned for next year's 83rd Annual Get-Together, which will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Start making plans to attend!

  • Bowl-o-Rama

    This youth activity is held on a Sunday morning in the spring, and run by local districts in areas of high member concentration. Bowling at the same time in several cities throughout the country, youth members, ages 5 to 17, compete against each other in several categories for prizes, though all bowlers receive a souvenir.

  • Photo Contest

    Members are encouraged to enter photos in the annual Photo Contest. The photos must be those they have taken themselves; no studio, professional, or re-touched photos. Cash Prizes are awarded in various categories and rankings. This year's Best of Contest winner is Sis. Carla Strnad of Lodge Missouri #1. Congratulations, Carla!

  • Lodge Recognition

    A Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze Star certificate and monetary prize is rewarded to active lodges who meet various requirements for the year. Members can win this award by holding ethnic or youth activities, volunteering in various community programs, and attending educational and social activities.

  • CSA SERVES

    CSA SERVES is a lodge activity that encourages support for a local group or organization which fits the criterion of a common topic. The CSA SERVES project allows lodges across the country the option of selecting one or more charities or community agencies to devote their time and/or monetary donations.

    As has always been CSA's policy, any monetary donations made by a lodge are matched by 50% as well as $2.50 per volunteer hour.

    In the past, lodges have chosen Food Pantries, Helping our Military, donating to and volunteering at local schools and libraries, cleaning up parks, planting flowers, trees and many other good works benefiting their neighborhoods, churches and schools.

    CSA is proud of the dedication of its members and equally proud to partner with them in their efforts.

  • National Sports Tournaments

    National adult member tournaments are held for bowling and golf in different cities each year. Local committees make all arrangements while District Sports committees handle registration. Prizes and souvenirs are awarded.

  • Join Hands Day

    JOIN HANDS DAY, usually held in May of each year, is the only national volunteer day that specifically targets and develops relationships between young people and adults through neighborhood volunteering. Youths and adults work together on an equal basis to plan, organize and implement the day's activities. Building relationships across generations restores confidence, trust and respect for each other and creates a sense of community.

    JOIN HANDS DAY is a program of the American Fraternal Alliance. The 124-year-old organization unites 70 not-for-profit fraternal benefit societies that operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

  • 50 and 75-Year Pin Program

    Long-term membership is recognized and often awarded in lodge-sponsored pin ceremonies. Fifty and seventy-five year pins are available from the Home Office. Contact us for details.

  • The Journal

    The CSA Journal is a free monthly magazine that keeps members up to date on events within the Society. The Journal is also a forum to talk about new products and features seasonal articles on ethnic traditions and other activities. Many articles are submitted by lodge members. To see the current issue of the Journal, click here.

Notice

The Czechoslovak Heritage Museum, located in CSA's former Home Office in Oak Brook, Illinois is now closed. The Museum Board of Directors is working hard to find a permanent new home for the museum. Assistance with genealogy questions and searches can be found at the Paul M. Nemecek Library housed in the historic Thomas G. Masaryk School in Cicero, Illinois. This library has become a valuable resource for information on language, customs, art, traditions and history.

For information on hours of operation or to make an appointment, call 630-906-8175.

Sharing a common bond

CSA Fraternal Life (formerly known as Czechoslovak Society of America) is America's oldest Fraternal Benefit Society. Fraternal societies are defined by elements of purpose, harmony and community. We add value to our products and services through membership in a lodge system that encourages member benefits and programs focused on family values and community involvement.

With sincere appreciation for the dedication of our founding Czech and Slovak ancestors, our obligation to fulfill this social responsibility and adhere to our business strategy includes a commitment to service excellence, courtesy, compassion and professionalism. Steady growth in a competitive insurance market is critical to our member benefits and programs - a loyalty that supports our fraternal heritage and sense of volunteerism throughout our communities.

Founded as an 'Ethnic' fraternal society, our membership is open to all individuals of good character that share a common value system and support our fraternal heritage. CSA Fraternal Life embraces the opportunity to share our Czech and Slovak heritage with members of all ethnic backgrounds to carry our message of equality, fraternity and harmony into the 21st century. Our roots are deep; our fraternalism should have no limits or borders.

CSA Fraternal Life is proud of our commitment to equality, fraternity and harmony. To learn more, please call us toll-free at 1-800-LIFE-CSA (543-3272) or contact a local CSA agent or representative.