Chicago's first B'nai B'rith lodge was established in 1857. Ramah Lodge's first act was the founding of the United Hebrew Relief Association. Member organizations included four synagogues (KAM, KBS, Sinai, and Zion), a Ladies Sewing Society that provided clothes to the poor, the Chevra kadisha (Jewish burial society), and the Washington Irving Literary Society. During the Civil War, the lodge brought Chicago Jewry together to create and equip a Jewish military company. It also established a Jewish hospital that treated patients of all religions, but was destroyed in the 1871 Chicago Fire.