Friday, September 4, 2015

A new theory about the old sactuary

Here's a new idea regarding the 1907 design of Temple De Hirsch.  The architect (had his name slightly wrong) Julian Franklin Everett or J. F. Everett designed a number of public buildings.

I could not imagine that his design was influenced by eastern European synagogues or even the work of Arnold Brunner.

My friend Mary Ann suggested that I look at Immaculate Conception Catholic church.  To the left.  Built in 1904, just a few blocks from the Temple location, it was the largest grandest Catholic church in the city.

Look again at Temple De Hirsch, built in 1907, you can see the similarities.  Likely the congregation leadership would have been pleased to have a building similar to the new grand church.
Very simiilar, there's the portico in front but very similar....

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why did architect build the synanogue like this?

Temple De Hirsch decided to move the site of their synagogue rather abruptly.  They already had the start of a building (just the first floor) at Marion and Boylston just above the downtown.  In 1907, they had enough money to go above the first floor.  But they realized that their current plan would not be big enough.  Plus they could sell that site for a profit and move up Capitol Hill to 15th and East Pike.  I think the Schumacher family owned land around there, not sure.

So they commissioned E. F. Everett as the architect and within a year, the synagogue was done.

So how do I describe this building.  I am not an architect.  Where did he get this design?  I'm looking at pictures in synagogue architecture books and I'm not seeing much that looks like this.  Believe it or not, the one the comes close is Mishkan Israel (New Haven) and Ados Israel built in 1897 and 1898 by noted synagogue architect Arnold Brunner.

This was just before Brunner decided to go Classical and build big synagogues that look like Roman temples.

This style also looks like early eastern European synagogues.

In the paperwork around the landmark status, the building is described as neoclassic.  That author felt that the interior looked like iconic Touro synagogue in Rhode Island.  Maybe the interior but, to my untrained eye, it doesn't look the same to me at all.

E. F. Everett is a local architect, I've seen references to churches and schools and residences.  How would he know how to build a synagogue?  I don't think he would know about how synagogues in eastern Erurope looked.  He might not know of Brunner's work; why would he know about the Connecticut buildings?  There were no other big synagogues anywhere around.

OK, I have a theory.  I ran into some clip art from a University of South Florida site.

This kind of looks right.  The source they gave was

Bible symbols, or, The Bible in pictures : designed and arranged to stimulate a greater interest in the study of the Bible by both young and old
Frank Beard 1842-1905. Martha Van Marter 1839 @1904 

I think I can actually get this book through Summit Libraries.  He could have had this book.  1904.  Since he did churches having a source of Biblical images might be helpful.  He could have looked it up to get an idea of what a synagogue was supposed to look like.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Return to Sobibor

And I never want to go there in the first place.

There is going to be a Holocaust at UW taught by the author of "Ordinary Men" which examined the members of the killing units in the east who would go from town to town shooting Jews.  Lots and lots of them.  I don't think I want to go there.

But I remembered the book; Escape from Sobibor,I even think I read it a long time ago.

My grandfather's cousin David Baumann died in the death camp there in 1943.  There was an uprising in the fall of 1943..  300 tried to escape; 50 survived the war.  The Nazis shut down the camp after that. 
David Baumann was 51 years old, born in Schmeiheim in Baden, that district of Germany that borders France.  Shows up in the Netherlands list.  Don't know why he was in, or if he ever was in The Netherlands.  Don't know anything else about him, hard to figure out how.  I thought I put all that information on the ancestry family tree.  But it wasn't there, so I just added a bunch.

Picture from the US Holocaust Museum collection of the survivors about a year after their escape.  David Baumann, not among them, already dead.  Don't know how, gassed the first day?  Worked in the camps.  Don't know, don't know.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lake Forest Dark

I just got my power back last evening.  We had been out 2 1/2 days.  Big windstorm came through.  I think that I would move just to avoid these power outages.  Whenever the wind come up, I get all stressed, what if I lose my power, what if I lose my power?  I joke that the only good thing about losing your power was that you no longer have to worry about losing your power.

But here's the reason why.  This is around the corner, not two blocks away.  What you don't see is the snapped power pole just to my right and the pulled out transformer on a pole behind me.  That huge tree laying on the wires.  I can't even imagine what damage that does. What a  giant mess!

This happened Saturday noon and Sunday evening, a lone City Light guy said that maybe they would get to it tomorrow.  Yikes.  But Sunday evening, the equipment showed up and a whole crew worked all night and the next day.  There's a picture of the site on the front page of the Seattle Time this morning.  After they moved the tree,

I don't have to tell anybody how stressful and distressing it is to be out that long.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Field Trip

Professor Stonebraker's class went on a field trip this past week.  Ilana found out that there was budget for transportation so she decided to look for some site visits.  Her MGMT 175 class visited a co-working place.  Kind of like a coffee shop with only coffee.  But places to work.

You can pick out Prof. Stonebraker, she's wearing the light gray jacket standing towards the right side.  The academic advisor also came. 

Pretty sweet deal for these new freshman.  Field trip your very first week.

Ilana really enjoys teaching.  She's really got a great job for her.  They want her to think up new ideas and try them.  She gave her first case competition last year.  Now she has a sponsor and participation from some other universities.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My grandparents

My paternal grandparents, Harold and Betty Ginsburgh, pictures taken in their 70s  in the 1970s.

I've bristled against the steriotypes coming out of the large migration of Eastern European migration of Jews in the early twentieth century, the lower east side, garment trade, yiddishkeit.  I was truly appalled when somebody I knew assured me that she knew all about my Jewishness based on her familiarity with this culture.

Being born Jewish has a lot of implications which I ponder.  I cannot escape these strong cultural roots and inheritance.  I find it rich and confounding.  Maybe one reason why I keep writing about it.

My mother's family came to the US during the earlier German migration of the 1840s.  The high German Jews; a stereotype which I luckily did not have to deal with growing up on the west coast.  My father's family was more from the later Eastern European migration but push the boundaries.  My paternal grandfather was the son of an immigrant from eastern Prussia.  But my great grandfather came to the US as a young child around 1880.  I don't know much about my great grandmother, the census record says the family came from 'Russia'.  But I think she was native born.  My paternal grandmother's family came from the Pale, now Ukraine around 1890.  My great grandfather was a carpenter and a housepainter but, like other stereotypes, he rose dealing in real estate, apartment buildings and built up a sizable mortgage brokerage business in Cambridge MA.

My grandfather grew up as a classics geek in Rochester NY.  He loved to show me his books and read from them in the original greek and latin.  He spent his first two years as college at the University of Rochester, then transferring to Harvard on scholarship graduating in the Class of 1920.  As I've written before, Harvard stayed the dominant institution in his life.  I think there wasn't room at Harvard for transfer students for the first year (or maybe they didn't make any) and Jewish students boarded with Jewish families in Cambridge.  I think my grandfather boarded in grandmother's home where they met.

To me, the astonishing part is that my grandparents, both children of immigrants, had no trace of immigrant culture about them.  None.  No Yiddish, no stories of the old country.  Nothing.  They identified as proper Boston citizens.  That heritage occupied no part of their lives.  My grandfather, an insurance executive and his proper wife participated in high culture activities.  It wasn't a secret, it simply did not exist for them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Samuel Goldfarb

A big personality in the history of the Jewish community.  Ran the music program at Tenmple De Hirsch for 30 years.  Known for his set of choirs starting with the Children's Choir and advancing up to the choir that performed at the services.  He also played the organ and, according to the legend, conducted with his eyebrows.

Also a prolific composer of choral and musical works.  I think he might have composed "I have a little dreidl"  There's some vinyl records at Special Collections and also a DVD version which I listened to yesterday.  I'd like a copy of the children's choir part maybe to play for some of the older adults.  Music can trigger powerful memories.  Costs at least $62 to get the library to duplicate the CD.  Ouch, pretty stiff.

People still remember him; the rabbis there really value music.  Yet it's Beth Am with the reputation for the strong music.  I don't know all of the deal about the Jewish community here.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mothers Day 1994

In Rockford Illinois, not here.

21 years ago.

My father and mother stand with my grandmother outside of Wesley Willows.  Probably they've just come to visit.  But my father, especially, is dressed up.  Maybe they had some special luncheon so everybody wanted to look nice.  That's one thing about my family of origin.  You were always supposed to dress nicely.  Very important.

Somehow that message never quite rubbed off on me.  But my mother tried, really tried, always pointing out that I never was dressed nice enough.  Not to her standards, anyway.  sigh.  What can you do with those tapes playing in our head?

We were talking about childhood tapes playing in your head in a team meeting today.  And how powerful those memories and conversations are.

So as I do, how old was everybody in this picture.  My father is 68, my mother 70, my grandmother 94.  Everybody's looking pretty darn good.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Moses stained glass

This beautiful stained glass of Moses and the tablets was at the end of the Old Sanctuary.  I'm struggling but I think that somewhere, (where?) I saw an account of who donated this stained glass.  Had to be one of the Cooper/Levy/Schwabacher crowd.  Similar to New Haven in that the leading German families at the beginning did not endure.  It hung above the ark.

The Moses stained glass was really the only major piece of stained glass in the building.  They did save it; it now hangs at the back of the chapel.  No room for this traditional piece in the modern soaring new 1960 building.  Out with the old!  In with the new!  A whole brilliant modern world!  Hear us roar!

Never mind.

So it hangs at the back of the poor muddled chapel.  Which just doesn't work with the chandeliers and the aron from the old building.  And the pink rug and the purple benches and the abstract stained glass on the side.  Honey, honey, is it any matter that something needs to be done?

Aha!  Look closer and there's a dedication at the bottom.  "In memory of Fred Schwabacher / The gift of his Mother"

So who's Fred Schwabacher and who is his mother?  I don't have the answers as well as I would with the New Haven 19th century Jews.  As best I can figure out, this must have been Fred Schwabacher (1878-1898), died at age 23, in Seattle.  He was the son of Abraham (1838-1909) and Sara Schwabacher, who ran the Schwabacher enterprises in San Francisco.  He moved to Seattle 4years before his death.  His aunt Babette married Bailey Gatzert who built up the Seattle company and later became the only (so far) Jewish mayor of Seattle.  Abe stayed back in San Francisco running the business there.

Could Sarah Schwabacher have given the window?  Yes,  Fred died in 1898.  Abraham died in 1909 but Sarah lived until 1942.  Sarah's sister in law, Babetter Gatzert maybe suggested it?  Frederick was her middle child.  Her youngest daughter Mina also came to Seattle because she married Nathan Eckstein who also was heavily involved in the business and the community.  It could have happened.