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.

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