Abraham Hast (c.1861-1926) visited Pittsburgh from his native London in the late 1880s at the suggestion of his brother-in-law’s brother Benjamin Jacobs, who was a bookkeeper at the J.M. Gusky Department Store. In 1893, Hast immigrated to old Allegheny City.
He married Stella Benswanger (1871-1968), the daughter of Bertha Benswanger, a widowed insurance broker who had come to Pittsburgh from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after the Civil War. Soon, Abraham Hast and his mother-in-law went into the insurance business together under the name Benswanger and Hast. The Hast and Benswanger families were members of the Concordia Club, Rodef Shalom Congregation and the National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh section. Abraham and Stella Hast had two children, Julian and Dorothy.
Julian Hast (1894-1987) earned a degree in chemistry from Cornell University and served in World War I. Dorothy Hast (1898-1991) married Abe Blumenthal.
As her mother and grandmother had done, Dorothy Blumenthal became involved in community service, beginning as a full-time volunteer with the American Red Cross during World War I. After volunteering for the Junior Council of Jewish Woman, she joined the National Council of Jewish Women in 1927 and remained active in the organization for the rest of her life. Blumenthal helped create the Council Lounge for Older People in 1948. In 1963, when the pioneering senior center outlived its home on the second floor of a commercial building on Forbes Avenue, she encouraged her friend Bessie Anathan to purchase 1620 Murray Avenue, to be known as the Anathan House, as the program’s new location. “When I was young, I was interested in scholarships,” she told the Pittsburgh Press in 1988. “When I became more mature, I got interested in activities for older adults. It’s rewarding to show someone he or she hasn’t outlived their usefulness.”