Isaac Seder (c.1876-1924) immigrated to Pittsburgh from Russia about 1895. He attended the Grant School and Fifth Avenue High School before starting a jobbing business on Fifth Avenue with fellow immigrant Jacob H. Frank.
Frank & Seder moved into downtown about 1907 and shifted from wholesale to retail trade, eventually becoming one of the largest department stores in the city. The partners commissioned a six-story building at Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street in 1918 and later expanded into other cities, including New York, Philadelphia and Detroit.
In 1904, Isaac Seder married Gertrude Friedberg. They lived in Uptown briefly before moving to the East End. They had four sons, Jerome, Harold, Theodore and Jules.
Isaac Seder was a major contributor to the campaign to build Montefiore Hospital, as well as to other relief, education and public welfare organizations. After his death, Gertrude Seder (1883-1987) endowed the Isaac Seder Education Center of the Young Men and Women’s Hebrew Association and an outpatient clinic at Montefiore Hospital in memory of her husband. She also endowed the Abraham Friedberg Eye Clinic at the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged in memory of her brother. She later established the Gertrude Seder Fund at the Pittsburgh Foundation to provide funds for Montefiore Hospital, Riverview Center for Jewish Seniors and the Jewish Community Center. She lived to be 104 and was the oldest resident at Riverview Center at the time of her death.
Jerome Seder (c.1905-1994) attended Peabody High School and, shortly after graduating took a job as a stock boy in the silk department of Frank & Seder. He later moved into buying, publicity and other administrative positions in various departments. He assumed the presidency in 1949 after the death of his father’s long-lasting successor, Bennie Neiman.
Jerome Seder married Dorothy Reubin. They had two children, Eugene and Miriam.
The Seder boys were musically inclined. Jerome Seder played the oboe in the Pittsburgh Symphony and the saxophone in several jazz bands that performed in roadhouses along the trolley line between Pittsburgh and Mars, Pa. Jules Seder was a bassoonist for the Pittsburgh Symphony before moving to Los Angeles. Theodore Seder performed with the Philadelphia Symphony. He later moved to New York City to pursue a doctorate in music.
Harold Seder also worked for the family business as a treasurer.
Isaac Seder’s brother Abraham Seder married Celia Levin.