Rachel Zeidenschneider (c.1841-1919) was a widow in Lublin, Poland, where she raised three sons, Max, Abraham and Isadore. Her sons immigrated to Pittsburgh one by one between 1898 and 1905 and opened a tailoring business near their home in the Hill District.
Her youngest son, Isadore Zeidenschneider (c.1878-1960), came over about 1905. The following year, he brought over his wife, Anna Zeidenschneider (c.1885-1974), and their son Max. They lived on Tannehill Street and had three more children, Esther, Saul and Louis. Rachel Zeidenschneider immigrated about 1906 and lived with her son Max.
Isadore and Anna Zeidenschneider and their four children later moved to Baywood Street in East Liberty. Esther Zeidenschneider (c.1907-1947) was a pianist. She taught music theory at the Irene Kaufmann Settlement House and gave piano lessons at her home. Among her students was a young Rochelle Reznik. Saul Zeidenschneider (c.1911-2002) was a florist with John McClements Inc. for many years.
Louis “Lou” Zeidenscheider (1914-2012) worked in his father’s tailor shop before shortening his name to Zeiden and striking out on his own. He worked in men’s clothing shops in Pittsburgh and Erie as a buyer and merchandise manager before taking a job in Beaver Falls in 1953. When a clothing store in town burned down in 1966, he opened his own store called Zeiden’s. His concern with customer satisfaction and the fine goods and tailoring he offered regularly brought customers from Pittsburgh to Beaver Falls.
In 1939, Lou Zeiden married Ruth Friedman (d.1993). They had two children, Howard and Barbara. The Zeidens were active members of the Jewish community of Beaver Falls. Lou Zeiden was the president of Congregation Agudath Achim in Beaver Falls for 20 years and helped found the Beaver Valley Jewish Community Center. “When I arrived in Beaver Falls there was only a tiny shul in a poor, neglected area of downtown Beaver Falls,” Zeiden said in 1997, while being honored by the United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Lev Society, “but I knew it could become a viable, flourishing Jewish community. One night at a dinner party a small group of us came up with the idea of building a new Jewish Community Center for the Beaver Valley. In less than three months the committee was formed and by 1960 we had our new center.”
Zeiden spent many years on the United Jewish Federation board of directors and was also involved in the Zionist Organization of America and with Riverview Towers among other Jewish communal groups, including the Rauh Jewish Archives Advisory Committee.
After the Zeidens moved back to Pittsburgh, they became members of Congregation B’nai Israel in East Liberty. As chair of the B’nai Israel cemetery committee, Lou Zeiden oversaw renovations of the congregation’s cemetery in Penn Hills.