Bär Stern is the third and youngest son of David Isaac Stern and Märle Rothschild Stern, and the grandson of Salomon Abraham Rothschild. Unless otherwise noted, the information for Bär comes from the Synagogue Vöhl website.
Bär was born sometime in 1805. The first mention of him as an adult is in 1826 on the list of conscripts which states “He is said to be wealthy. He can’t handle horses.” Which is probably why his profession had nothing to do with them. He was a dealer of fruit and cattle. Like many other members of this extended family, he belonged to the most taxed half of the population. He and his family lived at Arolser Straße 17 in Vöhl.
Sometime before 1844, Bär married Sara Bär, who was born about 1810. Sadly, we don’t know anything else about her. They were the parents of one known child, Emilia Stern, born 4 December 1844 in Vöhl.
Starting in 1841, Bär was a member of the Jewish Community Board for most of the rest of his life. In 1844, the Board of Directors, consisting of Bär Stern, Simon Kugelmann, and Isaak Rothschild, signed a letter regarding the new funeral orders. The Board agreed to the orders, but had financial reservations about it. By comparing the handwriting in the letter to the signatures, it’s believed to have been written by Bär. In 1860, he signed the “Estimate of Income and Expenditure for the Israelite Religious Community in Vöhl, Basdorf, Marienhagen, and Ob. Werba” for the years 1861 – 1863.
In 1862, as a member of the Board, he had to deal with Moses Kugelmann’s complaint about “synagogue demurrage.” It seems Moses, who was Bär’s first cousin once removed, believed he didn’t have to pay the synagogue fee since he was a local resident. It was proved that he had become an official registered citizen of Vöhl in February 1861, but that he attended the synagogue in 1859 and 1860, before he was a registered citizen, and therefore owed his membership dues to the synagogue.
In addition to being on the Jewish Community Board, Bär was a member, and possibly the chairman, of the Vöhler chapter of the Association for the Moral and Civic Improvement of the Israelites. This group was founded in Darmstadt around 1832. Bär’s membership fee was 15 kreuzers.
In a letter to the Vöhler local court in 1877, it is stated the Bär Stern company, owned by Bär Stern, had ceased to exist, and the local court was tasked with finding the rightful heirs. A penciled-in note, probably written by the court clerk, states “Family Jacob Strauss.” Bär’s daughter Emilia married Jacob Strauss in 1867, and they lived in Kirchhain.
There is no other mention of Bär after this point, so it’s presumed he passed in or before 1877.
That brings us to the end of this Stern family. Next up we’re going to start exploring the children of Giedel Rothschild and Kain Heinemann-Stern. They had 7 children, so we’re going to be with them awhile. Until then, stay safe and stay healthy!