Benchie Ben Judelman
בן יודלמן


Benzion was born in Skud on 14th May 1921. He was the second of three sons born to Judel (Julius) and Mintze Judelman.

The family had a general store in Mooiplaas, a small town outside Pretoria, which had a house attached where the family lived for a while. Benchie took over the store when Judel passed away in 1945.

Benzion was born in Skud on 14th May 1921. He was the second of three sons born to Judel (Julius) and Mintze Judelman.

Seeking a better life for his family, Judel left for South Africa. Once he was established, Mintze and the three boys followed in 1931. The family had a general store in Mooiplaas, a small town outside Pretoria, which had a house attached where the family lived for a while.

In July 1944 Benchie married Bertha Berman and they had three daughters; Juliet, Jacqueline and Maureen. Ben was very proud of his three girls and always referred to them as his “three million”.

When Judel became ill Benchie worked in the shop as Lazar was at university and Hennie was still young. Judel died in 1945 and Benchie took over the store.
Benchie and his family moved to Pretoria. He continued to run the store until about 1963 when it had to be closed and he then went to work for OK Bazaars, a large department store with branches all over South Africa. He worked there until his retirement in 1990.

Ben, Bertha and Juliet immigrated to Australia in 1992 to be with Jacqueline and Maureen who were by then living there with their families. He settled well in Australia and always said “it was the best country in the world”. The first few years were difficult living on a South African pension and he supplemented his income by doing odd jobs. After 10 years he became eligible for an Australian pension and life was easier.

Despite not having much money he always donated to charity and gave regularly to the JNF and Jewish Welfare. On birthdays Benchie would give each child, grandchild and great grandchild an envelope with a few dollars in it and say “I wish it could be more”. He loved being with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and if he got a hug from Joshua (his great grandson) his face would beam with pride!

Bertha died in 2005 and Benchie and Juliet lived in the flat for a while but Ben’s health was failing – he had been unwell for some time. In 2006 he and Juliet moved into the Sir Moses Montefiore Home where he lived until he passed away in August 2007. Benchie enjoyed his time at Monte. He participated in the activities and loved treating us to coffee at the café when we visited. There is a shul on the premises and Benchie loved attending services there and joining the Rabbi in singing the tunes.

Benchie was a mild mannered man who never spoke ill of anyone. He loved playing bowls and enjoyed keeping in touch with his family. He always looked for the good in people. He was truly one of ‘nature’s gentlemen’.

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