There were about three hundred Jewish families in Skud. The Jews had shops and hotels; the Lithuanians were mainly farmers.
Hirsch first had a shop and then a factory. He also had a farm with a big lake. He used to export grain. Hirsch went to shul three times a day, never missing a day.
Hirsch’s wife was known as Ella Mannes Judelman. Manne was Hirsch’s father. He was very fond of his daughter-in-law and called her Ella bas Manne: Ella the daughter of Manne.
Ella grew up in Skudville. Their parents had an inn, where as children Ella would help in making and baking. Their specialty was a dish called “Saltenoses,” which were cheese blintzes baked in cream (very delicious). Travelers used to come around regularly and say to Bobbe: “Why is it that whenever we come to you, the saltenoses have double the ingredients and we pay half the price, and when we go elsewhere, the saltenoses have half the ingredients and we pay double the price? How do you make a living?”
The answer was “When we die, we want to be buried in our own “tachrichim” (shrouds) that we haven’t taken advantage of anyone. We have a clear conscience.” (That story sounds better in Yiddish!)
Ella and Hirsch Judelman lived across the road from a prison. Every Friday Ella would take a basket of apples or home-baked challahs to the prison warders, so they would allow, as they always did, the Jewish prisoners to come out for Shabbos dinner. (The prisoners were imprisoned only because they refused military service.)
Ella Judelman was always busy; a generous and good-natured woman who was very well liked and respected in the community. Even animals loved her. She had a cat that used to follow her everywhere .
She was very involved in charity. Her main focus was hachnasat kallah, collecting money for brides to pay for their weddings.
In those days, there were no doctors to treat the sick. Ella was like a nurse: she knew everything. Non-Jews used to come to her for treatment, often at no charge. Her son Mannie once had a whitlow on his finger and nearly lost his whole hand. Ella used soap to cure the infection.
The family lived in Naarstad (New Town) not Alderstad (Old Town). On Shabbos, Ella used to walk from the new town to the old town. Once a woman had a sore on her back, and as she couldn’t move Ella would walk a couple of miles to her house to treat her.
Ella became ill and passed away in 1933.
Read here about their children’s journey and life in South Africa