Jewish Americans in Early San Benito

The Yudesis Family

by Ben Yudesis

Sol Yudesis was born in the Russian Ukraine in 1903, the second son of Harry and Sara Yudesis. His Family lived on a farm near the Dnieper River and his mother raised horses, which she sold to the Russian Cavalry post near their farm. In 1916 the family left Russia.

His parents and two sisters went directly to the United States and Sol, just short of 13, traveled alone to Buenos Aires,Argentina, where he joined his older brother. After several years they both joined the remainder of the family in Philadelphia. Sol was apprenticed to an upholsterer and after five years he became a master upholsterer. However, he much preferred selling, which is what he did in Argentina, so he headed west. At first he settled in New Orleans but then moved to Texas. He settled in San Benito in 1927. His first store was on Robertson Street but in the early thirties he moved to the 100 block of South Sam Houston where he operated as San Benito Furniture Company. In 1953 he sold the building to Edelsteins, intending to move. However, he changed his mind and purchased the Palm Tavern across the street and reopened as S. Yudesis Furniture until he retired in 1967. He sold this business to Louis Garcia who renamed the store San Benito Furniture Company. Sol passed away on August 17, 1981.



Miriam Yudesis was born in 1913 in Detroit, Michigan, the oldest daughter of George and Sarah Fishman. Her parents had moved from San Antonio to Detroit about two months before her birth for business reasons. After moves to New York and Philadelphia, the family returned to Texas settling in Harlingen in 1930 where Miriam attended Sam Houston School (now the Matz Building). Shortly thereafter the family moved to Raymondville where she graduated from Raymondville High School. After graduation from Southwest Texas Teachers College she taught school in Sodville, Texas, near Corpus Christi. In January, 1938 she and Sol married. Two children were born of the marriage, Ben and Anne. In 1956 she obtained her Master's Degree from Southwest Texas and returned to full-time teaching, retiring from the San Benito High School in 1980. Miriam passed away on March 21, 1998.

Sol and Miriam Yudesis were active in the Jewish Community and were founding members of Temple Beth Israel in Harlingen when it relocated there from Mercedes in 1949. Miriam's parents and her uncle and aunt, Meyer and Bertha Rabinowitz were original members when the Temple was established in Mercedes in the early 30's.

Benjamin M. Yudesis is retired from the U.S. Army, lives in San Benito and practices law in Harlingen. His wife Nancy, a descendant of early San Benito settlers, the O.G. Roberts family, passed away in 1996. There were no children.

Anne Yudesis Browning lives in Los Alamos, New Mexico. She is married to Richard Browning and they have three children, Leah Laker, Sarah Browning and Joel Browning and two grandchildren, Aviva and Solomon Laker. Anne is a graduate of the University of Texas with a Bachelor's Degree in math and a Master's in computer science. She has been a Senior Systems Analyst at the Los Alamos Labs, written a cookbook and managed a health food store. She is now employed by the Los Alamos School System.