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Rabbi Dukes Conscious and Communicating

Borough President recognizes Rabbi hospitalized since March from COVID19

One of the world’s longest hospitalized COVID19 patients, Rabbi Yudi Dukes is now awake and communicating. 

In his capacity as director of the Jewish Learning Network (JNet), Rabbi Dukes oversaw a network that connects Jews from all over the world with a remote learning partner. Jews living far from a Jewish community, the housebound, and even incarcerated Jews look to their weekly phone Torah study session with a teacher as a spiritual and social lifeline. 

Hospitalized on March 30 with COVID-19 symptoms, the young rabbi spent nine weeks on ECMO and four months on a ventilator. His lungs collapsed several times, and but for the groundswell of support led by his wife Sarah who took to social media updating followers about her husband’s status and galvanizing thousands of well wishers and a steady outpouring of prayers over many months that still continues, the prognosis for the 38 year-old father of six was, at many junctures, very grim. 

Rabbi Dukes is now on the road to recovery, and even as he gains strength and the ability to talk and swallow, Yudi has been recording weekly Torah thoughts from his bed in the ICU,  to be shared publicly. He has also begun consulting on the day-to-day affairs of JNet.

In a testament to Rabbi Dukes’ perseverance and service to his community Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams proclaimed July 23rd 2020, “Rabbi Yehuda Dukes Celebration Day.” 

The proclamation reads, in part, “Whereas, it is a time-honored Brooklyn tradition to recognize those rare and extraordinary individuals who provide dedicated leadership, guidance, and support to their fellow members in faith . . . on behalf of all Brooklynites I salute Rabbi Yehuda Dukes . . . I recognize the volunteers of JNet have an opportunity to bring  the warmth of the Torah and Judaism to people whose situations restrict them from acquiring it in other ways; and affecting people’s lives positively; I applaud Rabbi Yehuda Dukes’ collaborations and partnerships from around the world for the Torah’s study by telephone, reaching thousands of friends who are now praying for his well-being; I wish him an expedient recovery from COVID19, and his continued service for the vulnerable, allowing individuals and families to access JNet services; and I wish him continued success in the great borough of Brooklyn and beyond, and I thank him for all that he has done to help our communities move forward as One Brooklyn.

Comment 22
  • Eli Shashoua

    Wishing you fast and easy recovering . Refua shelema

  • Brooke Remmert

    R’fuah Sh’leimah – complete recovery for the Rabbi. What a beautiful family. It’s very good news to know that people are recovering from this horrible, terrible pandemic. So much suffering.

  • Hinda Yocheved

    Now that’s nachus!!!

  • Betsy Quint Feldman

    Yay. I have been praying for Rabbi Dukes 3x or more each day since the spring. TG for a miracle and TG for the recognition. His wife and kids were very strong and focused and that made all the difference.

  • Marlene Lewis

    Thank you, I am now learning with my remote learning partner- because of you. May you continue to heal and may we see you back with family and with your JNET very very soon. I continue to pray every day for your refuah shleima.

  • Levana Kirschenbaum

    Dearest Yudi, Prayers WORK BH! I followed your setbacks and your progress with bated breath, Tehilim and tears.
    I prayed that someday soon, after your wonderful wife Sarah posts all her bulletins where she poured her heart out, YOU yourself would share your ordeal. And I see it happening: the fulfillment of our dearest with for you.
    You were a famous and precious man before Corona. Now you are, quite deservedly, the Rock Star Rabbi! Refua Shlema and AMV. The number of people who prayed for you is unfathomable.

  • Shalhevet

    Mazel Tov Rabbi Dukes and family!!!! Hashem is answering our prayers.
    There is no light at the end of the tunnel. YOU are the light!!! Keep on shining!!!!

  • Alice C Gross

    Hashem in his abundant mercies should grant to health and long life .

  • Rebecca Hecht

    Truly in awe of your spirit, and ability to bring light to the world even under the worst of circumstances! Wishing you a full and speedy recovery! Brooklynne’s NY cousins, Rebecca & Elissa



  • Cindy and Gabor Boda

    Cannot wait to be in the long line of cars welcoming you home!!

  • Laura Balboa

    so glad that you are getting better, know my prayers are with you and your family.

  • Lorrie klemons

    The miracle of faith and prayer. The love and power of HaShem.,

  • Charlie and Sharon saul

    Our prayers are with Yudi and his family.

  • Not sure what to say but I’m in awe. You have the most beautiful family and generous friends who have been there for you in all ways; you (and JNet) have brought numerous people together, and we are all praying for your speedy refuah sheleima. Amen.

  • Refua Shalama!!

  • Daniel I.

    Refuah Shalama dear Yudi 🌞 .. 🙏


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