The JNet team at Merkos 302 is excited to announce the relaunch of the JNet Connection, a magazine that celebrates the stories of the JNet community.
The magazine was started by Rabbi Yudi Dukes OBM right before he became unwell. It is a magazine about JNet members’ journey’s in life and learning.
Yudi felt it was important for people to share their stories so that others can learn from their experiences and know they aren’t alone on their Torah journeys but part of a global community of Torah studiers.
This issue features the story of JNet member Scott Dubin:
This Jewish Man Is Learning The Talmud Just As He Did In 11th Grade
Scott Dubin’s story takes us to Atlanta, Georgia, where he was raised in a loving and vibrant Jewish home. He spent his summers enjoying Jewish summer camps.
“My last year in high school, I connected with an amazing Rabbi, Rabbi Dovid Zauderer, he was my gateway into learning. We opened up a Talmud together and he told me, ‘We can study this.’ I remember at 16 years old covering about a half a page over the course of six months. My Hebrew was choppy, let alone Aramaic.”
Scott then went on to receive a degree in Jewish history and Philosophy from NYU. After moving to Israel and joining the IDF, Scott worked at the Jewish Agency for Israel, after which he returned to America, where he joined AIPAC. Eventually, Scott transitioned out of Non-Profit work and is now a Managing Director at ff Venture Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm based out of New York.
During the pandemic, when working from home became the new norm, Scott began following the journey of the late Rabbi Yudi Dukes, director of JNet.
“I felt that the story of Rabbi Dukes broke through the noise.” Scott related. “As I watched what he and his wife were doing, I made the commitment to start learning. That’s when I first discovered JNet.”
For Scott, joining JNet was the perfect opportunity to continue right where he left off in high school.
Scott was immediately set up with a study partner and set out to achieve his goals.
“I originally wanted to get to a place where I could independently get through a page of the Talmud. I’ve been lucky enough to be set up with Zusya who is a very patient person. He comes from a teaching background and has a vast amount of wisdom and knowledge.”
After some time, Scott’s goals progressed and blossomed into working towards completing an entire tractate before the summer.
Zusya decided to volunteer to teach with JNet after his wife had successfully volunteered about two months earlier. For Zusya, who is studying in Kollel in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, this experience has shifted his perspective on teaching.
“As much as I thought I was the teacher, Scott’s devotion towards his learning goals has taught me more than I can imagine. Scott is a working man who rediscovered his passion for learning. He always has something to share, I would say that Scott has taught me a tremendous amount.”
Scott noted that his life outside of learning has also seen tremendous change.
“Every time we finish learning, I come downstairs and discuss what I learned with my wife. In addition, my prayers have gained meaning and I also see a direct influence on my business life. This study time has allowed me to consciously remove myself from the headspace of work. In addition, Gemara is a masterwork where conclusions are reached by way of precise analytical conversations, usually in the form of questions and answers. This method of arriving at conclusions enhanced my decision-making skills at work. I now approach problems with better tools to come up with the solution that will be most efficient.”
“For those looking to sign up, just start with committing a half-hour and see how it can grow. For those in the Chabad community, this is a chance to engage with one person in a deep way. What I took from Rabbi Dukes was the beauty of connecting with even just one person.”