In First, Sarah Dukes Shares Her Story at Women’s Circle Event

For the first time since her husband Rabbi Yudi Dukes passed away, Sarah Dukes shares the struggles and satisfactions of her new reality, at the Crown Heights Women’s Circle’s Annual Melava Malka last week.

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It was one of those days. Sarah looked over the chaos of toys and books and caught her husband’s eye. “We have 6 capable children,” she complained. “I shouldn’t be cleaning up their toys.”

“If it shouldn’t be, then it wouldn’t be. You should clean up,” her husband Rabbi Yudi Dukes responded, before promptly sending her to her room to relax while he tackled the mess. 

“If it shouldn’t be, then it wouldn’t be,” was the bitachon mantra the Dukes embraced during Rabbi Yudi’s year-long fight with Covid-19. And it is the mindset that Sarah Dukes sustains as she continues to raise those six children solo and smiling.

In her debut talk, at the Crown Heights Women’s Circle’s melava malka last week, Sarah shared the struggles and satisfactions of her new reality. A reality, she maintains, is possible, because of the happiness her home embodies.

Strengthening our homes is a constant goal in the Circle. To that end, Nechy Amar presented this year’s communal hachlata. She shared the power of kisui rosh, as explored during multiple Wednesday classes: the brachos a woman brings to her home, she told the crowd, are too good to pass up. Amar encouraged each lady to make a personal hair-covering hachlata. Mrs. Leah Gurary sponsored bands in memory of her mother, Rivka Matel bas Efraim Aryeh a”h, to help each participant uphold her commitment. 

Simcha was the theme in the packed hall at the Circle’s 12th anniversary celebration. Women who come to learn every Wednesday morning were joined by community members eager to get a piece of the joy. To round out the event, comedian Malkie Knopfler shared her hilarious standup to the backdrop of steady laughter. 

The Melava Malka is only one of the Circle’s popular events throughout the year. Please visit for information on ongoing and future programming.

This event was made possible by Mrs. Shulamit Kaye, a beloved member of the Circle, as well as the very generous local businesses who keep the Circle rolling all year. With immense gratitude to, Mimulo, Shabbos Fish, Sushi Spot and Chantilly. Everything but the Baby’s sleek Bugaboo was won by Mushkie Avtzon; Esther Rosen went home with stunning flatware care of Kettle and Cord; and Tzfasman’s Jewelers’ dazzling bracelet was raffled off to Chevy Lipskier. The Women’s Circle would like to extend special appreciation to Mr. Greens for donating gorgeous produce to each of its events over the last 12 years.

Nshei readers click here for a full gallery and video.

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