In Memory of Mark Dubin z”l

Mark Dubin z”l was the father of Shira Boshnack, JLIC Brooklyn Alumni Director, who passed away right before Pesach this year.

This was the hesped (eulogy) that Shira gave about her father:

Dad was the best dad. He rocked us all to sleep while singing “Zum Gali Gali Gali,” drove the yellow minibus to Camp Avnet, and made up the funniest songs along the way. In the summer, he worked at the beach as the “nature man,” and everyone loved him. He taught us about sand crabs, mermaid’s purses, and where to find starfish beneath the rocks. He loved nature. He was a proud Boy Scout growing up, while my grandfather, Grandpa Harry, was the assistant head scout. After Camp Avnet, he spent 31 years at Camp Mesorah teaching children about nature, running overnights, and helping with whatever the camp needed.

Dad taught us to look at the world around us and love Hashem by seeing Him in all His creations. He loved listening to the rain on the porch and often brought us down to the porch in the middle of the night to listen to the sounds of the rain with him. Dad was what you would call a hands-on dad. He would play ball with us and taught us how to ride our bikes. He taught us how to body surf and helped us all with our science and writing projects.

Dad had a gift for carpentry. He was able to build anything—closets, bedrooms, sukkahs, beautiful bookcases. You name it, he built it. He was a science teacher by day and had a business called “Homework After Three” in the evenings. He did carpentry after teaching for the Board of Education each day in order to give his kids a yeshiva education, an education he valued but had never had himself. We never heard him once complain about having to go out and do heavy physical labor after managing middle school kids all day. He just did what he felt he needed to do with a smile.

Dad loved Hashem and was always connected. This, I believe, he got from his mother, Yetta, who was very passionate about Judaism and meticulous in many halachot. I always remember her cutting out the flesh of mushrooms and checking eggs for blood spots. 

Before my dad’s minyan days, I always remember him wearing a tallis and putting on tefillin each morning, praying, as the sound of CBS News played in the background from his alarm clock. 

Dad was a builder not only of carpentry but of community. He was one of the first members of the Young Israel of Woodmere and signed up for minyan once a week to help the daily minyan. He was one of the founding members of Aish Kodesh, under the leadership of Rav Moshe Weinberger. Both shuls transformed Jewish life in the Five Towns and around the world. An interesting fact is that my dad built the first bimah for Aish Kodesh, and my brother celebrated the first bar mitzvah in the shul. He was in the middle of creating and hanging a yahrzeit plaque for the Young Israel of Woodmere when he passed away.

Dad was a man of chesed. When my mom’s parents could no longer care for themselves, he took them into his home and cared for his in-laws like they were his own parents. He was also the head of Tomchei Shabbos in the Five Towns, and for the rest of his life, he collected food from the pantries and grocery stores so that people in need could get food in a dignified manner. This was no small task, and he would be busy with this project throughout the week. The highlight of his week was on Thursday night when parents and children would come together at the Young Israel of Woodmere to pack all the food that my dad collected. Not only would food be given to families but to Jewish organizations, yeshivas, and even some local churches. Dad cared about everyone! Everything he touched he made better. 

Dad deeply cared about JLIC at Brooklyn College and went around to all his neighbors and friends asking them to support this worthy cause. He would provide many of the desserts needed for the annual auction. Dad’s death leaves a void not only in his family’s life but in the countless individuals whose lives were transformed by his unwavering kindness and generosity. In his quiet, humble way, he was a true leader and left his mark in this world. May Mark Dubin, Elimelech Michel Ben Gershon’s neshama have an aliyah, and may his legacy continue to impact the world for many years to come.

In tribute to his memory, we invite you to partner with JLIC at Brooklyn College. 

Mark Dubin z”l is survived by his wife, Sherry; his beloved father-in-law, Grandpa Max; his 4 kids, Shira, Avi, Ilana, and Jared; and 18 grandchildren.