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Born in a small fishing village in the former French Morocco, Shimon Dudai was ten years old when his family emigrated to Israel. Fluent in French, English, Spanish and Hebrew, Dudai has since travelled the world. Following seminary studies and service in the Israeli Merchant Marine, he served in the Tank Corps of the Israeli army during the Six Day War, and later.

In 1971, as a reservist in the Southern Command under the leadership of Ariel Sharon. He joined Air France in Tel Aviv where his skills in languages and in public relations were put to good use world-wide.

A chance trip to Australia changed his life: At a Sabbath service one Friday night, he spotted Nadia, an immigrant from Bratislava, Slovakia, who later became his wife. Australia was home for 20 years and it was there that the Dudais’ children were born: Ben, 28, still lives in Sydney; Danielle, 24, is a Law student at Nova University and Avi, 21, attends the University of Central Florida.

The Dudais had planned to move with their children to Israel but chance intervened once more. While visiting family in Jacksonville, he was asked to take a temporary teaching position at a Hebrew school for six months, which led to an invitation to become rabbi at another synagogue. In 1993 he accepted a position with B'nai Zion Congregation in Key West where he was well loved and sorely missed when, due to family considerations, he moved to Miami within a year to serve as rabbi of the Cuban Hebrew Synagogue for seven years. During his brief initial sojourn in Key West, Rabbi Dudai did much to increase membership numbers and participation at B'nai Zion.

Rabbi Dudai is a man of many parts. A self-taught engineer, he has patented a car seat to enable handicapped and wheelchair-bound drivers to transfer easily to and from their cars without assistance. He is presently working on another model in which the car seat itself morphs into a wheelchair.The Rabbi's other interests include opera and classical music, yachting, ocean racing and fishing. He is a certified scuba diver and a Supreme Court of Florida certified Family Mediator.

Overshadowing all his other interests is a deep commitment to Jewish education and spiritual enrichment, a lifelong passion which prompted his decision to enter the rabbinate relatively late in life. He received rabbinic ordination at the Rabbinic Seminary of Boro Park in Brooklyn N.Y. In 1990 and a second ordination at Yeshivat Har-Zion in Jerusalem, Israel in 1995. He summarizes his approach to his calling as follows:

“I have a passion for education, counseling, family mediation, and creating programs to meet the needs of people of all ages. I seek to adapt Biblical, Talmudic, and Midrashic concepts to contemporary issues and modern day situations. My goal as rabbi at B'nai Zion is to provide for the individual needs of each congregant, as well as providing spiritual leadership to meet the needs of the general community.”

Members of Congregation B’nai Zion feel privileged that Shimon and Nadia Dudai have returned to enrich and enliven the Jewish community in Key West.

Rabbi DudaiRabbi Shimon Dudai
is available to perform a
complete range of services.


Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program

• Weddings locally or out of town, including pre-marital and
post-marital counselling

• Preparation for Bar and Bat Mitzvah

• Preparation for Conversion

• Private tutoring in all Jewish learning

• Pastoral and grief Counselling

• General Family Counselling

Contact :
Rabbi Dudai

••••••••••••••ASK THE RABBI ••••••••••••

Wednesdays @ 7PM
Rabbi Dudai's Judaism 101 Class
in the Bernstein Library