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Obituaries

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Rabbi Dr. Gideon Sorokin
1930-2015

Rabbi Dr. Gideon Sorokin passed away at home in Tiburon on Saturday, December 26, 2015. Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1930, he escaped with his family to British Palestine in 1938. He lived and worked in Israel, Italy, and Switzerland before immigrating to the United States in the early 1960s.
After several years working with the US Department of Agriculture in meat inspection and as a professor of meat hygiene, he settled in Marin County, establishing his practice as a veterinarian, with offices in several cities in the county. He practiced veterinary medicine for more than 35 years, retiring in 1987 to focus more on real estate investment and travel.
Dr. Sorokin was intensely proud of his Jewish heritage. He served as cantor to a small congregation in Pisa, Italy, while he was studying at the University of Pisa in the early 1950s. He later studied privately and became a rabbi. He particularly enjoyed sharing his love of Jewish culture and religious traditions with those of other faiths.
Dr. Sorokin was an indefatigable world traveler, having visited well over 100 countries in the course of his life. As a result of his zest for life, openness to other cultures, and his ability to speak seven languages, he easily made friends all over the world. He served as mentor, colleague and friend to many individuals at home and abroad, opening his heart and his home to people of all walks of life. He had a life-long love of music, dancing, opera and theater. Together with his wife Cherie he was a generous supporter of the arts.
During his life he was the author of two books ("Tales of an Unorthodox Veterinarian," Part I and Part II) about his veterinary career in Israel and the United States, and a producer of two films and a musical theater piece about his family's flight from Vienna and their early life in Israel.
Dr. Sorokin is survived by Cherie, his wife of 29 years; his son, Sam Sorokin of Orinda, CA; his daughters Dafna Mizrahi of Los Altos, CA and Lisa Bialkin of Novato CA; his stepson, David Knowles of Albany, CA; Isela Mendoza Cazares, who was like a daughter to him, and their families, including eight grandchildren. His daughter Orna Sorokin, and his first wife, Esther, preceded him in death. His outgoing nature, intense energy and his devotion to helping others will be sorely missed by countless friends, artists, business associates, and acquaintances whose lives he touched.
The family is especially grateful to Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco and Marin and to Hospice By the Bay for the kindness and care they provided during his final months.
A celebration of life gathering will be held in February with details to be announced at a later time.

(Published January 6, 2015)

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