Jonathan Soroko

Jonathan Soroko Memorial Fund

Stories

Jonathan Soroko

Jon Soroko died in his sleep late Monday afternoon, May 13, 2013, at his home in Brooklyn, NY. He was born in November, 1958.

For some time, he had been periodically ill with a debilitating neural disorder, which, sadly, curtailed the practical range of his activities but none of his ambitions or interests. Jon was a lawyer and a former prosecutor with the DA's offices in Bronx and Manhattan. He is a graduate of Bard College and New York Law School. Jon is survived by his widow, Gretchen Kehde, and her children Bea and Gabriel, of Brooklyn NY, his mother Doris Soroko, his sister Elizabeth O'Donnell and her son, Collin Peterson, of Barrytown, NY, brothers Humy and Micha, of Israel, and nephews Michael, of Israel, and Uri, of Berlin, and siblings from his father's final marriage, Renen Mosinzon and Gil Mosinzon. In the US he is survived by his aunts Susan Purdy, Jacqui Soroko and Pearl Levine, and cousins, Amy Levine, Larry Levine, Kathy Harry, Eric Siles and Dana Siles.

Jon was predeceased by his father, Igal Mossinsohn, uncle, Moshe Mosenzon and cousins, Dvora Omer, and Vered Mosenzon, all of whom were Israeli writers. His brothers Avital Mossinsohn and Ido Mossinsohn, who was killed in action in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

Jon, his colleague and close friend Larry Furman, together co-founded PopularLogistics, in 2007. Jon's last post, “Leave Improvisation to Actors, Comedians, and Musicians – and Develop Coherent Disaster & Risk Policies” sounded the keynote of much of his activity. Jon viewed disaster preparation as a means to build communities of friends out of collections of strangers. Instead of the sole providence of Federal and state agencies, and often a budgetary afterthought, Jon saw disaster preparation as a framework in which to build and strengthen local communities, connect people, and forge bonds between a citizenry and their government.

Jon also remained active in his chosen profession. In December, 2012, he gave a seminar on electronic discovery at NY Law School, and hoped to develop a series of presentations on the topic, an ambition, sadly, that has been cut short. At the time of his death he was working on a few cases and research for a few political campaigns, including that of his colleague, Larry Furman.

Everyone who knew Jon knows that he would go to any length to help those he loved, even the critters, and those he didn’t even know. To calm them, he taught witnesses how to juggle. He taught karate on the pier in New York City for free, Monday through Friday, year round, even in the dead of winter.

Jon also did magic tricks, mostly slight of hand involving coins. One of his best performances took place at the Inter-Continental Hotel, about 20 years ago at a dinner honoring Radovan Karadzic, the alleged war criminal and former President of Republika Srpska, a Serbian enclave of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Karadzic had just finished speaking and was in the hotel lobby, surrounded by his entourage, when Jon reached out to shake his hand, but instead served him a subpoena.

Donations are welcome to the Jon Soroko Memorial Fund, to assist the family and further Jon’s passion for social equality, justice and disaster preparedness.