Sorrel Scop, father of Marin rabbi, dies at 58

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As Rabbi Hillel Scop prepared to return to California after sitting shiva for his father, Sorrel Scop, he hoped to bring with him a keepsake to remember him by. But he couldn’t find one.

“There was nothing,” he says. “He was the type of guy who never had anything for himself. He owned nothing. His life was always about other people.”

Sorrel Scop died of a heart attack in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sept. 15, at age 58. His son, rabbi at Chabad of Mill Valley, described Scop as a simple man “very committed to his community.”

A native of South Africa, Scop made his living as a dental technician, specializing in the manufacture of dentures for clients all around the world. He and wife, Eve, had four children.

He also became active with Chabad of Sandton (a Johannesburg neighborhood). It was there that his son Hillel became more observant, eventually attending the local Chabad day school and becoming a Chabad rabbi.

The senior Scop’s involvement with the local Jewish community took the shape largely in tzedakah. He gave generously to many Jewish charities and served on the board of Chabad of Sandton.

But charity for Scop always began at home.

“His whole life was dedicated to his children and grandchildren,” remembers the younger Scop. “I hadn’t been home for many years, and going home and seeing the house full of pictures of children and grandchildren, it really struck me.”

Scop is survived by his wife Eve, children Hillel of Mill Valley; Jason of Perth, Australia; Grant of Johannesburg; and Kerry-Leigh of Sydney, Australia; and seven grandchildren.

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a contributing editor at J. He was a longtime staff writer at J. and retired as news editor in 2020.