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Local Democratic activist Judith Sonett, 81
Judith Sonett, local political and social activist, died peacefully in her home on April 18, 2019. She was 81.
A New York native, born in Manhattan on March 7, 1938, Judith grew up in an artistic household. Her father, Alex Redein, was prominent in the garment industry as well as a renowned artist. Her mother Miriam, owned an art gallery. Throughout her life, Judy was spirited and attacked everything she did with gusto.
A graduate of Villanova University where she studied Criminology and Family Therapy, she married Alan Sonett, a psychiatrist and raised two sons. With her family, she lived in Amsterdam, before returning to the states residing primarily in the Philadelphia suburbs. There, Judy became a social worker and juvenile probation officer where she worked with children in the Philadelphia community. Moving with Alan to North Carolina in 1980, Judy became involved in local town politics, again with the desire to help those in need.
Widowed in 1983, Judy returned to New York where she remarried to Joseph Gordon, her partner for over 31 years. Judy then resumed her activism by joining the staff of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and served as Chief Ombudsman for 10 years. In 2002, she was elected as Democratic District Leader for the 81st Assembly District. She continued her career in progressive politics for over 20 years. After working for Assemblyman Dinowitz, she joined New York Senator Eric Schneiderman’s team as Director of Bronx operations and subsequently for NY Senator Efrain Gonzalez and lastly for Senator Adriano Espaillat. Judy worked tirelessly to serve the public interest by helping to identify community concerns, facilitate communication among those in her districts.
In 2017, Judy was among those honored during the Jewish American Heritage Community month for community service and in 2018 Judy was again honored with the Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club Longtime Community Advocate award.
Judy was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many. A strong and successful woman in so many ways, she has left a legacy of humor, wit, and fierce passion for fighting for what you believe. She will be missed.
Judith is survived by her husband Joseph Gordon, her two children, Jonathan and Joshua Sonett, step-children Tony and Alicia Gordon, her sister and brother-in-law Deborah and Paul Aronson, as well as her six grandchildren.
A memorial Service will be held at the Riverdale Temple on June 2nd at 12:30 PM.
Gifts in memory of Judy Sonett can be made payable to “Columbia University to support Pulmonary Research in c/o Dr. Angela DiMango” and mailed to the Office of Development,
Attn: Jamie Montgomery, 516 W. 168th Street, Floor 3, New York, NY 10032