April 20, 2014

Mordecai Gabriel

Dr. Mordecai Gabriel, 94, of Great Neck, New York and Woods Hole, Massachusetts, died on Friday, December 14, 2012.  The cause was cardiac arrest.  He is survived by his wife Elinor, to whom he was married for 67 years, and by two daughters and four grandchildren.

Dr. Gabriel was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on March 18, 1918.  He received his undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University in 1938 and his Ph.D. from Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1944.

Dr. Gabriel was associated with Brooklyn College for over 45 years, as Professor of Biology, Chairman of the Biology Department, then Dean of the School of Science, and finally as Associate Provost, until his retirement in 1990.

During the academic year 1959-1960 Dr. Gabriel, as the recipient of a Fulbright grant, lived in Israel with his family and taught Biology at the University of Tel Aviv, lecturing in Hebrew.

Dr. Gabriel summered in Woods Hole for over 70 years, doing scientific research in the Columbia Lab at the Marine Biological Laboratories and writing, contributing to, and editing numerous publications in the sciences.  He was co-author of Great Experiments in Biology, published in 1955.

In addition to his achievements in science, Dr. Gabriel was an accomplished musician who often played clarinet or oboe in chamber music ensembles with friends in Woods Hole.  He was also a knowledgeable Judaic scholar and was one of the founding members of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation, which had its genesis in the Rosh HaShanah services first held in the living room of the Gabriel family home in Woods Hole.