Exactly 30 days after Hamas launched a massacre inside Israel, young Israelis who are members of the advocacy group DiploAct, spoke at the JCC on Sunday about friends they lost on Oct. 7.
Yuval Teperberg is a law and government student and former infantry instructor in the Israel Defense Forces. She spoke about her friend Noam Shalom, 25, who was killed at the music festival where Hamas murdered 260 young people and kidnapped others.
Shalom was a social media manager who had her own Instagram account called the self-love club, where she posted motivational messages. She was last seen hiding from the Hamas attackers inside an ambulance.
“I’m making sure that everyone I love knows that I love them,” said Teperberg. “This is how I want to remember Noam.”
Bar Suisa, also a government student, remembered her friend Yonaton Chai Azulai, who was 25.
“He called his mother moments before he was killed and said, ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t save myself. We are at war. God protect us.’”
Suisa said Azulai was always enthusiastic and happy.
“He said, ‘Happiness is the root of the blessing’ and we are all trying to fulfill that wish for him,” she said.
Shay Rubinstein spoke about his friend Omri Ram, whom he met when they were exchange students in Paris. Ram, who was 28, loved to surf, travel and hike.
Yael Magen, an Israeli-American who lives in Marblehead and helped bring DiploAct to the JCC, spoke about her friends and family in Israel impacted by the Hamas attack.
“The sister of one of my dearest friends is still kidnapped,” Magan said. Magan set an empty chair aside with the missing person’s photo on it.
On Oct. 7, Hamas killed approximately 1,400 Israelis. Another 340 Israeli soldiers have died in fighting since then, according to Israel. More than 10,000 Gazans have been killed by Israel since Oct. 7, along with 155 people in the West Bank, according to Palestinian health authorities.