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On Oct. 7, 2023, Israel suffered one of the worst tragedies in its history when armed Hamas terrorists breached the Gaza border and brutally murdered hundreds of Israeli citizens, including women and children. These are the firsthand testimonies of those who survived the massacre, those who risked their own lives to save others, and those whose lives were changed forever when they lost loved ones.

Tablet Studios and the USC Shoah Foundation have joined forces to create The Testimonies Archive, a curated collection of audio and video interviews, in an effort to grow, share, and amplify the reach of their October 7 testimony collections.

The Voices of 10/7

Amit Yesodi Ades

Amit Yesodi Ades describes how she and her husband and three children hid in their home on Kibbutz Kfar Aza for more than 24 hours without electricity while the community was under attack

Avi Lulu Shamriz

Avi Lulu Shamriz details the Hamas attack on Kibbutz Kfar Azza on October 7th. Shamriz, his wife and youngest daughter were in a safe room for 23 hours during the attack. His son Alon was kidnapped during the invasion

Emma Segev

Emma Segev, a volunteer at Kibbutz Nir Am, speaks on behalf of her in-laws, who were too distraught to share their experiences. Emma’s husband’s sister and her husband and two of their kids were murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7

Etel Bennett

Etel Bennett shares her experience from the October 7th attack on her home in Kibbutz Zikim. She survived the attack, hiding alone in her safe room in her home

Maor Moravia

Maor Moravia recounts how he and his wife and two children were trapped for hours inside their safe room in their home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza

Millet Ben Haim

Millet Ben Haim recounts a horrifying experience of attending the Nova party near Kibbutz Re’eim on the morning of the October 7th attack. Witnessing acts of terrorism and violence, Millet and other attendees managed to escape thanks to Rami Davidian, who entered the area with his car, saving many people from the party

Nir Shani

Nir Shani, a 46-year-old physiotherapist from Kibbutz Be’eri, recounts the traumatic series of events from the October 7th Hamas attack on his Kibbutz. His 16-year-old son, Amit was abducted by Hamas earlier that afternoon. He was later released from Hamas on November 30, 2023

Shaylee Atari Winner

Shaylee Atari Winner shares how she managed to escape with her on-month-old baby when Hamas stormed their home in Kibbutz Kfar Azza. Her husband was killed trying to fend off the terrorists

Tomer Peretz

Los Angeles resident Tomer Peretz was visiting Israel on the day of the attack. As a former soldier, Tomer’s past military experience prepared him to help in the crisis. He joined Zaka, a disaster response organization, taking part in the grim recovery mission to find and move bodies in Kibbutz Be’eri

Yehuda Simon

Yehuda Simon shares the story of how his brother Mordecai was brutally murdered by Hamas terrorists who infiltrated Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7th. On the morning of the attack, Mordecai was shot while helping residents lock their safe rooms

Tamar Gutman was at the Nova Party in Re’im and went missing. Her sister Adva Gutman Tirosh talks about the difficulties of coping with uncertainty. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Adva Gutman Tirosh
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Adva Gutman Tirosh

In the aftermath of October 7th, Agi was part of an unusual and devastating literary project. Dozens of Israel’s leading content creators — authors, poets, editors, playwrights and journalists — volunteered to write eulogies for the hundred-plus members of Kibbutz Be’eri who were murdered. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Agi Mishol
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Agi Mishol

Many people sprung into action since October 7th. And yet, at the very same time, many Israelis feel…lost. And that feeling resonates with Alon Shalev from Zur Hadassah. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Alon Shalev
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Alon Shalev

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been called up to reserve duty. But what about the families they leave behind? Ariel Markose, a mother of four, shares her perspective on the challenges of protecting the home front. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Ariel Markose
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Ariel Markose

There’s a long tradition of musicians and entertainers performing on the frontlines during times of war. David performed in Kibbutz Gal’ed for families evacuated from their homes. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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David Broza
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David Broza

Faiz Abu Sabehan, whose 53-year-old brother-in-law, Farhan al-Qadi – a father of eleven – was kidnapped into Gaza. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Faiz Abu Sabehan
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Faiz Abu Sabehan

Being a Holocaust survivor, when the war broke out, Gidon experienced a lot of trauma, and took shelter in Ein Gedi, on the shores of the Dead Sea. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Gidon Lev
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Gidon Lev

Hedai Offaim – a chef, farmer and social entrepreneur – has transformed his café into a relief kitchen where 750 volunteers prepare more than 10,000 nutritious meals a day for evacuated communities, families in mourning, families of hostages and reservists. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Hedai Offaim
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Hedai Offaim

At age 50, Itai Kramer is no longer obligated to serve in the reserve forces, yet he volunteered anyway. Itai tells us about what went through his mind when he decided to drop everything and put on his uniform. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Itai Kramer
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Itai Kramer

Despite everything, life continues amid the horror. For Katherine Leff, this meant going ahead with the day she’d been dreaming about for so long — her wedding day. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Katherine Leff
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Katherine Leff

Among the thousands of people who had the terrible misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time on October 7th, there were also – as we now all know – many foreigners. Among them were Filipino caregivers, Thai agricultural workers and also a group of Nepali students who had been accepted to an 11-month-long internship at the Sedot Negev Agricultural Training Center. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Louish Rijal
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Louish Rijal

45-year-old Ido Rosenthal from Moshav Ben Shemen served in an elite commando unit and was killed on the first day of the war. His wife, Noga, a sociology doctoral student at Ben Gurion University, has since been sharing her feelings on Facebook. She gave us permission to translate and record one of her posts. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Noga Friedman
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Noga Friedman

After the entire team of Kibbutz Kissufim’s dairy farm was murdered, Ofer Tamir from Nahalal rushed down south to rescue the local cows. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Ofer Tamir
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Ofer Tamir

Everything in this corner of the world has changed since Saturday, October 7. All around us, friends, family, colleagues, people have died. People are missing. People have been kidnapped. Sasha’s story helps paint a picture of these devastating times. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Sasha Ariev
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Sasha Ariev

On Saturday morning, October 7, Sivan received a message which is every parent’s worst nightmare: His 18-year-old son Tal was – unbeknownst to him – at the Nova party in Re’im, and was now fleeing for his life. Without a second of hesitation, Sivan knew exactly what he needed to do. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Sivan Avnery
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Sivan Avnery

During normal times Tomer Oshri – a 48-year-old history teacher from Jerusalem – works at JDC-Israel and runs an educational non-profit. Nowadays, however, he’s the man in charge of building and operating 17 different makeshift schools for survivors and displaced residents of the communities around the Gaza Border. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Tomer Oshri
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Tomer Oshri

This is the story of Yarnin Peled from Kibbutz Be’eri, who survived the carnage of October 7th. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Yarnin Peled
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Yarnin Peled

As a result of the war, Adam’s village of Neve Shalom/Wahat as-Salam – with its unique population and delicate equilibrium – is being torn at the seams. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Adam Ben Shabath
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Adam Ben Shabath

Following October 7th, many of the former residents of the Gaza settlements who never stopped dreaming of returning to the sand dunes of the Strip feel at least partially vindicated. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Datya itzhaki
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Datya itzhaki

Following the carnage of October 7th, Doron Krakow — the President and CEO of the JCC Association of North America, who in normal times runs an organization that employs tens of thousands of professionals — immediately got on a plane and came to Israel in order to do one thing: Be a grandpa. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Doron Krakow
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Doron Krakow

Almost immediately after the start of the attack of October 7th, as rockets were being launched at Jerusalem, and sirens sent the city’s one million residents into shelters, the heads of the Israel Museum initiated an emergency protocol for the first time since the Gulf War in 1991. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Hagit Maoz
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Hagit Maoz

53-year-old Hai Ashkenazi from Tel Aviv is an archeologist, but never imagined he would find himself excavating a 21st-century Kibbutz. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Hai Ashkenazi
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Hai Ashkenazi

Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin are the parents of 23-year-old Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was kidnapped from the Nova Party. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin
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Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin

Since the start of the military operation in Gaza, countless reports by journalists embedded with the IDF troops have appeared in the Israeli media. But there was one eight-and-a-half minute-long TV broadcast that aired on Kan – the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation – that stood out. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Riyad Ali
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Riyad Ali

Ever since the war broke out, Shalom Weil’s been working tirelessly to build educational frameworks for those impacted by it most – the families of victims, survivors, evacuees. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Shalom Weil
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Shalom Weil

Due to the war, back in November, the patriarchs and heads of practically all the local Christian denominations issued a decree calling upon their flocks to forgo any public celebration of the holiday in solidarity with the victims of the war. But there is one man who simply could not accept the idea of a Christmas-less year. And that man is Issa Kassissieh. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Issa Kassissieh
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Issa Kassissieh

30-year-old Sagi Golan from Herzliya – a decorated officer in an anti-terrorism unit, who was killed in action in Be’eri in the early hours of October 8th. His story made headlines because Sagi was supposed to have married his partner, Omer Ohana, two weeks later, and his death brought to the fore – once again – the matter of the army and LGBTQ rights. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Omer Ohana
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Omer Ohana

Shira Masami is one of nearly 30,000 residents who have left the southern city of Sderot – a city which suffered a horrendous attack on October 7 – and who are now dispersed around the country. (via Israel Story: Wartime Diaries)

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Shira Masami
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Shira Masami

Producer David Begoun takes an army-escorted tour through Kibbutz Be’eri and Kibbutz Kfar Aza. (via Israel: Take 3)

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Journey into the Inferno
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Journey into the Inferno

Producer David Begoun provides an update on 17 hostages he’s covered through the first seven episodes of Israel: Take 3. (via Israel: Take 3)

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Hostage Updates (November 2023)
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Hostage Updates (November 2023)

Almog, a 20-year-old who attended the Nova Festival on the 7th October in Re’im, recounts her survivor’s story. [HEBREW] (via the Nova Festival Survivors project)

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Almog
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Almog

Doron, 25, recounts her survivor’s story as an attendee of the Nova Festival on the 7th October in Re’im. Over the course of seven-and-a-half hours, she dodged bullets, RPGs, and terrorists before finally managing to escape to safety. [HEBREW] (via the Nova Festival Survivors project)

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Doron
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Doron

At 6:23am, Matan was shooting a video at the Nova Festival when he noticed rockets being intercepted in the sky. [HEBREW] (via the Nova Festival Survivors project)

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Matan Nimni
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Matan Nimni

Childhood friends Omer and Daniel were at the Nova Festival when they found a cop, who said to them, “Run! Run for your life!” [HEBREW] (via the Nova Festival Survivors project)

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Omer and Daniel
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Omer and Daniel

Yam, age 20, had finished her last drink at the Nova Festival. Suddenly, the music stopped and screams took over. [HEBREW] (via the Nova Festival Survivors project)

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Yam Sinai
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Yam Sinai

Nova Festival survivor Raziel was woken from a nap in his tent by the sound of explosions. [HEBREW] (via the Nova Festival Survivors project)

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Raziel
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Raziel

As Tal and his friends tried to escape the Nova Festival in his car, Tal’s mindset was: “It doesn’t matter if a missile hits the car, our only stop is at home.” [HEBREW] (via the Nova Festival Survivors project)

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Tal
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Tal

Following six weeks of anguish, families of hostages take action. (via Israel: Take 3)

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Hostage March
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Hostage March

Din’s best friend offered him a gig going security at a music festival in the south, which would change his life forever. (via Israel: Take 3)

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Din
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Din

Ohad turned nine-years-old in Hamas’s captivity. He was kidnapped with his mom and grandparents on October 7th. (via Israel: Take 3)

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Avraham, Ruti, Karen and Ohad
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Avraham, Ruti, Karen and Ohad

Noam and Yishai were murdered by Hamas. Their father shares their story. (via Israel: Take 3)

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Noam and Yishai
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Noam and Yishai

Michal, a nurse and mother of ten, went to spend Shabbat and the holiday on an army base in the south to bring joy to the soldiers. (via Israel: Take 3)

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Michal
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Michal

G, a combat paramedic in reserve, was called to help liberate communities overrun with Hamas terrorists.

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G - Name Redacted
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G - Name Redacted

As Hamas terrorists attacked the Nova music festival, Omer fled to a nearby bomb shelter. He was having trouble breathing in the crowded shelter and went outside, at which point he was taken hostage. His father, Shai, shares his story.

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Shai
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Shai

Adi and Yaniv’s cousin, 28-year-old Amit Buskila, was at NOVA when Hamas terrorists attacked. She and a friend tried to escape, but terrorists stopped their car and killed her friend. Amit ran and hid under another car, where she was able to call her uncle. But the car soon drove away and she was left with nowhere to hide. Phone data collected by the government suggests she’s being held captive in Gaza.

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Adi and Yaniv
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Adi and Yaniv

Lior’s father, Chaim Peri, had his home invaded by Hamas terrorists. He told his wife to hide, which saved her life. Chaim was taken hostage and remains in Gaza.

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Lior
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Lior

After sixteen hours in her family’s safe room, the IDF arrived at their door to evacuate them, but Renana wasn’t sure if they were Hamas terrorists trying to trick them.

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Renana
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Renana

Eden was home for the holidays when the attacks began, and took shelter in her basement while her neighborhood’s security team and the IDF warded off terrorists.

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Eden B.
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Eden B.

Eden’s friend Oria was at the Nova music festival with a couple of friends when Hamas attacked. Oria had been texting with her sister and mother when she and her friends fled in a Jeep. Then the texts stopped. A few days later, Eden found out Oria had been killed.

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Eden A.
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Eden A.

While under fire from terrorists at the NOVA party, Nitzan helped her friend run for cover. [HEBREW]

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Nitzan
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Nitzan

Haim was shot in his hand while out for a bike ride near his kibbutz. [HEBREW]

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Haim
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Haim

Shay drove full speed to escape the terrorists at the NOVA party. [HEBREW]

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Shay
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Shay

Yonatan was with his pregnant wife and toddler when terrorists stormed their kibbutz. They celebrated their daughter’s birthday in their safe room, while across the kibbutz his younger brother was kidnapped. [HEBREW]

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Yonatan
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Yonatan

After hearing rockets and gunfire, then seeing videos online of Hamas soldiers crossing the border, the reality of the coming war quickly became evident for Noam.

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Noam
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Noam

Shaked and his friends were at a small music festival called Psyduck when they started hearing rockets overhead

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Shaked
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Shaked

When Adele received frantic Whatsapp messages from her neighborhood group chat about terrorists breaking into people’s homes, she huddled in her safe room with her son.

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Adele
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Adele

Mayaan’s son was on his army base when the attacks started, and is now captive

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Mayaan
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Mayaan

Orian Adar’s grandmother was taken captive in Gaza on her own mobility scooter

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Orian
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Orian

Eyal, 18, helped his fellow kibbutz members that had been injured in a grenade attack

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Eyal
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Eyal

Malki’s son Omer, 21, was kidnapped from the Nova party:

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Malki
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Malki

Andrey escaped from the Nova party:

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Andrey
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Andrey

Yosef, a Bedouin Israeli bus driver, drove people to and from the Nova party:

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Yosef
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Yosef

Maayan’s son Ron was kidnapped from his military base:

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Maayan
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Maayan

Ohad’s daughter Tiferet was at the Nova party and is now missing:

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Ohad
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Ohad

Ophir’s cousin Savyon went missing after a small party in the south of Israel, and was confirmed dead three days later:

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Ophir
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Ophir

Ori has been called up to the Israeli military:

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Ori
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Ori

Yehudit lives on Kibbutz Urim, a short distance from Gaza, and helps care for its residents:

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Yehudit
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Yehudit

Ofek and Liad spent more than 12 hours escaping the NOVA party

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Ofek and Liad
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Ofek and Liad

Eytan was on his way to synagogue when the rockets started

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Eytan
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Eytan

We’ll be updating this archive as we collect more stories. To share yours, email us at [email protected] or go to USC Shoah Foundation Testimony.

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