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Heschel Welcomes Four Oct. 7 Survivors

On Tuesday, Mar. 13, the Heschel High School had the privilege of hearing powerful first-hand accounts from survivors of the Oct.7 terror attacks. Yuri Levin, Idit Etinger, Noam Sharabi, and Shlomo Koren, four Israelis hailing from Kfar Azza, visited Heschel to share their personal experiences during the invasion.

The program, accordingly titled “Stories of Survival,” occurred during the programming block, with the ninth and tenth grade hearing from Sharabi and Koren and the eleventh and twelfth from Levin and Etinger. The greater Heschel community also had the opportunity to listen to all four survivors in a program that took place later in the day.

 Each speaker detailed their experience of hiding from Hamas militants, the fear they experienced, both for themselves and their communities, and some of the lasting impacts of the events on their lives. Students were also invited to ask the survivors their own questions.

“It was eye-opening to verbally hear first-hand accounts of the attack, rather than reading news stories or hearing from friends and family of the hostages,” junior Aerin Levine said. “Their stories were so heart-wrenching that they almost felt unreal.”

Freshman Lily Jaktupat-Shneider expressed a similar sentiment. “It was extremely impactful hearing about their personal experiences of hiding in safe rooms,” Jaktupat-Shneider said. “It made the war feel so much more real to me.”

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