Last week, a Telfed delegation visited the Gaza Envelope where they met with residents, local security and Olim from communities directly affected by the attacks on 7 October. Telfed Vice Chairman, Debbie Dash shared her thoughts:

Together with Telfed Chairman Maish Isaacson, CEO Dorron Kline, COO Nava Lapid and members of the Directorate, I embarked on a soul-wrenching journey to the haunting scenes of the October 7th massacre in Otef Aza, specifically to the shattered communities of Kibbutz Kfar Aza and Kibbutz Nir Oz. The weight of sorrow hung heavy in the air, a palpable reminder of the tragedy that unfolded on that fateful day.

As we stood amidst the remnants of what were once vibrant neighbourhoods, the echoes of lost lives and shattered dreams reverberated through the silence which was broken by the sound of artillery gunfire and the Cobra helicopters flying overhead.

Wandering through Kibbutz Kfar Aza and Kibbutz Nir Oz, the ghostly remnants of homes, children’s burnt bicycles, and the decimated belongings of those who called these places home, stood as sombre memorials to the lives that were so abruptly and savagely interrupted. Broken windows and charred walls served as silent witnesses to the unthinkable horrors that transpired there. The once joyous laughter of children and the warmth of tight-knit communities has now been replaced by an eerie silence that speaks volumes of this tragedy’s profound impact. The landscape, once alive with the vibrancy of daily life, is now frozen in time.

The site of the Nova music festival, once a symbol of celebration, peace, joy and unity, has now taken on a different meaning. It has become solemn ground, a sacred space where the memory of those lost in the massacre lingers. The contrast between the lively memories imprinted on this space and the current atmosphere of sorrow was almost too much to bear.

In the midst of this heartbreak, the resilience of the community shines through. The strength of those who, despite their unimaginable pain and loss, continue to stand united and support one another is a testament to the indomitable human spirit. Each step through the shattered landscapes of Otef Aza was a poignant reminder of the fragility of life and the enduring power of hope in the face of unspeakable tragedy.

As we departed Otef Aza and returned home, the unimaginable atrocities of October 7th, 2023, became etched in our memory, an indelible reminder that we will never forget the lives lost, the dreams shattered, and the resilience of those who endure.

During this visit, Telfed contributed to projects in the Gaza Envelope communities for hot meals for soldiers, food for local community security teams, gifts for evacuated Olim, a bar mitzvah present to an evacuee who should’ve celebrated his bar mitzvah in October, funding for civilian needs in the Eshkol region, and more.