Those we have lost

Adrienne Neta, 66: Native Californian was legendary midwife

Retired nurse was murdered at Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7

Adrienne Neta, pictured in 2012. (Facebook)
Adrienne Neta, pictured in 2012. (Facebook)

Native Californian Adrienne Neta, 66, a retired nurse and “legendary midwife” at Soroka Medical Center in the southern city of Beersheba, was murdered by Hamas in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.

Her family said she called them as terrorists burst into her home in the kibbutz, and then line then went dead. They never heard from her again.

She is survived by her four children, Nahar, Carmel, Dror and Ayana, and a number of grandchildren. Her family insisted on her being buried in Be’eri in a small funeral amid the ongoing war.

A kibbutz eulogy recounts that Neta moved to Israel after meeting the man who would become her husband while he was visiting the US. She went to visit him at Be’eri, where he was born, and never left the kibbutz. The pair settled there and had four children, but later divorced.

More than a decade after arriving in Israel, Neta trained as a midwife and became an integral part of the labor ward at Soroka for many years, “standing out as a midwife who treated every mother with respect and kindness no matter their race, religion or language,” according to the kibbutz, which estimated that she helped deliver thousands of babies over the years.

Monique Attias, the head midwife at Soroka, wrote, “Adrienne was a unique woman with a huge soul and a sensitive and professional midwife. She educated generations of midwives with her simplicity and charm and instilled confidence in all of us… working with a sense of mission and high sensitivity.”

Neta was also a part of a volunteer delegation from Israel which traveled to Nepal in 2015 to assist following a devastating earthquake there, the kibbutz noted.

She retired several years ago but continued to volunteer at the Rimon Farm in northern Negev, which uses sustainable agriculture and a supportive community environment to help youth at risk aged 14 to 18. The farm noted that she would be remembered “as a person filled with kindness, as a mature woman with the spirit and energy of a vibrant and youthful girl.”

Her friend Eshkar Eldan Cohen, who noted that they had known each other for more than 40 years, wrote a tribute to her on the 30-day anniversary of her death.

“She was a unique woman, always hugging her children and grandchildren, with rolling laughter on her lips,” she wrote. “Her Hebrew was soft and gentle… as a midwife, she helped bring life into the world. As a volunteer with youth, she helped find them a place in the world.”

Cohen wrote that she recalled meeting up with Neta a few years ago and having a long conversation: “I don’t remember what was said, but I remember the open heart, the hug for her grandchildren… Adrienne, you left the US and came here for love. You were all love and smiles and hugs. And here is where your loving life was cut short by murderous hands.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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