Those we have lost

Alon Toledano, 54: Sensitive man who aimed to help others

Murdered by Hamas terrorists on his way to synagogue in Sderot on October 7

Amram Alon Toledano (Courtesy)
Amram Alon Toledano (Courtesy)

Amram Alon Toledano, 54, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in Sderot on his way to synagogue on October 7.

Though Sderot was also subject to a wave of rocket fire earlier that morning, residents of the Gaza border city were used to such events, and Alon decided regardless to head to synagogue to celebrate Simhat Torah, but never made it.

He was buried on October 13 in Jerusalem. He is survived by his mother, Suzy, his older sister Yehudit and younger siblings Tzila, Gadit, Yitzhak and Natan.

Born in Morocco, his family left when he was a baby, and arrived in Israel via France, according to an obituary on the National Insurance Institute website. He grew up in Sderot, and after his mandatory military service he studied accounting at Sapir College in the city, and later in life also studied in the health field, particularly nutrition.

His family noted that he was named Amram, and called Ami, after his grandfather, Amram, who was murdered inside the supermarket he owned in Morocco in 1957 in a hate crime. Toledano often found it difficult to hold such a name, they said, and later in life opted to go by Alon.

He was an active member of Havruta, an organization of religious gay Israelis. The organization noted that only a few weeks before he was killed, he completed the training necessary to volunteer with its hotline — but never got to man his first shift.

His nephew, Shlomo Kavas, wrote on social media that Alon “was a kind and very sensitive man. His life was not always easy, physically and mentally, but he never gave up on improving it.” Shlomo noted that he was a “loving uncle to his nieces and nephews and a dedicated son.”

In an interview on a Kan podcast, Havruta activists Netanel Shaler and Shay Bramson noted that Alon only decided to come out of the closet around five years before he was killed and “to come to terms with his identity.”

In his memory, Shaler said, Havruta is establishing a project to give special assistance to any of its members harmed or affected physically and psychologically from the October 7 attack and the ensuing war.

Bramson noted that Alon “remained very religious” and hailed from a very religious family, and kept those elements of his identity fairly separate.

Alon, he said, “was a very modest person, very humble, very quiet, but always volunteered to help,” and that he seemed very happy with to take part in Havruta’s range of communal activities — “you could see that it did him good.”

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