Aviv Baram, 33, died while defending his hometown of Kfar Aza from Hamas-led terrorists who attacked the kibbutz on October 7. He leaves behind a wife, Rachel, a son, Omer, 4, and a daughter Ran, 1.
Baram, a sergeant major in the Israel Defense Forces reserves, was one of at least seven members of the Kfar Aza rapid response security team killed during the Hamas-led onslaught on the kibbutz, which saw some of the worst devastation and atrocities, including some 70 slayings and another 20 kidnappings.
Baram was first thought to have been captured, but his remains were later identified among the bodies on the kibbutz.
After being shot while trying to help a comrade, Baram found cover behind a tree and called his wife to send out a warning that the terrorists were wearing IDF uniforms and those hiding in safe rooms should not open the door to them. According to his family, he continued to fight until his last moments.
“While injured and awaiting rescue, a comrade came to save you but you yelled at them not to get close because they would be killed trying to rescue you,” Rachel Baram eulogized at his funeral. “To your credit, they went to call in more forces, and thus you saved his life and the lives of who knows how many others.”
Baram worked as a production tech for some of Israel’s biggest musical acts, including Hanan Ben Ari and rocker Ivri Lider, who performed at his funeral and eulogized him in an Instagram post.
“Aviv managed and was a part of my stage productions for more than 10 years and I’m proud that he was also a friend,” Lider wrote. “He and his special smile will always be an inseparable part of our big family.”
Baram was also known as a huge fan of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team, holding season tickets with his father and another relative. Members of the team visited Baram’s family in the days after the tragedy to hear about his acts of bravery. During the visit, the family asked the team to hold Aviv’s seat in reserve until his 4-year-old son Omer is old enough to start going to games.
"תגיד לי איך לעצור את הדמעות.
תגיד לי איפה יש עולם אחר לחיות" pic.twitter.com/M5yuSlyEKs
— Hapoel Jerusalem BC (@JerusalemBasket) October 9, 2023
“The three of us have been following Hapoel since we could talk,” Baram’s father Ofer Baram told players who came to visit.
He also mentioned the family’s love of the Jerusalem basketball team at the funeral for Aviv.
“We are red, with a red heart, a heart that comes from love, a heart that does only good,” Ofer Baram said, noting the team’s color. “There are among us members of Kfar Aza who are alive thanks to the standout heroism of Aviv. He ran through a hail of fire to help his comrades. That’s Aviv, ‘before anything else, who can I help.’ Aviv was an angel.”