Those we have lost

Celeste Fishbein, 18: Told family to seek shelter, saving lives

Taken hostage with boyfriend by Hamas in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7; both later found dead

Celeste Fishbein, 18, killed in Kibbutz Be'eri. (courtesy)
Celeste Fishbein, 18, killed in Kibbutz Be'eri. (courtesy)

Celeste (Tchelet) Fishbein, 18, resided in Kibbutz Urim and worked as a babysitter in nearby Kibbutz Be’eri along the border with Gaza. When Hamas invaded Be’eri, she and her boyfriend Dor Rieder, 23, both sought refuge in the home’s safe room. In a different home, 500 meters away, her mother, brother, 94-year-old grandmother, and the grandmother’s caregiver took shelter inside a bunker.

In the midst of the turmoil, Fishbein relayed an urgent message from the kibbutz’s group chat to her family, cautioning them: “Residents of [the Gaza Strip] surrounding area and the South, Hamas terrorists disguised as IDF soldiers are knocking on doors. Please do not open the doors. Protect your lives. Share.”

From their bunker, her relatives witnessed neighboring homes being stormed and razed. Fortunately, they all emerged unscathed.

However, the relief was short-lived. Soon after, Fishbein ceased replying to messages. Both she and her boyfriend were abducted by Hamas operatives who had penetrated their secure room. According to her uncle, Meir Fishbein, currently a resident of Netanya, the couple was killed en route to Gaza.

“She was but a child,” Meir lamented to The Times of Israel.

The Fishbein family’s roots in Kibbutz Be’eri go back 52 years, when they made aliyah from São Paulo, in Brazil. While Celeste’s grandparents chose to stay in the kibbutz, her uncle shifted to Herzliya in 1986, and her mother, Gladys, moved to Tel Aviv in 1989.

At the age of 12, Celeste had journeyed to Brazil with her mother and grandmother.

“She aspired to work, save up, and explore Brazil more extensively, tracing her family’s history in the country. That dream was brutally snatched away by Hamas terrorist assassins,” Meir somberly shared.

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