Dr. Hagit Refaeli Mishkin, 48, a mother of three from Hod Hasharon, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel on October 7.
For two weeks her family waited for word of her fate, before ultimately being informed that her body had been found. She had been in the area taking part in a planning meeting for Midburn, Israel’s version of the Burning Man festival, which had been slated for next month. Early Saturday morning, she told her family she was right near Kibbutz Be’eri and that gunshots were being fired. They never heard from her again.
Refaeli Mishkin had a doctorate in education from the Technion and taught in a middle school and high school in Hod Hasharon. She also worked as the director of the TESFA program at the Mofet Institute, which sought to help integrate both students and teachers of Ethiopian origin into the Israeli education system.
“Hagit Refaeli Mishkin was more than just a member of our community; she was a vibrant and caring soul who brought light and warmth to the lives of those around her,” wrote the Midburn organization. “Her passing has left a void that can never be filled, and we mourn not only the loss of her life but also the potential that was stolen from her.”
The Mofet Institute recalled “our beloved Hagit” as a social activist “who worked tirelessly to create a better, more accepting and tolerant society. Her smile, her pleasant manners, her wisdom and the enormous love she left behind will stay with us forever.”
Her daughter, Noa, said her mother lived a full life of giving back to the community as well as enjoying herself.
“My mother is my role model,” she said in an interview shortly before her body was found. “All of her life she gave to others, giving out food baskets, supporting teachers and students, giving strength to anyone who needed it, but she also never forgot to have fun, to find the good in everyone and to smile.”