Jonathan Rom, a 23-year-old Israeli-American, was murdered while attending the Supernova music festival near Re’im on October 7.
A childhood friend, Tal, wrote on Facebook that Rom “broke from the rest of the group [at the festival] to help a friend that experienced a panic attack due to the shooting. They tried to escape together but were shot to death.”
“Wherever you are,” she added, “I hope you’re dancing.”
Rom was an avid music lover who loved traveling and grew up in Mevaseret Zion, just outside Jerusalem. He had a tattoo on his leg of the words to a song by Shlomo Artzi, titled “King of the World.” Artzi came to visit the grieving family and sang the song for them, at their request.
“This is not a pain that a song can heal, but we wanted to express love and condolences to this beautiful family, which lost what was most precious to them,” Artzi wrote on social media.
Rom’s first cousin, Daniel Zaken, who lives outside of Atlanta, told a local news site that Rom was born in South Carolina and moved to Israel with his family as a young child.
He had recently spent months traveling in South America and had returned to Israel to plan his next step and decide on his studies. He attended the musical festival with friends on the Simhat Torah holiday.
“His last few moments was helping someone else in need,” Zaken told The Washington Post. “He didn’t think to run as fast as he could on his own. He wanted to help someone. He was a hero.”