Joseph “Sefi” Genis, 30, was murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7.
Genis died along with a childhood friend Gal Navon as the pair charged, unarmed, at terrorists in an attempt to retaliate.
The Ramat Gan native showed an early aptitude for technology. With two friends he later went on to set up Firefly, a highly successful internet cloud management company.
After sheltering from an initial rocket barrage from the Gaza Strip, Genis messaged his wife, Meital, to let her know he was fine. Together with Navon, he prepared to drive home.
However, another rocket hit near their car and the two injured men were forced to again take cover in a public bomb shelter where there were already two women, Meital told Channel 12.
He continued sending messages to her and others, warning of the increasingly perilous situation as the rocket fire was replaced by the sounds of terrorists on foot shooting victims.
The last message he sent was “I love you” with a heart emoji, Meital recalled.
Three weeks after the attack, one of the women who was hiding in the shelter, identified only as Alina, called Meital to explain what happened next, praising the pair of friends as “angels” who had saved her life.
Alina said that as the four huddled in the shelter, they heard a terrorist approaching outside. She described the friends looking at each other in the eyes and then, without a word, together charging out to face the attacker, unarmed, in an effort to grab his gun. Both were killed in the attempt.
Alina told Meital, “Thanks to the fact that they attacked the terrorist, they prevented him from entering the shelter and seeing that there were other people there.”
However, more attackers came, throwing grenades into the shelter and shooting those inside. The other woman was also killed and, Alina, badly wounded, was the sole survivor.
Meital said that knowing that the friends died trying to fight against the attackers as “heroes… gave us some comfort.”
“In this crazy situation they were in, they managed to save a life,” she told Channel 12.
Speaking to the Kan public broadcaster, Genis’s sister Hadas said his attitude to life was to “be happy, to dance, to make fun.”
She described him as a “very happy, content” person. His keenness to attend the party was an example of his “drive and passion for life” and his desire to “succeed and conquer the world,” she said.
“And he did it,” Hadas added.
In a post to X (formerly Twitter), the Firefly company wrote, “Our Firefly family is heartbroken over the loss of our co-founder, Sefi Genis. We will miss his energy, his selflessness, and his passion for innovation. We are driven more than ever to make his vision and mission thrive and succeed.”