Those we have lost

Mayana and Noah Hershkovitz, 65 & 68: Couple shared a love of art

Murdered by Hamas terrorists in their home in Kibbutz Be’eri on Oct. 7

Noah and Mayana Hershkovitz (Courtesy)
Noah and Mayana Hershkovitz (Courtesy)

Mayana Hershkovitz, 65, and her husband Noah Hershkovitz, 68, were murdered by Hamas terrorists in their home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.

Around 7:30 a.m. they told one of their children that they were locking their doors and windows amid fears of a Hamas invasion of the kibbutz. At 11:10 a.m., all contact was cut off.

The couple was considered missing for more than 10 days and thought kidnapped, until the family was informed on October 17 that Noah’s body had been identified, and two days later that Mayana had as well.

The couple were buried on October 20 in Kidmat Tzvi in the Golan Heights. They are survived by their three children, Ella, Amit and Tamir, as well as seven grandchildren: Amir, Daniel, Oz, Lavi, Maayan, Raz and Naomi. Noah is also survived by his father, Yosef, and older brother Zion.

Mayana’s mother, Shoshana Karsenty, was also murdered in Be’eri on October 7. Her father, Eli, 93 — who had been captured and held hostage by Egypt on October 7, 1973, and freed after two months — managed to survive the atrocities. Mayana is also survived by a brother, Moti.

Mayana grew up in nearby Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, and was a prolific artist, teaching art — as well as early childhood and physical education — and expressing herself via painting, drawing, ceramics and photography, according to a kibbutz eulogy.

Noah was born and raised in Tel Aviv. He fought in both the Yom Kippur and Lebanon wars, and he worked for years in the dairy farm, before getting a degree in structural engineering at age 40 and beginning a new career as an engineer with a company in Sderot.

The couple met in 1975 in Kibbutz Kalya on the Dead Sea, where Mayana was doing a year of national service and Noah was part of an IDF youth group tasked with building the kibbutz. They wed three years later, at the end of Mayana’s army service, and settled first in Ein Hashlosha, before moving to Be’eri in 1986, where they remained until their deaths.

The pair shared a love for classical music, art and woodworking, sports including swimming and bike riding, and a deep devotion to their children and grandchildren, their family said.

Their daughter-in-law, Leeor Rosenberg, shared online the eulogy she read at their funeral. Noah, she wrote, “was not embarrassed to cry, to be emotional, lit up, happy.” She recounted him meeting their granddaughter for the first time, “singing lullabies in a gentle voice, your strong, secure and talented hands, infinitely soft and patient” in holding the newborn. “You knew exactly how to hold, how to embrace, how to care, how to love and to support.”

Mayana, she wrote, “brought art to the center of life’s beating heart. Your ability to interweave your needs, dreams, loves, into a full life — is the art itself.” She was “fully devoted to spending full days with the grandchildren, with endless patience for a game and another game, to travel, to speak on the phone, to advise.” She was dedicated to “caring for your parents, to attending to your children, your friends, your neighbors.” In every area of life, Leeor wrote, Mayana found “time for everything out of a great love for life, inner peace, and incredible dedication to your loved ones. In my eyes, that is art.”

The couple’s oldest daughter, Ella, wrote on her own 40th birthday about her parents and the characteristics she inherited from them.

“From Dad, I received the ability to be exacting, not to be late, to promise and always fulfill that promise,” she wrote. “To rely (mostly) on myself (not always positive) and to go over the same thing 20 times (a little annoying); an obsession with food, to always help others, and kind eyes.”

From her mother, Ella wrote, “I received the ability not to argue and to make peace. To be a manager, to make friends in every place, to be a conversationalist, to always smile broadly, to put on a welcoming face and kind eyes.”

Her goal, she said, is to continue their path, “to love, to laugh, to create… to dream, to achieve, to succeed, to rise above evil and spread light in the world.”

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