Noam Shai, 26, of Kfar Tavor, was shot and killed along with his fiance at the Supernova music festival on October 7.
Shai was a student of technology management at Bar-Ilan University. He met Danielle Waldman during their army service at the start of what became a six-year relationship.
They planned to marry and had attended the Supernova festival with friends. They were found murdered side by side.
Shai is survived by his parents, Yossi and Chen, and a younger brother, Tom.
Yossi told Ynet that after the early morning attack started on October 7 he tried calling his son and Danielle and neither answered. Later Danielle sent a message to the family WhatsApp group “Don’t worry, everything is okay.”
It was the last he heard from them. By midday, authorities had traced Noam’s phone to a place deep inside Gaza: “We didn’t know what their fate was,” Yossi said.
It later became clear the pair had tried to escape the carnage, driving south from the location of the festival. However, they were ambushed on the road by terrorists. Danielle’s father, Eyal Waldman, told CNN that evidence showed between three and five terrorists attacked the car from two different directions.
A few days after the attack an IDF delegation arrived at the Shai family home and informed them that Noam’s body had been identified. Minutes later, Danielle’s brother called him and said that her body had also been identified.
“They were together,” Yossi said.
Shai and Waldman were buried side by side in Kiryat Tivon.
Yossi said that after he completed the weeklong mourning period, he returned to serve as a member of the Kfar Tavor local security team: “This was Noam’s will, to continue in his path and give all my heart to this security activity.”
Shai spent his early years on Kibbutz Ayelet HaShahar but for the last 15 lived with his family in Kfar Tabor, in lower Galilee.
On the day of his funeral, residents of Kfar Tabor lined the streets of the community holding Israeli flags as the family drove to the ceremony.
The couple’s friend, Matan Eyal, wrote on Instagram that they were “a true example of an accepting and loving relationship.”
“Everyone who knew them couldn’t miss the special magic they had,” he wrote, noting that he met Shai in 2019 while hanging out with mutual friends in the north, “and since then he became a true friend, a partner, a mentor, a role model and also a therapist.”
Shai was “one of those people who always knows how to say the right thing at the right time… they just wanted to dance and celebrate freedom, who knew they wouldn’t come home.”