Those We Have Lost

Sylvia Ohayon, 59: Served as ‘the glue’ of her large extended family

Murdered in her home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7

Sylvia Ohayon (Courtesy)
Sylvia Ohayon (Courtesy)

Sylvia Ohayon, 59, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in her home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.

When the rocket fire began, she updated her family that everything was fine and she was sitting in her safe room, her brother said. Around 10:45 a.m., while on the phone with her daughter, she said she thought terrorists were entering her apartment; a loud boom sounded, and the call was disconnected. Nobody heard from her again.

Her body was not discovered for almost two weeks, and her family thought she had been kidnapped until confirmation of her death arrived.

She was buried in her hometown of Dimona on October 20. She is survived by her daughter, Eden, her nine siblings and 15 nieces and nephews.

A eulogy on the kibbutz website noted that she had arrived there as a teenager for her studies, and remained there for more than 40 years, with only one yearlong break. She worked in a variety of jobs there, including in the kitchen as well as bookkeeping, and was known for her talents in cooking and baking.

She was a jewelry designer who was active and loved to swim and ride her bike, and was in the middle of a two-year course to become a yoga instructor when she was killed, the eulogy noted.

Her brother, Dani Maor, told a Haifa radio station that he will most remember “her generosity, her love and the embrace she gave everyone. We called her the ‘mom of all the kids and grandkids,’ because she always took care of family gatherings, she was the glue, the binding factor, the driving force between our large family.”

Her niece, Mor Goldberg, told Ynet that “Aunt Sylvia was only five years older than me, and she was less of an aunt and more like an older sister.”

Mor recalled visiting Sylvia for vacations as a child, where she “taught me a lot about adolescence, about first loves, stolen cigarettes and girls’ secrets.”

“When we thought she was kidnapped, I imagined Sylvia making all the other hostages laugh, keeping morale high and taking care of them,” Mor added. “That’s how she was, always organizing, drawing family and friends together. And above all, taking care of Eden, her only daughter. ‘Dunya’ she would call her — ‘Dunya,’ my world.”

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