Maya Goren, 56, body being held by Hamas in Gaza

On the morning of October 7, the kindergarten teacher was setting up her classroom for the next day’s school

Maya Goren was abducted by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. The kibbutz announced on December 1 that she was killed and her body was held by Hamas in Gaza. (courtesy)
Maya Goren was abducted by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. The kibbutz announced on December 1 that she was killed and her body was held by Hamas in Gaza. (courtesy)

The death of Maya Goren, 56, was confirmed on December 2, 2023. It is not clear from the announcement whether she died on October 7 or was killed in captivity. This is the story of her capture and its aftermath: 

Maya Goren, 56, a Kibbutz Nir Oz kindergarten teacher, was setting up the kibbutz kindergarten space early Shabbat morning, October 7, when Hamas terrorists attacked the community.

“She got up early and went to the gan to organize it for the next day, for Sunday, and she got caught in there,” said Amir, her nephew.

Maya was taken captive, while her husband, Avner, was at home, where he was killed by the terrorists.

“They got to each of them,” said Amir. “They nabbed her.”

Maya and Avner have four children, ages 18, 21, 23 and 25.

Two of their children weren’t on the kibbutz at the time, while two live in housing for kibbutz teenagers, an area of the kibbutz that the terrorists didn’t reach.

Maya’s phone has since been tracked to Gaza.

For the first 10 days following the attacks that included the killing or kidnapping of one in four of the Kibbutz Nir Oz residents, the Goren family thought Avner had also been abducted.

“It took about 10 days to find out what happened to him,” said Amir.

Avner’s funeral was held in a nearby kibbutz, and he was buried in Nir Oz.

Maya’s mother and brother live in the country’s center and the four Goren children were evacuated to Eilat, along with the rest of the surviving Nir Oz members.

“The kibbutz is enveloped in a tight hug right now, they’re all together,” said Amir. “We’re all trying to be there for their kids, who haven’t had their parents for almost a month.”

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