Those we have lost

Yehudit Itzchaki, 76: Doting grandma, child of Holocaust survivors

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

Yehudit Yitzhaki (Courtesy)
Yehudit Yitzhaki (Courtesy)

Yehudit Itzchaki, 76, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in her home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.

Her son Gidi said they were in contact with Yehudit throughout the morning, as she reported being scared and hiding in her reinforced room. Shortly before 1 p.m., the family lost contact with her. The last message she sent was a heart emoji to her grandson.

Her family was informed of her death only 11 days later. They were told that she was most likely taken outside of her house and shot dead in her garden, where her body was found.

She was buried in Kibbutz Revivim on October 20. She is survived by her three sons, Tzahi, Gidi and Udi, and eight grandchildren, Maya, Luke, Arbel, Rotem, Eyal, Zohar, Gil and Noam.

Born in 1947 in a displaced persons camp in Italy to two Holocaust survivors from Austria who lost most of their families, Yehudit came to Israel in 1948 aboard the Kedma ship, according to a kibbutz eulogy.

Gidi told a local news site that “the most painful thing is that she had to experience such fear and terror, when they took her out of her house with great violence, the way that they killed her grandparents.”

Yehudit grew up mostly in Yaffo, wed Shimon in 1972 and moved to Be’eri four years later, where she remained for close to five decades. She worked for 14 years as the secretary at the kibbutz printing house and later worked as a school administrator. She was dedicated to her work, but also the “heart of the family — always in the center, always remembering birthdays, feeding, spoiling,” the kibbutz eulogy reads. She loved to read and also loved music — everything from Barbara Streisand to Dolly Parton and Yehoram Gaon.

Her grandson Zohar wrote on Instagram that he “cannot comprehend that you are no longer with us. I have so many wonderful memories with you that I will never forget.”

Zohar recalled visiting Yehudit on the kibbutz and riding around in her electric scooter, or when “I would cover myself in a blanket which smelled like you, a smell I will never forget. Or how every Friday you and Saba would come to us for dinner and we would sit and eat and laugh and enjoy.”

When he didn’t feel well, Zohar wrote, “You would always make me hot cocoa in the microwave and get chocolate chip cookies from the market and I would lie on the sofa and you would run your nails gently up and down my back until I fell asleep.”

“You were always there for me, even in my most difficult years,” he added. “Now I understand how meaningful every minute and second with you was.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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