Those We Have Lost

Yonat Or, 50: Designer whose children were kidnapped and later freed

Murdered in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7, while her husband, two children and nephew were taken captive

Yonat Or (Screenshot)
Yonat Or (Screenshot)

Yonat Or, 50, was murdered in her home in Kibbutz Be’eri by Hamas terrorists on October 7.

Her husband, Dror, and children Noam, 17, and Alma, 13, as well as her nephew Liam Or, 17, were taken hostage into Gaza on the same day. On November 25, Noam and Alma were released from Gaza, and Liam was freed on November 29. On May 2, the kibbutz announced that Dror had been killed on October 7 and his body taken captive to Gaza.

Yonat is also survived by her 89-year-old father, Hananel Besorai, sister Noat, brother Ahal, and her oldest child, Yaheli, who was not home at the time of the attack.

Yonat had her own carpentry shop and home design business in Be’eri, called Ayuna, which had earned national accolades and made her a well-known name in the Israeli decor world. A native of Be’eri, her father once ran the local carpentry shop, and she grew up amid the wood shavings, before continuing the family tradition herself.

Interior designer Michal Silberstein told the Mako news site that she had worked with Yonat a number of times.

“The charm and light of my beloved Yonat is scattered in so many beautiful homes across Israel,” said Silberstein. “I was privileged to work with her, such a different kind of professional. A strong woman who heads a carpentry shop with such unique items, who tell exactly the story of the person behind them: modesty, naturalness, kindness, magic and simplicity — in the most beautiful and pure sense of the word.”

Dana Or, Yonat’s sister-in-law, told Ynet that she “was one of my best friends. Every year my family and her family would go traveling together, our kids are best friends. Yonat was a wonderful woman, good-hearted and peace-loving. She was always there for me and helped me with anything I needed… she’s super talented, I have items at home she designed at the start of her career.”

Brother Ahal Besorai told the Guardian that Yonat “was an entrepreneur in spirit. She was spiritual, a very kind person and an amazing mum to three kids. She was just a really sweet person, she was really something unique.”

Yonat’s father, Hananel Besorai, told The Times of Israel the day after his grandchildren were released that he was overjoyed to see them home as he still mourns the loss of his daughter.

He said that he plans to go with them to Palmachim to visit the grave of their mother: “This is something we need to do together.”

“I am happy on the outside and I am hurting on the inside,” he added. “I am in pain over my daughter and the massacre the enemy did in Be’eri, [killing people] like sheep to the slaughter.”

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