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Tali Kizhner, mother of Segev Israel Kizhner

Mother: Tali Kizhner

Son: Segev Israel Kizhner, aged 22 at the time of his death/murder

Family: Tali and Yevgeny have been married since 1994. Segev was their eldest son, brother to Rafael Baruch and Yasmin Bar.

Moments of Terror:

We heard about the party well in advance and were excited. Segev picked up Ayelet Aranin, his childhood friend since age 7, and later Itamar arrived with his girlfriend Agam Yosefzon and their friend Alon Ohel. They danced for almost two hours until, at 6:29, a red alert interrupted the music. The five quickly got into the car to leave but had to turn back toward Re'im at the junction to the northern road. They found shelter in an outdoor safe room, unaware it was a death trap.

Terrorists arrived, throwing grenades. Aner Shapira, Eitan, and Alon fended them off, while Segev and Itamar tried to calm the others. Alon and Segev called the police. Segev was slightly injured but continued to help, calming and guiding everyone. After the grenades, terrorists dragged four people, including Alon, to a pickup truck. Alon is still held captive in Gaza, as of this writing. The terrorists returned to confirm the kill, and Segev's voice was silenced forever.

In the following days, we searched for him in hospitals and among the horrific videos, knowing that he would return to us. We thought about the help he would need, planned how to support him when he came home. Three days later, on October 10th, Itamar's father, Boaz, tearfully told us, "Segev is dead. Itamar lay on him for six hours; it's certain. Itamar gave a statement to the police on Saturday evening, but we were not allowed to speak because there was no identification. But I couldn't keep silent anymore."

 In the afternoon, Itamar arrived with a bandaged hand, a ruptured eardrum, and a face full of shrapnel marks (which I later saw on my Segev too). He could barely breathe, holding in his hand the Star of David necklace Segev received as a gift for his Bar Mitzvah, stained with his blood!

The Person Behind the Story:

Our Segev was a personality! A colourful person with a unique sense of humor, a free spirit, a nonconformist, a magnetizing personality to both young and old, dominant in any group, standing out within seconds thanks to his sharpness and leadership abilities. Segev was not a person who easily gave in; he knew how to set boundaries and saw life simply. He was convinced we were complicating everything, and maybe he was right.

Segev loved good food and appreciated people who knew how to really cook (like his father and grandfather). Segev loved treats and was heavily addicted to Sour Patch candies! His life was always full of music, sports, friends, and family! He was involved in “HaNoar HaOved VeHalomed”, soccer, judo, tennis, Bar Ilan, and of course, American football. Segev was an avid fan of Barca and the Baltimore Ravens.

My Message:

Despite all developments, life is still very simple; there is good and evil. The current war is not the war between Israel and Palestinians, absolutely not. It is a war between good and evil, between morality and brutality, between love and hatred.

Project in Memory of Segev:

His portrait, painted by artist Naomi Fox based on photos and stories. A new treatment room named after Segev was established by the Meale organization. After the war, we will produce an annual party in his memory with top DJs in the trance music field. An amazing initiative named "Next October" will assist Dr. Salit Tzaban in the founding of a company that will develop a treatment for a disease called endometriosis.

Our Last Embrace:

Segev was not a big hugger. Getting a kiss or hug from him wasn't easy; usually, he would lower his head for a kiss. We would hug usually before significant separations. I would pester him, hugging him from behind. I did not get a last hug! I did not say goodbye! And I don't think I will ever be able to say goodbye!

Tali Kizhner, mother of Segev Israel Kizhner

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