top of page

Romi Gonen

23

Romi Gonen from Kfar Vradim is the third of five children of Merav Leshem Gonen and Eitan Gonen. Joyful Romi brings light and laughter wherever she goes. Known for her captivating charm, adorable smile, and the love she has for her family, for dancing and hiking, and for dogs, wherever they are, she is her family's beating heart. Romi has a sweet spot for Alfajores and an unbreakable bond with her friend Gaya Halifa. When friends and family talk about Romi, they sometimes refer to her as a force of nature, whose life is a testament to living fully and loving deeply.
Romi's essence is intertwined with dance; she dedicated 12 years to perfecting her craft, and evolved into an inspiring choreographer. On Simchat Torah weekend, she set off with Gaya and other friends to the Nova trance music festival near Re’im, where she dreamt of losing herself in dance.
That dream quickly turned into a nightmare on October 7th, as Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack on southern Israel, including the Nova festival, using unprecedented violence. Amidst the chaos, Romi called her mother, who could only offer words of love and comfort over the sound of gunshots and distress. The attack left Romi wounded and resulted in her brutal abduction into Gaza. The tragedy kept unfolding as it claimed the lives of three friends, including her closest friend, sweet and gentle 24-year-old Gaya Halifa, 27-year-old Ofir Tzarfati, and 31-year-old Ben Shimon—a hero who had risked his life time after time to save others.
Amidst the devastation, the leopard-print hat, Romi and Gaya's ‘trademark’, was found at the scene; a poignant reminder of the joy that once was and a symbol of hope for Romi's return.
After long days of uncertainty, those who were kidnapped and later released shared that they saw Romi. This sign of life from her was like an oxygen shot! However, they noted her arm injury was in rough shape and she wasn’t getting the medical attention necessary.
Romi's absence has left a void in the lives of her loved ones. Her family: parents, siblings, and her grandmother Dvora, is immersed in a profound sense of loss, united in their hope for her swift return. Merav Leshem Gonen, Romi's mother, has emerged as a pillar of strength and advocacy in the relentless effort to bring Romi back, inspiring many with her resilience and eloquence.
The last conversation between Merav and Romi, filled with mundane yet profound expressions of love, now resonates with an added layer of urgency and longing for Romi to come home: You are not alone, Romchu, we are with you.

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

We kindly ask you to leave your messages accordingly. 
By contributing messages or images, you agree to our Terms and Conditions.

Show them your support

Your message has been sent.

Thank you for your support!

To upload photos - optional
write here your message of support. . .

bottom of page