In Memoriam of:

Grace Cabrera

Age: 45

In Loving Memory of the Innocent Souls Taken Too Soon. United in peace, their light shines on in the hearts left behind. October 7, 2023, a day of sorrow, but their memories guide us toward a hopeful tomorrow.

Grace Cabrera, a Filipina caregiver living and working in Kibbutz Be’eri, was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7.

Cabrera, who worked caring for 95-year-old Aviva Sela, was killed when terrorists stormed into the kibbutz, likely taking her captive and later shooting her and dumping her body, which was only recovered on October 19.

Sela’s daughter and former son-in-law, Orit and Rafi Svirsky, were also murdered in the Hamas assault. Her grandson, Itay Svirksy, is believed to be held captive in Gaza. The 95-year-old survived the attack.

Sela’s daughter, Osnat Weinberg, told the Makor Rishon newspaper that by all accounts Cabrera protected Sela’s life.

Weinberg said that when rocket sirens began to ring early Saturday morning in the kibbutz, Cabrera brought Sela into the safe room and shut the door, continuing to update the family via WhatsApp, telling them that she heard terrorists inside the house. “For hours she held the handle of the door closed to try and stop the terrorists coming in,” she said.

Weinberg said they lost connection with Cabrera around noon, and later filled in the blanks from other survivors, who said that the terrorists brought both Cabrera and Sela to the balcony of her home and held them hostage there. She said when the family was finally reunited with her mother, she arrived with all her supplies, including medicine and fruit packed up in the basket of her walker.”Only Grace could have gotten her ready like that,” said Weinberg.

“Her composure, her wisdom and her best intentions for my mother were far beyond the realm of ordinary,” added Weinberg. “She was simply an angel with her feet on the ground. What a good soul, how wise… we are so thankful to the wonderful Grace who became part of our family, and we are crying over her loss.”

Aviva’s niece, Tamar Ben-Tzvi, attended a memorial service for Cabrera and said that “every word said there was complete truth. A noble woman who risked her life protecting Aviva. A woman who came from a quiet and safe country to Israel, in order to work and send money to her family in the Philippines. Gracie knew that she had two families — her family in the Philippines and her family in Israel. Gracie was as her name, a woman full of grace and love.”

Nimisha Vargese, a carer from India who also worked on Kibbutz Be’eri, said they both arrived at the kibbutz around the same time, “and the friendship started from that day… may your family and friends bear your loss… we miss you, dear.”

Cabrera’s sister, Mary June Prodigo, who also worked as a carer on the same kibbutz, said she was struggling to come to terms with the loss.

“No words can explain the pain I feel right now… I lost my sister/best friend,” she wrote on Facebook. “Now everything is gone… all the happy memories will be replaced by pain.”

Prodigo lamented the cruel way in which her sister’s life was cut short: “I miss you… I don’t know if I can handle it… but I will do it for you… for our family… Someday we will drink a lot of breezer together, go for a walk, enjoy our trip, pick the fruits that we love… someday, together, we will laugh, make jokes, have fun, hug and kiss each other.”
Source: The Times of Israel 

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Remembrances of Grace Cabrera

A life beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered.

Here we celebrate the memories, the joys, and the life of Grace Cabrera.