In Memoriam of:

Yehonatan Rapoport

Age: 41

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.

Yonatan “Yoni” Rapoport, 41, a dual UK-Israeli citizen, was murdered by Hamas terorrists in his home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.

According to reports, he was killed while protecting the lives of his two children, Yosef, 9, and Aluma, 6, who survived the attack. His mother said that he told them to get under the bed and stay quiet as the terrorists broke into their home.

In addition to his children, Yoni is survived by his parents, Omer and Noelle, siblings Adam, Natasha and Dan, and ex-wife Ola. His brother Kenny died in 2015.

Rapoport was born on the Isle of Wight, and moved to Israel when he was young.

His mother, Noelle, described him to the BBC as “a lovely man” with “a wonderful sense of humor and the most amazing smile that just lit up the room.” She said he was “very much loved” by members of the kibbutz, and “he never went by without smiling at them, saying hello and helping them.”

Yoni was described as a devoted fan of Manchester United, and was planning to take Yosef to his first game in November with his brother Adam.

“He was so excited to be taking Yosefi with him so it’s very heartbreaking now. Yoni will always be with us. He’s in my heart and always will be and I just miss him,” Noelle said.

The team paid tribute to him in their newsletter after his death.

Yoni worked on the kibbutz as a gardener. An obituary published on the kibbutz website said that he had taken a number of courses in horticulture and was about to start another.

“In his work he was the right hand of the elderly, he helped them cultivate their gardens, helped to plant or prune, and in his shy way asked how everyone was doing and always offered help,” the obituary reads. “He worked diligently and quietly, driving the kibbutz trails in his Gator, loaded with prunings or carrying plants from the nursery. When you got into a random conversation with him about trees, only then did you realize the great knowledge he had accumulated over the years and his great passion for the subject. They loved him on the kibbutz.”

Adam Rapoport, Yoni’s brother, described him to the BBC as a “great father” who was a gardener at the kibbutz, and who loved “the trees and the nature.”

Adam wrote on Facebook that “the beautiful kibbutz with its hundreds of flowering trees and shrubs which you and your team worked so hard to nurture and maintain turned in an instant into a death trap.”

“Aluma said that the last thing you said to her and Yosef was to get under the bed. As always, even in the hardest moments, your children were your top priority, and you saved their lives,” he added.

“We will miss you. We will miss the things that annoyed us a little, like your empty coffee cups you would leave outside, we will miss meals with you and the kids at mom and dad’s house, we will miss watching games together, the sweet scent of smoke that accompanied you, we will miss your sharp and cynical sense of humor, our trips to Manchester, stories about your time in India, your enormous knowledge of trees. We will miss you.”
Source: The Times of Israel 

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