Camp counselor among those killed in Hamas music festival attack: 'A real ray of light'

Friday, October 13, 2023
IL camp counselor among those killed in Hamas music festival attack
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Camp Ben Frankel counselor was Gili Adar among those killed in an Israel music festival attack by Hamas.

Among the hundreds of people killed by Hamas militants at a music festival in Israel is an Illinois camp counselor, KSDK reported.

Jubilation and joy; that's what the Jewish organization Camp Ben Frankel is meant to be. Those same words can also be said about 24-year-old Gili Adar.

"My first summer as the camp director was 2017, and that was the summer that Gili came," said Aaron Hadley, who worked with Adar.

At 17, Adar came to the U.S. as a representative for the Israeli Scouts program.

"It brings 15- and 16-year-old Israelis to America to just bring Israel to our Jewish students. She wanted to know what Judaism looked like across the entire world," said Paul Kodner, who also worked with Adar.

As a camp counselor, her light touched many.

"She was there with messages of peace and happiness and was a real ray of light," Hadley said.

SEE ALSO | Family of Evanston mother, daughter held hostage by Hamas in Gaza pray for safe return

"She loved music, and she loved connecting with people," Kodner said.

That's why it wasn't a shock that she was at an Israeli music festival recently. After an attack by Hamas, though, the news of her death was earth-shattering.

"We got to know her on such a deep level, and we've been in touch ever since, and every time I've gone to Israel, she's one of the people that I message. I guess I won't do that anymore," Kodner said.

While grieving the loss, those who knew her acknowledged how much she's given them.

"She fully believed that life was too valuable, and it was worth living," Kodner said.

They believe that nothing can dim her light. Her impact will continue to shine.

"She was a source of joy and humor, clever, and she cared she. She was someone who wanted to make the world a better place by volunteering and working with kids, and that's about as noble as it comes in my book," Hadley said.

The number of Americans dead after the Hamas attack now stands at 27, the White House said on Thursday.

Fourteen Americans are missing, according to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

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