Hodayah Hevroni, a student in the Kedma youth village who was in the town of Nir Oz on the morning of the October 7th massacre, was evacuated to Eilat. From there, she speaks with Arutz Sheva - Israel National News about the overwhelming uncertainty among members of her community.
The understanding that something significant was happening to her came in stages. She recounts the morning of the attack: "We had no idea it could reach such an extent. I told myself that all the shooting and explosions I was hearing was from the IDF fighting terrorists. I did not imagine soldiers would not arrive until such a late hour."
As a member of the student village who is not a member of the kibbutz itself, she had the option not to evacuate to Eilat with the rest of the kibbutz, and instead to return to her parents' home. Her decision was not immediate, but she said, "We very quickly understood that we would share the same fate as the kibbutz, at least for the short term. From the moment we went with them to Eilat, we became an inseparable part of everything that was happening, whether helping with children or doing anything else that anyone they could help with, according to their own ability."
Hevroni views giving to the members of the kibbutz as a part of the personal coping process that every one of these students will need to go through after the trauma they experienced: "You can say that in the first month we didn't stop for a moment, we were in a continual loop of coping by helping and being a part of things. It wasn't just for others, it was for us too."
The attitude towards the prisoner exchange has been a serious disappointment among the members of the kibbutz. "We living in a period of uncertainty, and it's difficult. On the other hand, we are seeing some hope and results, and are trying to grab onto it."
Regarding the community's future, she said that the kibbutz intends to remain a single community, and is planning to move to Carmei Gat near Kiryat Gat. "Our community will do everything possible to stay a community step by step, from the trip from the hotel to our homes and from there to the next step," she concluded.