Tomer Meguri speaks to students over zoom March 19 in Lewis Lab. He talked about his experience during the Oct. 7 attack and the loss of his sister. (Julia Rock-Torcivia/B&W Staff)

Oct. 7 survivor shares his story


On March 19, the Lehigh Friends of Israel club hosted Tomer Meguri, a survivor of the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel, to speak to attendees about his late sister Libby Meguri and his experiences living in Israel during the ongoing war.

The Stories of Resilience event began with a song and video montage of his sister who was killed last year in the attacks. 

“I’m 23 years old, trying to figure out how to walk again, how to live again,” Tomer Meguri said of losing his twin sister. 

Libby Meguri flew home to Israel from South America to attend the Nova Music Festival, where the attack occurred.

“It’s weird for us, the silences because we were used to being without her home for several months because she was in South America,” Tomer Meguri said, “And now we need to get used to that the silence is permanent because she’s not in South America, she is where she is.”

Libby Meguri called her mother around 6:30 a.m. on the day of the attack, and her family listened on the phone until she died around 8:15 a.m. She was shot twice, once in her arm and once in her stomach. After she was wounded, she told her family she loved them and that she was going to die. 

The next day, the family received a video of Libby Miguri’s body on the ground. 

Tomer Meguri said he and his father went together to identify the body.  

“I don’t think it’s ordinary for a 23-year-old to identify his twin sister’s body,” Tomer Meguri said. 

He explained how life in Israel has changed since that day, saying he has lost at least four friends in the conflict and that any citizen can be conscripted into the Israeli army, no matter age or gender. 

When asked during the event how his life has changed since Oct. 7, Tomer Meguri said walking the streets now terrifies him, even in Tel Aviv, a city well known in Israel as the cultural and commercial capital.

Amanda Braverman, ‘24, president of Lehigh Friends of Israel, said she held the event because she believes it is necessary to tell the stories of survivors. 

“I really just felt called to bring more awareness and have more of a Jewish voice on the Lehigh campus,” Braverman said.  

Danielle Lirov, ‘27, attended the event and said it’s been particularly difficult for her and her family ever since Oct. 7.

“I just am super glad that we’re getting new perspectives and actual testimonies from people who live in Israel,” Lirov said. “I thought it was beautiful.”

Lirov said she found it informative to hear about the current state of Israel from a man who is not much older than her. 

Tyler Katz, engagement and programming associate for the Office of Jewish Student Life, said they found it enlightening to hear a different perspective, even though it can be uncomfortable or difficult to talk about.  

Since Oct. 7, reports have stated antisemitism, anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate has been on the rise. 

The Council of American-Islamic relations, a Muslim civil rights advocacy group, reported a 178% increase in the last three months of 2023 of complaints of hate toward these communities. 

“Oct. 7 and the current war has been impacting not just Israel and Gaza, but the global Jewish community and Muslim community,” Katz said. “There has been an unprecedented rise in antisemitism in the U.S. It’s been directly affecting people like me, and I wanted to hear the firsthand account of the people that lived through Oct. 7.”

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