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Oct 4, 2003 | 8th of Tishri, 5764 | ח׳ בתשרי תשס״ד
Oct 4, 2003 – Keren Zer-Aviv, 29, of Kibbutz Yagur was one of 21 people killed in a suicide bombing carried out by a female terrorist from Jenin in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
The blast devastated the restaurant, of joint Jewish-Arab ownership, on Hahagana Boulevard near the southern entrance of the coastal city. It was packed mostly with regular Saturday customers. The bomber, Hanadi Jaradat, a 29-year-old lawyer from Jenin, managed to get past Maxim’s security guard before blowing herself up in the middle of the restaurant. The security guard, an Israeli Arab, was killed in the attack, along with three other Israeli Arab employees of the restaurant. The victims included five members of the Almog family from Haifa and five members of the Zer-Aviv family from Kibbutz Yagur. Four children were killed and 60 people were wounded in the bombing.
Keren, nee Almakais, born in Haifa, came to Kibbutz Yagur after she married Bezalel Zer-Aviv five years ago. She had recently been officially accepted as a member of the kibbutz and worked in the nursery. Lev, who managemed the nursery, talks about Keren: “I liked her very much. She was soft-spoken, she didn’t raise her voice, she was very straight and honest. At first she went into teaching, and was very popular and respected. But she liked office work: In the nursery, she managed the accounts with gardeners, contractors and institutional projects. She was very organized at work, very clear.”
Kibbutz members of all generations struggled to deal with the tragedy. “If one person is killed, you have the accepted norms of what to do,” said Shlomit Atzmon, a neighbor of Bruria’s and a colleague of Keren’s. “When an entire family is killed… you mourn for all five, you feel all five of them in your heart and you have five times as much fear.”
Keren Zer-Aviv was buried with her husband, two children, and mother-in-law in the Kibbutz Yagur Cemetery. She is survived by her parents and four siblings.
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