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A first-hand account of October 7 with Deborah Ben Aderet

On Tuesday evening, nearly 100 people gathered in our Dayan Beit Knesset to listen as Schechter alumna and current parent Deborah Ben Aderet shared her first-hand account of events on October 7th.

On October 25th, Deborah returned to her hometown of Highland Park with her daughters, Liora and Rayella, where they plan to finish out the school year before returning to Israel.

“It has been a big relief and comfort to have had my girls welcomed at Schechter as we became refugees far from home. The extra care they have received from their teachers and staff, (many of whom I knew from growing up in the Schechter and Ramah community,) has been greatly appreciated in this difficult time in our lives. I’m grateful that my girls are safe, happy, and thriving both educationally and socially, at Schechter.”

Deborah grew up in Highland Park and attended Schechter and Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. As an adult, she was an active member of AIPAC, AZM, and other Pro-Israel organizations. In 2012, at age 34, Deborah quit her job in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, sold her car, rented out her Lakeview condo, and made Aliyah with her two cats. A year after making Aliyah, she met the Israeli man who would become her husband. She left Tel Aviv and moved with him to the Southern city of Ashkelon.

Deborah and her husband built a home in Kibbutz Zikim, about two miles north of the Gaza border. She and her family lived there until October 8, 2023. Deborah is doing as much Hasbara (explaining) and interviews as she can. She is an advocate for Israel and is a moderator in the Facebook group, Life on the Border with Gaza-Things Most People Don’t Know But Should. She also started her own page, titled, Aliyah To A Kibbutz On The Gaza border and back-Life As A Refugee

Her goal now while living in the States is to use her personal experiences to educate people about the realities of living in Israel, on the Gaza border, and the truth about Hamas and their atrocities and to fight the growing Anti-Semitism the world now faces.

If you would like to invite Deborah to speak to your organization, please contact her at

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