Staff and alumni of a local Jewish summer camp are mourning the death of an Israeli man killed in the Hamas attack on Saturday.
The website TC Jewfolk reports that Netta Epstein, 21, died in his apartment just outside the Gaza Strip while protecting his girlfriend from an exploding grenade.
Jake Niefeld, 22, of Hartford, Conn. is originally from Minneapolis and was Epstein's cabinmate and close friend over consecutive summers at camp when the two were teenagers.
“We were 13, and we were talking right by the lake and he was talking about his legacy in the world and what he wanted to do in the world,” Neifeld said. “And I'm sitting there like 'Netta, I just watch cartoons for fun. I have no idea about legacy.’”
Niefeld said he last saw his friend in 2018, but had a lengthy phone conversation with him in September to discuss a possible visit to Israel.
“I don’t think I would be half the man I am today without him,” Niefeld said. “I’m so fortunate that I got the chance to tell him how much he meant to me.”
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