West Hartford

West Hartford Family Mourns Son Killed in Israel

Members of Elan Ganeles' family shared memories of their brother after the 26-year-old was killed in Israel on Monday.

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“He was such a good friend, because he was always unafraid to say what was on his mind,” said Gabe Ganeles, younger brother of Elan Ganeles.

He was a conversationalist and connector.

He will be deeply, deeply missed, and there is an Elan-sized hole in our hearts that will never be filled.

-Rabbi Tuvia Brander, Young Israel of West Hartford

Those who knew Elan best say he had an unquantifiable thirst for knowledge that spanned both sides of the Atlantic.

He held dual-citizenship with both the United States and Israel, and served in the Israeli army for a period of time.

“So often, people gravitate to people who act like them, think like them, profess the same ideals as him,” Brander said. “Elan connected with people on such a human-based level.”

Elan had planned a three-week trip to Israel, a place he’d come to call home, for both a wedding and opportunity to reconnect with those he’s met throughout his 26 years of life.

“While he was there, he went individually to see 25 different friends he had made through various points in his life,” said Simon Ganeles, Elan’s brother.

A life that on Monday was cut short, when Elan was killed in what officials call a terrorist attack on the West Bank in Israel.

“The United States is extremely concerned by the events of this weekend and the continuing violence in Israel and the West Bank,” said Ned Price, U.S. Department of State spokesman.

“This wasn’t a dangerous area. Elan didn’t go looking for trouble. He was traveling on a well-traveled public road,” Brander said.

On Wednesday, Simon and Gabe said roughly 5,000 people showed up to honor the memory – capturing Elan’s passion for community and people.

“All stripes and all types, from all different walks of life came out to show their support and pay tribute to Elan, but also give the Ganeles family a huge hug,” Brander said.

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