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'It's horrific': Omaha woman living in Israel shares experiences following Hamas attacks

Posted at 7:09 PM, Oct 09, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Aurelia Roddy moved to Israel in 2014 to work on a master's degree in Middle Eastern studies. The Bryan High and Creighton grad has made a life there and worked for several years as a TV journalist.

aurelia working
Aurelia, second from right

She and her partner were out of the country when the non-stop phone alerts started on Saturday morning.

"I feel like I haven't even processed the full gravity of what has happened. Nothing like this has happened before and to see like — it's horrific."

She continued…

"When we were in Italy we saw that the building at the end of our street was hit by a rocket and people were injured, thankfully no one died from this impact specifically, but it's literally too close to home."

They got a flight back to Tel Aviv later that night. The city is about 34 miles from Gaza and, while that’s relatively far for a country the size of New Jersey, she and her boyfriend have spent time with a friend who has a bomb shelter.

Aurelia's boyfriend Ben
Aurelia's boyfriend performing on stage with a Nebraska shirt

"We are the fortunate ones to be here in Tel Aviv and I can't even complain that I have to, you know, go to my friend's house to be near a bomb shelter. That's nothing, nothing. Sorry, it's nothing compared to what other families are going through,” said Aurelia. "Families, entire families, were literally murdered in their homes. In their beds. Entire families. Like, how can it happen?"

Aurelia's mom, Lynn, says she worries, but knows it's out of her control

"She's well-versed on the situation and so that makes me feel confident that she's making the right decisions."

While there is obvious anger with Hamas, Aurelia also says that Israelis are asking why their government was caught off-guard by the attacks.

"There's definitely a lot of questions and anger and I think some people are going to have to answer for that," she said.

Her mom says that she knows her daughter is following her passion by being in Israel, even if it's a dangerous time.

"I'm very proud. She's just a beautiful soul. She's funny, intelligent, kind … I guess that's about it. She's just, just perfect."


Omaha woman shares what it's like to be in Israel during conflict

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