Elan Ganeles, a dual US-Israeli citizen, grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, where he attended the local Orthodox Synagogue, schools, camps and youth group. He was an honors student at the Hebrew High School of New England, and volunteered with the local Jewish Family Services.
Elan made aliyah and served a full three years in the IDF as a lone soldier, living on a kibbutz in northern Israel. He served in the IDF’s Mofet unit, working as a computer programmer.
In 2018 Elan returned to the United States to complete his studies at Colombia University and graduated in 2022 with a degree in sustainable development and neuroscience.
Elan was described by friends and family as loyal friend, kind, funny and down-to-earth, who loved playing saxophone in the sukkah, discussing Judaism over coffee and hanging out with his brothers and friends in the basement on Shabbat. A friend commented that Elan had recently shown him a list he had made with the names of more than 100 friends that he used to make sure he kept up with all of them. “He would fly all around the world to spend time with his family and friends and you could count on him to show up with a full itinerary with all of the best things to do. He loved to have fun with the people he loved".
Elan was killed at the age of 26 in a shooting attack near the Beit HaArava Junction in the Jordan Valley. He was visiting Israel to attend the wedding of a friend. Elan was buried in Israel, and after the funeral his family returned to Connecticut to sit shiva.