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Northeastern University students safely evacuate Israel amid attacks

Palestinian citizens inspect damage to their homes caused by Israeli airstrikes on October 10, 2023 in Gaza City, Gaza.Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty

Three Northeastern University students who were in Israel when Hamas attacked over the weekend have safely left the country, the university said Tuesday.

The students escaped the volatile conditions following assistance from Northeastern officials and Masa, an agency that facilitates study abroad programs.

Jesse Ruigomez, a third-year student from Brookline, had been spending the semester in Herzliya, a coastal city near Tel Aviv. He said in a phone interview Tuesday that he was awakened early Saturday to the sounds of air-raid sirens and of rockets being repelled by Israel’s missile-defense system.

“I started by relocating to the stairwell for the first attack. But for the other rocket attacks, we had to go to the shelter inside of the apartment building,” said Ruigomez, who was working at Nayax, a global financial technology company, as part of Northeastern’s co-op program.


Representatives from Masa helped him safely take shelter. Ruigomez said that he was joined by several others who were also working abroad. They remained in the shelter for about 31 hours.

On Sunday, with help from Northeastern, he was able to get to Ben Gurion Airport and secure a flight to Madrid, where some of his relatives live. He does not yet know whether he will try to return to the United States or remain abroad.

In addition to Ruigomez, Northeastern students Keren Doherty and Joshua Einhorn safely left Israel.

Doherty, a nursing student, had been working at Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency medical response service, in Tel Aviv as part of the co-op program. She told Northeastnern officials said she woke up to sirens outside of her apartment on Saturday.

She spent much of that morning hiding in a bomb shelter near her building with her parents, who had come to visit her over the weekend. With Northeastern’s help, Doherty secured a flight to Lisbon on Sunday.


Einhorn had been studying abroad in Greece but was visiting relatives in Jerusalem for the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah when the attacks began. He was able to board a flight to Athens.

Maggie Scales can be reached at Follow her @scales_maggie.