WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Surrounded by their family’s rabbi and leaders from the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Simon and Gabe Ganeles remembered their brother as their role model and inspiration.

Elan Ganeles, 26, was attending a wedding in Israel Monday when he was gunned down in a terrorist attack. 

“You don’t think that this could ever happen to you or someone that you know,” Gabe Ganeles said. 

The Israeli military said troops arrested three Palestinians and killed a fourth suspect.  

The family flew to Israel for the funeral on Wednesday where 5,000 people paid their respects. 

“We didn’t expect so many people to show up, but it was so powerful to see so many people come. Such a sense of unity and brotherhood,” Gabe Ganeles said. 

The two brothers held hands in solidarity for Elan, while they shared their fond memories of their brother.

“Elan was incredibly open-minded. He loved engaging with other people with different opinions than his own,” Simon Ganeles said. 

“He was always unafraid to say what was on his mind. He would use this to make everyone laugh, to start fascinating conversations,” said Gabe Ganeles said. 

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The brothers say he also loved volunteering, whether it was serving the West Hartford community or in the Israeli army. 

“Whenever he had a skill that he could help someone with, he loved providing it to other people, just being of assistance wherever he could,” Simon Ganeles said. 

Young Israel of West Hartford is the synagogue where the family worships. The leaders there created an online fundraiser to help the family.

A night of remembrance will be scheduled for a later date.