Chareidi Family Under Investigation for Abandoning Children


char11.jpgPolice and social workers are involved, investigating a situation involving a chareidi family whose parents left eight children, the oldest being 14, alone in an apartment while the mother delivered a child and the father left the area to return to work.

Neighbors in Tiveria telephoned police after hearing “strange noises” from the apartment. Police were somewhat surprised to find the children alone, beginning to piece together the puzzle.

Tiveria Police Chief Effie Fartuk explains that the information police have obtained to date indicates the family arrived in Tiveria about two weeks ago, renting an apartment. The father returned to the center of the country, to work, and mom went to the hospital to have a baby, leaving the children under the care of the 14-year-old.  City social workers have become involved, and the children have been placed in foster care temporarily while the investigation is ongoing.

Fartuk explains when they contacted the father, he did not see what the problem was, explaining he left them more than adequate funds to take of whatever they needed.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. What sort of neighborhood?

    What sort of Hareidi (wants to live in Tiveria but has no family there, and works near Tel Aviv?).

    Leaving a 14 year old in charge while the mother goes to the hospital would be legal in most places.
    Teenagers are commonly used by babysitters in most cultures.

  2. what IS the problem here? 14 year olds are capable of taking care of other kids, and what is the major difference if the mother had been there immediately after having the baby, no one would say they were abandoned but the 14 year old could very well have been doing the same amount of work whilst the mother recuperated, this one seems , at least from this report, to be gross misappropriation of state resources to bring these charges

  3. Since when is it a problem to leave a 14 year old to baby-sit and take care of the household for a few day? These Witches are out to get chareidim by hook or by crook.

    For weeks and months these Social Worker Witches were called to get involved in some secular families who leave little children under the age of 8 at home and roaming the streets while the parents or single parents go to work, but they are not interested in getting involved. They are out to get chareidim.

  4. I don’t see the problem. If a 14 year old is responsible and is used to taking care of her siblings, why shouldn’t the children be left in her care? If I had been the mother/father, I probably would also have asked a neighbor to check in with the children once in a while and also asked my oldest to call the neighbor if she needed any help. In the olden days not so long ago, children were getting married at 14 or younger, and they had lots of responsibilities at a young age. The problem with this generation is that many do not teach their children any responsibilities.

  5. There’s a lot left unsaid in this article that makes it difficult to say whether this is a case of neglect or not.

    I, personally, would not leave a 14 year old in charge of seven other children for an extended period of time. I might leave a kid that age with one or two kids for a short time, but not for a whole day. But because I wouldn’t doesn’t make it neglect.

    The article does not state how long the father was away for. Was he returning that night? Was he to be gone for a few days? Were there neighbors who were asked to “check in” on the kids once in a while? All these questions (and probably more) have to be answered before a decision can be made. All those who are crying “antisemitism” really should consider these questions. For the one who said that “even in bubble-rapped [sic] America” kids can babysit — I don’t know if that would be true in this situation. I’m willing to bet that while most child-protection agencies would be willing to let a 14 year old be with a kid or two for an hour (even though the legal age in many locales is 15 or 16), I don’t think they’d allow a fourteen year to sit for seven kids for a whole day (let alone a few days).

    In short, before people rush to judgement (in either direction), there are a lot more questions that need to be answered.

    The Wolf

  6. What is so unusual about a 14 year old watching siblings? I assume the next one down is close in age, too.

    Were they suppose to hire a 15 year old to watch their children?

  7. Erm, yeah. Your 14 yr old can babysit. For a while. Maybe even for a whole day.

    But if we felt our 14 year old girls were ready to Mommys, we would… make them Mommys. And the reason we dont, is because their not capable. Birth in most hospitals is a minimum of 48 hrs. True if all the lunches/suppers were prepared in advance, and there was a neighbor that just ‘peeked’ once in a while – then its technically possible. Otherwise…

    On the flip side:
    A. Whilst its not advisable – that doesnt mean the mother neglected the kids here. There is a thin line
    B. What kind of father is 2 hours away when his wife is giving birth and makes no effort to return home? Which leaves us to…
    C. In all likelihood (in true ywn style we only have part of the story), she went in to labor earlier then planned, had to run to the hospital, and had no one to look after the kids. In which case, a 14yr old is just fine.

  8. #1, maybe your 14 year old could not babysit, but in a Chareidi family, the maturity of a 14 year old is like a responsible adult when given such responsibilities.

  9. I don’t see the issue here either.

    I don’t see any issues in letting a 14-year old girl (not boy!) care for 7 siblings for a day. She is probably quite used to caring for her siblings. Also, the next sibling is probably 12 years old or so, and will also help out, especially if this is also a girl (boys are just different).

    I am slightly amazed by the father being in the center of the country at work at the time his wife was giving birth. Perhaps if he were a highly qualified specialist physician and he was taking care of a critical patient who only he could save, it would be justifiable – but in any other case, it just seems weird.

  10. Obviously there are some 14 year olds with the maturity and experience to capably babysit a few other kids for a few days. Perhaps there are even some such 14 year olds who could navigate a crisis where it to occur in those few days. But surely most 14 year olds couldn’t. Obviously only the parents know if their own 14 year old can, assuming their own judgment is good. But there have to be laws, which you think people used to halacha would grasp. Doubtless there are many 10 year old boys who can keep their body and mind clean and wear tefillin. Does that mean that you’re going to buy a set for your ten year old because you know him? From the point of view of the law, we wait until 13 or a little earlier and we don’t make it an individual decision of the parents.