Chabad Children Handed Over To Non-Jewish Dad as Per High Court


Once again, Israel ultra-liberal High Court of Justice has ruled in favor of tearing children away from yiddishkeit, ordering the return of two children, members of the Chabad community, to their non-Jewish father. In this case, the Hadera Family Court and the Haifa District Court which heard the appeal felt there would be “no significant harm” to the children by sending them to France, to live with the non-Jewish biological father. The High Court did not overrule the decision of the lower courts.

The story unfolds in the Ramat Tzvi neighborhood of Zichron Yaakov this past Thursday as Israel Police officers and social workers appointed by the court arrived, along with a film crew from France’s TF1, to remove the two innocent neshamas from their mother’s arms.

The officials placed the children in the Hertz rented car as neighbors looked on, some crying, including the area Chabad shaliach Rav Freiman, horrified with the realization that these young innocent children are being torn away from their frum lifestyle, their mother, Eretz Yisrael, to be sent abroad to live with a non-Jew, as ordered by Israel’s highest court.

The friends of the children were playing nearby, unaware of the harsh realities taking place, kept a distance by police. The mother collapsed, unable to endure the sight of what was taking place.

It is difficult to believe this story gained such notoriety, even involving French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but at home, once again, the High Court has decided against the Jewish parent, as has been the case many time when children have been ordered taken from Jewish mothers to honor Islamic law, which determines the religion of a child by the father.

The story began seven years ago, when Lior Gonen, a resident of Kibbutz Magan Michael traveled to France for a film festival. The visit resulted in her involvement with a non-Jew, and a first child was born. This followed trips back and forth between France and Israel, as well as a civil marriage in Cyprus.

The family lived in Lior’s kibbutz for five years, and in 2006, they returned to France for a one-month visit. After being refused another request to leave kibbutz for vacation, Lior and her husband announced they would be leaving, taking their payout money and then heading to France, where life was difficult. Mom returned in 2008 and decided to give birth to their second child here. When her husband appeared in Israel for the birth, he was served with a court order prohibiting him to come near her, as she maintained he was abusive.

Citing the Hague Convention, the dad requested from the family court to have his children returned to France, also citing his wife did not even bother to inform him of the birth of their second child. In the midst of their travels, the mom decided to return to the fold and she became a member of the chareidi community, further complicating matters perhaps.

The family court stated allegations of cruelty were not established and the court gave little credence to testimony from members of the mother’s family, that taking the children away would cause them irreparable emotional damage. This opinion was also accepted by the Haifa District Court and ultimately, the High Court of Justice.

Some of the kibbutz members went so far as to say she “despises chareidim” but felt by joining the community, if the courts are against her, the chareidim would side with her since the father if a goy.

The father first took his case to a French Court and then, only in Israel, was he able to emerge with a ruling in his favor, against the mother of the children.

Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled to send the older brother back to France on July 3, 2009. This was to have taken place by July 15th. Mom took her children and ran, and they were only discovered about eight months later.

The father insists he loves his children and will do everything possible to permit them to maintain their frum lifestyle if this is what they wish, adding he has many Jewish friends and he will inquire as to their needs. The dad also expressed fears that he does not want his sons to feel they were abducted, as their mother did when she took them from him. He admits he is not a religious man, but now that his sons are on this path, he does not plan to do anything to compel them to change their way of life.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. It is hard to know the truth here, of who did what and who is right.

    Certainly Jewish children should be brought up in their religion.

    But beyond that, things get murky.

    Was that father abusive?
    From what I read in the above article, it does not seem so.

    Did the mother hate Charedim and then try and use them as pawns in her game?

    Those who knew her from the kibbutz may be telling the truth, or they may be saying whatever
    they want the court to hear becuase they want the kids to go to the non Jewish father, rather then to a Cheredi community.

    One thing is quite clear;

    Those who think they can ignore G-ds will, and just go and do whatever they want with whoever they want without any consequences, are deluding themselves.

    There are always consequences.

    They are just not always as obvious as they are in this case.

  2. Very biased article. He’s not just their “biological father,” as you refer to them, he’s their FATHER. And they’re not just “Jewish neshamas,” they’re this man’s children. Also, it sounds like he’ll raise them Jewish.

    Something about the mother’s side sounds very fishy.

  3. please change the article to say liberal, not LIBERTARIAN!
    two completely different things! this is another example of a dearth of education in the writing staff of yeshiva world news

  4. #2 all I can say is wow! We have become so PC that we will bend over backwards to justify something that is tragic. We’re trying to be so straight and fair, that we end up becoming crooked and bent. Unbelievable. (Do you really believe they will be raised as frum jews? Hardly.)

  5. hereorthere:
    finally i agree with you over something, we have to find out exactly what’s happening.
    it is likely, knowing chabad, that she is not religious at all, but that she went to chabad for help…

  6. ultra Liberal! not ultra Libertarian!
    #1, I very much agree with your statement: “One thing is quite clear; Those who think they can ignore G-ds will, and just go and do whatever they want with whoever they want without any consequences, are deluding themselves. There are always consequences.”
    On the other hand, this statement: “Did the mother hate Charedim and then try and use them as pawns in her game? Those who knew her from the kibbutz may be telling the truth” is something I don’t think is relevant AT ALL!!! Who cares how chareidi the mother really is? If we assume that the job of a yid is to keep all yidden connected with the RBSH”O and Yiddishkeit, what’s it nogei’a what the mother’s motives are?

  7. What is relevent about the mothers’ motives is that if she did not want her children to really be raised as Jews, it explains why she did not even care about who she got pregnant from, in the first place.

    Also it is relevent because the Galus world, does not follow Halacha and we can’t expect people to do things so wrong and then think H-sh-m will make miracles after we deliberately messed up, so badly.

    By the way I did not say or mean to imply that Chabad was the bad guy here.
    If anyone was it was the mother not Chabad.

    As for Democrat party liberalism vs libertarian I explained in detail how they are not exactly the same ‘version’ of liberalism but they are both liberalism, which I explained in the comments under the;

    “Rush Limbaugh on Rham Emannuel Retarded comment”

    Article, which is three pages back (click next, at the bottom of the page twice, and then it should be on that third page, which is where I just found it again).

  8. The bickering on here over pettiness never ceases to make me sick.

    Can we please have names to daven for these neshamos who did nothing to deserve such a fate? This sounds like a kidnapping from czarist russia..R’L

  9. actually, hereorthere is incorrect about libertarianism, i think he should go read prof. murray rothbard’s book, man economy and state….or even just the wikipedia article on libertarianism, the austrian school of economics, and some articles about thomas hobbes’s ideas about social contract.

  10. No I am not wrong about libertarianism.
    Trying to decide if it is liberal or not is like reading Karl Marx to decide if Soviet Russia was
    communism or not.

    We see how it is used in real life, we do not see that in books.

  11. The Israeli court had no discretion in the matter, as the case was governed by a treaty that meant the French courts get to decide the case (which probably delighted the hiloni court, since under Israeli law the mother would have a stronger case).

  12. To #10: I agree 100%. I am also sick of the responses of these commenters. There is absolutely not rachmonus on the mother and the children. Shame on all of you.

    YWN, please post the Hebrew names of the children.

  13. Truthsharer – actually, in Israel, this is not uncommon. The courts and social workers generally side with the father, even if he is known not to be such a straight person.

  14. All decent adults,Jewish and otherwise,know that out-of-wedlock affairs are morally wrong and that there are serious consequences to behaviors. A woman who bore children should always be the first choice to raise them ,as long as she is fit as a mother. A Jewish woman’s children are Jewish no matter how lacking in Yiddishkeit the mother is..May this be a lesson to others.

  15. #2, he is NOT their father. They are Jewish and he is not, and a goy cannot be the father of a Jew. The Torah says he has no rights over them.

    #4, it is not true that in almost all cases the courts side with the mother. There are corrupt and biased courts that do this, but they are far from being a majority of courts, especially if you’re claiming that this is so all over the world!