Two children go missing from gan; found safely three hours later

According to the local paper, two children aged 3.5 and 4 disappeared from gan (preschool) without anyone realizing. At around 11 AM, the ganenet noticed that they didn’t return to the gan after playtime in the fenced area outside. After a thorough search of the premises failed to locate the children, the staff realized that they must have gotten out. The ganenet set off in search of them, going as far as the children’s homes.

During this entire time the ganenet failed to alert any authorities about the disappearance. Finally, at 1:15, she called the police and the children’s parents. The children were found at 2:20, about five blocks from the gan. They would have had to have crossed several busy streets.

I’ve been thinking about this since I posted, and all I can say is, “What was this ganenet thinking?” The fact that the kids escaped is scandalous enough, although that is not an uncommon occurrence in Israel. But once she realized they were lost, she chose her own reputation over the safety of the children. She hoped to find them herself, and no one would be the wiser. But even if she had found them, they were old enough to talk and presumably would not have been able to keep such an adventure a secret.

Just think how much easier it would have been to find them, had they only been gone ten minutes when she called the police.

Another bizarre part of the story is that no one found the children wandering around this busy area of town (they ended up near the bus station). Israelis tend to get involved when they see children in dangerous situations.


  1. Horrifying. And very very frightening.

  2. levon maine terry says

    my name is levon maine terry and i have a son by the name of deon mykel terry aka zykel isreal 6 years old that may have been adopted in your organization when he was about 2 years. i have been looking for him since he was 2 months and i don’t no for sure where he his at in your country. please help me find my son. i miss him from the bottom of my heart and i think about him everyday of my life. i live in the united states, st.louis missouri and i can be reached at 314 382 9832

  3. mominisrael says

    What do you mean,”adopted in your organization”? You will need to give some more details; he goes by the name of zykel?

  4. it is a frightening story and I always wondered why it does not happen more often than it actually does. When I pass kindergartens or get my own kids from kindergartens, I often find the kids not supervised properly. I would not say it is like that all the time. I am sure the overwhelming portion of the day they are well supervised, but there are always periods of time where the gannenet is distracted or something…

  5. Much to my consternation, ( I think it’s a fire safety hazard) my daughter’s gan locks the outer gate with a padlock after morning dropoff and until 3:45 for this reason. I think it’s a city wide policy.

  6. So these kids were missing for almost 3 1/2 hours? Frightening. Absolutely frightening. And you’re right, the gannenet should have called for help much, much sooner. This story gives me the chills, I’m just glad it had a happy ending.

  7. I updated the post.
    Rafi, we don’t really know what happens, espcially when there are only two staff members. You just know that if she had found the kids, her assistant would have protected her.
    Abbi, this happened to be a private gan.
    RR, yes, it’s very scary.

  8. My daughter’s gan is supposed to be open from 7:30 am for the parents who need to get to work and need to drop off their kids early. Every time we have arrived at 7:35 to drop her off, there is a group of three-five year-olds sitting on the stoop just waiting for someone to come and unlock the gate. Just sitting on the curb…the hasa’a comes and drops them off with nobody there because he has more kids to pick up and can’t stay with them… Ain’t that crazy? I’m just glad we don’t send her on an early hasa’a in the morning and we drop her off ourselves.

  9. that was three to five year olds, not three five year olds. My daughter herself is only three.

  10. SS, I’m speechless. I wonder if it’s legal (unfortunately, it might be).

  11. There are a number of questions begging to be asked:
    when did the kids go missing?
    who was supposed to be watching them during that time?
    what kind of repurcussions will there be?
    Are the parents demanding a new ganenet?
    it is bad enough that no one noticed the kids’ escape — but to not report their disappearance for over 2 hours is reprehensible.
    this story could have had a very differnt ending!

  12. What came to mind is when my brother walked home from gan through a busy-ish area of Givatayim. What a shock for my mother. Or the time when he walked part of the way home and got his head stuck between two posts of a wrought-iron gate. Come to think of it, his personality hasn’t really changed, it’s just evolved into more grown-up shocking behavior.

  13. Horrifying.
    But one has to wonder how to keep track of that many young children because they can disappear quickly if there is even a crack.

  14. I don’t know if it’s legal, I just wonder if the parents know that this is happening. Really, I should be responsible enough to call the people who run the gan and tell them that it’s unacceptable… Especially if I may be the only one who knows about it. On the other hand, the ganenet who finally does show up DOES know about it, because she opens the gate and lets them in. And, seeing as she is responsible for the kids, she should tell the administration, with whom she is in contact on a regular basis. In any case, it’s inconvenient for me that nobody is there for my daughter when I want to drop her off, even if I may understand why (they also have families to bring to gan etc)

  15. mominisrael says

    I agree, the ganenet knows of this neglect so it is her responsibility to inform the authorities.

  16. mominisrael says

    PS That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say anything; if you know of neglect you should report it and may have a legal obligation.

  17. mominisrael says

    One more thing, SS, I missed the fact that the ganenet is also protecting herself because if she reports the driver he will blame her for not having been there at 7:30, when she is supposed to be.