Invisible Children

Children of Lev Tahor

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.


Lev Tahor, a Jewish sect located in Quebec, Canada, came under scrutiny from child welfare officials in 2013 amid concerns of psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, improper education, medical neglect, and underage marriages. The sect’s children were homeschooled, and officials learned that girls were not receiving the same education as boys, that the children were only being taught Yiddish and Hebrew, and that the children were not being taught math, among other subjects.

The sect initially relocated to Ontario in November, 2013, to avoid the probe in Quebec and to avoid Quebec’s homeschooling laws, but began leaving Canada for Guatemala in March, 2014, creating a mess for immigration officials. They were ejected from Guatemala in August 2014. While some children were temporarily removed by child welfare officials in Canada, officials’ requests to remove all of the children en masse were denied.

Location: Quebec, Canada
Date: Investigation spanned 2013 to 2014

Documents: Date:
Jewish sect members told to return to Quebec after fleeing here during child protection probe 11-26-2013
Authorities Seize Two Children from Lev Tahor Sect 12-16-2013
Newly released documents detail Lev Tahor abuse allegations 12-23-2013
Police allege physical, mental abuse in Lev Tahor Sect 02-17-2014
Lev Tahor, ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, quietly moves to Guatemala 08-23-2014
Orthodox Jewish Sect Kicked Out Of Guatemalan Village Over Religious, Cultural Disputes 08-31-2014
Dogged By Controversy, A Jewish Sect Is On The Move Again 09-10-2014