Eliyahu Cohen

We are looking for our long-lost brother who was kidnapped from the hospital at the age of seven months and apparently was taken for adoption. Our brother, Eliyahu Cohen, was born on the September 23, 1956 in Rehovot to my parents - Moshe and Mazal Cohen. At the age of six months, he was feeling unwell and our parents took him to Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot. They left him hospitalized and on the next day, when they came to visit him, they were told he was transferred to a hospital in Tzrifin, today Assaf Harofeh. In Assaf Harofeh, they were told that the child died and that the burial will be taken care of.

My parents, newly-arrived immigrants from Morocco, accepted the story and believed it. Throughout the years we lived with the knowledge that our brother died as an infant. Recently, we started having doubts. This happened in the wake of hundreds of similar cases, in which babies disappeared from hospitals during the 1950's and 1960's, with some of them discovered in recent years, after they have been adopted without their parents' knowledge.

Ever since the possibility arose that our Eliyahu was kidnapped and has not died, we’ve been collecting information from any possible source and reconstructing what happened in the hospital. Today we are convinced that our Eliyahu is alive and well, also based on similarities to other stories of transfer to another hospital, followed by a notification of the child’s death and the “volunteering” proposal to bury the child. We will continue to search for him until he is found.

It is likely that today Eliyahu lives under a different name, and that he does not know of his adoption and is therefore not searching for his biological family. The only possibility to locate him is based on his age (though it’s possible this was also altered), and with the help of photos of his siblings, which we share here together with a family video.

We appeal for help from all those who may recognize through the photos a 54-year-aged man they may know. We would be wholeheartedly thankful for this Mitzvah, a great deed of reuniting a family. A warm, loving and tight-knit family awaits in Israel, and we will continue to make any effort to find the lost brother. It is critical for us to act as quickly as possible, as long as our mother is still alive. This would be the greatest gift to her in her old age, an invaluable Mitzvah for all those who assist.

We are aware of the great sensitivity of the issue, and we believe that the adoptive parents raised Eliyahu, or however he may be called today, with great love and care for his needs. It is possible that they adopted him legally and in good faith, and do not even know that he was kidnapped from his parents - for which they deserve all respect and appreciation. The discovery may shock Eliyahu, so it’s important for us to act with care so that he is not hurt.

We prefer that any person who possibly recognizes in our description, the age and the photos someone that they know provide us with the details and we pledge to check them carefully and with sensitivity. For us, it is important to complete the task we have taken on and to meet our lost brother. We do not wish to shatter his world. He is today an adult and the decision to stay in touch with the family depends, of course, solely on him.

At the age of 6 months he was not feeling well and the parents took him to Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot. They left him hospitalized, and the next day, when the parents came to visit him, they were told he was transferred to a hospital in Zrifin, today Assaf Harofeh. In Assaf Harofeh they told them that the child died and they will take care of his burial.