COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Two young children from Columbus were killed in Israel where they had just arrived to visit their father.
Sara Levy, 10, and her 11-year old brother Yishai, were stabbed to death by their father, according to Israeli media reports. The father, who's name has been ordered not to be published by Israeli courts, walked into a police station and admitted to the crimes, according to the Jerusalem Post.
"How do you explain the loss of children, especially when it's in this kind of circumstance. There's no way of explaining it," said Gordon Hecker, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Columbus.
Hecker met with the children's mother, Karen Levy, on Thursday. She had divorced the children's father and come to the United States with the children.
An Israeli radio station reported that the father had not paid child support and the family had been having financial issues. The courts had just approved a custody arrangement allowing the father to have unsupervised visits with the children despite the mother's concerns about him harming the children.
"The mother and children had a special relationship. She was really a terrific mother to the kids," Hecker said.
Hecker says the children were well liked at Columbus Torah Academy where they attended school. Counselors are on hand to help children and adults deal with the situation. Hecker says they'll be available as long as needed.
Levy has no plans to travel to Israel at this time, according to Hecker.