Camp for kids in bitter custody case nearly $30,000

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Pontiac — A judge’s order to send to camp three children caught up in a bitter custody fight is costing their parents nearly $30,000.

More than a third of the bill is for extra security, media relations and legal costs relating to the housing of the 14, and 10-year-old sons and 9-year-old daughter of Omer Tsimhoni and Maya Eibschitz-Tsimhoni.

The two divorced in 2011 but are battling it out in court over who should have custody of their children, who refuse to talk to or even look at their father. The case has drawn international media attention.

The $29,072.50 camp bill sent to Tsimhoni, and reviewed by The Detroit News, shows the parents were charged $5,137.50 for 10 days of prorated camper stay for the first session, July 11-20. The camp is charging $12,330 for a second session which runs from July 21 to Aug. 20.

Additional costs of $11,605 were tacked on for extra staff needed for the first session and session break ($2,400); extra security ($1,680); media relations ($525); and legal expenses ($7,000).

The parents are supposed to split the camp costs.

The children were ordered on July 10 by Oakland Circuit Judge Lisa Gorcyca to attend a camp in Oakland County after an outcry over her ruling finding the three in contempt of her order to have a healthy relationship with Tsimhoni. As a result, Gorcyca on June 24 sent them to Children’s Village, a county detention facility for neglected youth or those charged with crimes.

This week, after hearing the siblings are doing well at camp, Gorcyca said they will remain there until next month when she hopes the custody matter will be resolved. The News is not publishing the name of the camp.

Traditional summer camp stays, such as a YMCA camp in Michigan, run between $619 a week for ranch camp to $919 for a special theater camp.

Several attorneys and mental health experts have viewed the children shunning their father as a case of parental alienation, possibly coached or condoned by their mother. The mother, who is a well-known ophthalmologist, has said she wants the children to have a positive relationship with their father but added she and they fear he may kidnap them and take them to Israel, where he has worked as an engineer for General Motors.

Gorcyca has ordered psychological evaluations to be done on both parents and also the children and set Oct. 5-9 for an evidentiary hearing for arguments on whether the father should not be granted sole custody of the children.


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