Illustration: Children at summer camp.
Children at summer camp. (Illustrative photo)
Text size
related tags

Ultra-Orthodox strongholds like the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea She'arim and the city of Bnei Brak are rife with families that have six or more children. But one Orthodox woman in Kansas has been a mother of sorts to more than 150 children over the past nine years.

Rose Marchick has five children of her own, two of whom were adopted. The rest are her foster children.

"The kids need a home, and we have one," Marchik told the JNS wire service over the weekend. "It's no more complicated than that."

Most of the foster children who stay in Marchick's six-bedroom home in the Kansas town of Olathe for various lengths of time are not Jewish, but they are always invited to Shabbat meals and even synagogue, said JNS.

Marchick, who has three master's degrees and a doctorate in psychology, doesn't answer the phone on Shabbat – unless it's police or social services asking her to provide emergency care for children in need.

"If my phone rings and it is the police station, I am there with those kids," the self-described "hyper-organized" Marchick told JNS.

Marchick's home, which has a color-coded chore chart to which her foster children are added while they stay there, is one of the only foster homes in the area – and the only Jewish one – that accepts children with serious challenges such as fetal alcohol syndrome, reactive attachment disorder or bipolar disorder, as well as children who come straight from juvenile prison, the report said.