Krawatsky Gets His Answer and He Is Not Going to Like It

Baltimore’s Rabbi Steven (Shmuel) Krawatsky (aka “Rabbi K”) and his wife sued two sets of parents who say he sexually assaulted their children at Camp Shoresh. They claimed the defendants hurt his reputation and cost him jobs at the camp and at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School. For good measure they sued the NY Jewish Week which published the story and anti-abuse advocate, Chaim Levin who levied that complaint on FaceBook.

At the time of the suit I said it was all bluster, a feeble, but well funded attempt to limit the damage to his reputation and to the reputations of those who backed him sporadically. I am talking about his previous employers, Camp Shoresh and Beth Tfiloh.

Krawatsky’s defenders kept pointing to the lawsuit as proof of Krawatsky’s innocence. That is absurd reasoning. Anyone can sue. The trick is winning. If the other side backs down or settles with an apology or money, you have won.

But none of the cited defendants has done that. The Jewish Week has filed a response.

On Monday (2/18/19) the parents of the Becker and Avrunin children together with Chaim Levin filed their response, a countersuit asking for damages. The parents allege with great clarity, a pattern of grooming, sexual abuse, and compromising pictures of their children.

Rabbi David Finkelstein Exec Dir Camp Shoresh aka Rabbi Dave

Rabbi Dave ED Shoresh

They also accuse Camp Shoresh and its director, Rabbi David Finkelstein (aka “Rabbi Dave) of negligence in their policies and their handling of their children’s cases.

Finally, the parents and Chaim Levin claim that the lawsuits by K and his wife are illegal SLAPP’s (strategic lawsuits against public participation), illegal attempts to “censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech (Wikipedia).”

With the filing of the countersuit, K no longer has the option of just withdrawing his suit or having it tossed and then starting up with another frivilous lawsuit. Even if he withdraws, the countersuit lives on, triggers discovery, and culminates in a trial, unless K and Shoresh settle and apologize. So expect a jury trial, expect revelations, and expect to see some unpleasant truths emerge about abuse and communal failure. But don’t expect it quickly. Alas the wheels of justice grind very slowly.

For the full text of the countersuit: Avrunin Becker & Levin Counter Complaint 02.19.19

Click here for other Frum Follies articles on Krawatsky and Camp Shoresh

For another case of an intimidation suit by Yisroel Bodkins and Torah Umesorah that failed see: Avrohom Chaim Levin’s Close Call With Justice

8 thoughts on “Krawatsky Gets His Answer and He Is Not Going to Like It

  1. So sad. Thank you for keeping on top of these sleazy, creeps who hide behind their religiousness!

    On Thu, Feb 21, 2019 at 11:45 AM FRUM FOLLIES by Yerachmiel Lopin wrote:

    > Yerachmiel Lopin posted: “Baltimore’s Rabbi Steven (Shmuel) Krawatsky (aka > “Rabbi K”) and his wife sued two sets of parents who say he sexually > assaulted their children at Camp Shoresh. They claimed the defendants hurt > his reputation and cost him jobs at the camp and at the Beth T” >

  2. Please PUBLICIZE..You may use my real name, Matthew (Menachem) Karelefsky .. I want the frum world to know my story.
    I am writing to to the frum world to explain why I left Yiddishkite and converted to Christianity.. I was in an Ohel group home years ago ( I was in foster care too)…..Ohel put me in Yeshiva Chaim Berlin … I became frum in Chaim Berlin and stayed frum for 20 years…I just want to let all frum jews know….The reason why I left Yiddishkite and converted to Christianity is because for years I was sexually molested by rabbi Jonathan Max YEMACH SHMO FOREVER in the Yeshhiva Chaim Berlin dormitory …The pain was just too much to handle… Now I am healing in church almost every Sunday….Real sad story…But, sexual abuse destroys Jewish Neshomoys
    יִמַח שׁמוֹ וְזִכְרוֹ שֶׁל רבּיַי מקס מַמָשׁ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

    • Matthew, I am working hard to get to provide extensive kiruv services to survivors of child sexual abuse. It is a rough go, but I am working on it. The very first article will appear just after Tisha b’Av. Look for the article by Asher Lipner.

      I sent your note to to help substantiate my ongoing efforts.

      Best of wishes to you. You deserve every good thing. HaShem loves you, no matter where you are or where you worship.

    • Matthew, I am so sorry you had to live through that. Did this happen when you were a minor? Or as an adult?

  3. this is silly. filing a suit is not proof of innocence for Rabbi K. Filing a counter suit is not proof of guilt for Rabbi K either. as you say, anyone can sue.

    • True. But I am convinced, based on what I know, that K has no chance of winning and the countersuit does, especially because the standard of proof in a civil suit is lower than the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

      It is worth remembering that protective services initially found the allegations serious enough to warrant action but faced with protracted litigation settled for labeling the charges unsubstantiated which is not a clean bill of health, but an intermediate finding that stays on his record for 5 years.

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