Rabbi Yosef Blau, Mashgiach Ruchani (Senior Spiritual Advisor) at the seminary of Yeshiva University issued this advisory about Rabbi Ephraim Bryks of Kew Gardens, Queens, NY. Continue reading
The Torah calls on us to be a “light unto the nations.” But Israel is an escape destination for diaspora molesters. They come from the US, the UK, Holland, and Australia. They come on last minute flights as cops are closing in. They come on visitor visas and they come as planned olim under the Law of Return. Most of them get the welcome mat.
Mighty Israel can defeat neighbors. Stealthy Israel can assassinate enemies. Brainy Israel can desalinate oceans. Avenging Israel can bring Nazis to justice. But when faced with the justice cries of molested Jewish children, Shimshon Hagibor (Samson the mighty) turns into Shimshon the Nebbish, a hapless, bureaucratically obtuse gaggle of keystone cops.
Dear Beth Tfiloh Board of Trustees,We, the undersigned members of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School community, are deeply disappointed by the discovery of Beth Tfiloh’s apparent failure to promptly address allegations of abuse perpetrated by Rabbi Shmuel Krawatsky. We are also highly concerned by its recent employment of Dr. Jonathan Lasson, an individual formally sanctioned for inappropriate professional behavior. Finally, we are distressed by what appears to be Beth Tfiloh’s failure to take accountability or to identify a plan of preventative action in its response.
Last week (1-22-18) the Ramaz Upper School Head, Rabbi Shlomo Stochel, notified the community that Dr. Ari Sclar was no longer employed as a history teacher “due to a serious violation of Ramaz’s standards of conduct.” (see letter below)
This Manhattan Upper East Side modern orthodox school is employing the law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP to conduct an investigation. This is the same firm the Orthodox Union (OU) hired to investigate physical and sexual abuse by Rabbi Baruch Lanner in their youth program, the National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY).
The letter does not state Sclar’s particular infraction of “standards of conduct.” But schools fire people all the time without notifications stating reasons or hiring outside investigators. So I would surmise this is probably about abuse of some sort.
Dr. Sclar is adjunct faculty at Hunter College and completed a dissertation on the success of “Jews in Basketball.”
The school’s letter asks people to contact Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. However, if you are aware of criminal conduct I would strongly urge you to instead contact the police and child protective services.
If you were harmed by Sclar and think you may have grounds for a lawsuit against Sclar or an institution that employed him, get your own private lawyer to talk to the the investigators or RAMAZ. The firm hired by RAMAZ is obliged to protect the legal and financial interests of RAMAZ, not potential victims. Continue reading
In Scotland a jury can return a verdict of guilty, innocent or not proven. This goes back to 18th century and it was also called the bastard verdict. Maryland uses a similar system for allegations of child abuse. At the end of an investigation, the report can conclude that action is indicated (e.g. removing a child from a home or a teacher from a job), ruled out or unsubstantiated.
Ruled out is a clean bill of health. Unsubstantiated is not! The name of the alleged offender is retained in a database so schools and child care centers can check on individuals when making employment decisions. This brings me to Rabbi Shmuel (Stephen) Krawatsky, known to kids as Rabbi K who at different times was classified as indicated or unsubstantiated by the child protective services agency of Frederick County, Maryland.
Rabbi K is a very friendly popular guy with younger kids. He is a 6th grade teacher at Beth Tfiloh in Baltimore and a youth leader at Suburban Orthodox synagogue in the Baltimore area. Since these allegations he no longer works at the Shoresh day camp in Frederick County or in the Orthodox Union’s Yachad youth program. For months he was also suspended by the Beth Tfiloh though it was done without any official announcement. Continue reading
People who are Intellectually disabled are sexually assaulted at seven times the rate of others according to a survey of this population aged 12 and older. Yet they rarely report it and rarely get justice. These numbers are underestimates because of surveys do not cover people in institutions or group homes who are some of the most vulnerable. Continue reading