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. Continue reading →
Maryland court records show that that Rabbi Shmuel (Stephen) Krawatsky and his wife are again suing for defamation against those making or reporting allegations that Krawatsky (aka Rabbi K) sexually abused children in Camp Shoresh. The suit was filed on 10/16/18. The suit names two sets of parents who each allege that their son was sexually abused by Rabbi K. The Krawatskys are also suing activist Chaim Levin, the Jewish Week (JW) which reported on the allegations, and the reporter who wrote the JW story, Hannah Dreyfus. Continue reading →
Dr. Michael Salamon, a frum therapist with a specialty in child abuse, just posted an article in the Times of Israel, Communities that Protect Abusers. He writes:
What happens when an actual neighborhood community has a terrible history of responding to accusations of abuse? A community that has never actually taken up the struggle to confront and isolate childhood sexual abusers from its midst? The answer is simple. Abusers tend to gather there as a last refuge. And in their way, they will go on to charm and groom the entire neighborhood and the community it represents. There they find new victims. They get involved in youth activities as teachers, sports coaches, camp counselors and go on to find vulnerable children to attack. When their victims finally come forward, when police are finally called in to investigate, these communities far too often rally around the predator. They dispute charges. They help hire attorneys to represent the abusers; attorneys known for their ability to intimidate protective services workers, and the families that support the victims in their quest for justice. They write articles for newspapers in support of the abusers bending facts to make the victims look like false accusers. 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 →