The parents of a third boy have come forward to file a lawsuit against Rabbi Steven Krawatsky, Camp Shoresh in Frederick and its executive director Rabbi David Finkelstein. Filed April 4 in the Montgomery County Circuit Court, the suit alleges physical, sexual and emotional abuse by Krawatsky while the boy was attending Camp Shoresh in 2014 and 2015.
Shoresh, Inc., and Finkelstein are also named in the suit as being negligent in protecting the boy from the alleged abuse.
In the new suit, the parents of the then six-year-old boy allege Krawatsky “groomed” the boy leading up to abuse that included allegedly offering the boy money in exchange for sexual acts and “offensively and inappropriately” touching the boy, among other alleged abuse. Counts listed in the suit against Krawatsky allege battery, false imprisonment and assault.
According to the lawyer for the parents, Jonathan Little, the new suit “will very likely be tried together” with a previous suit brought in February 2019 by the parents of two other boys Krawatsky allegedly abused while attending Camp Shoresh in 2014 and 2015, and a victim-advocate blogger who broke the story of the alleged abuse in 2017.
That countersuit followed a multimillion-dollar January 2018 defamation suit filed by Krawatsky and his wife against the parents and the blogger that included 57 counts against the five for defamation, invasion of privacy and inflicting emotional distress, among other counts.
Following the blogger’s 2017 post, New York Jewish Week published an investigative story in January 2018 about Krawatsky and the alleged abuse. Krawatsky was subsequently fired from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, where he was a middle school Judaic studies teacher and then resigned from leading a teen minyan at Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim.
Christopher Rolle, lawyer for the Krawatskys, said of the new law suit, “My client is innocent and he looks forward to proving it in court.”
John Davidson, chairman of the board of directors of Shoresh, Inc., said in a statement that although it is not the organization’s policy to discuss specific details of ongoing litigation, “we are confident in the judicial process, and will vigorously contest the false allegations in this complaint. Camper safety has always been and remains fundamental to Shoresh.”
The suit does not request a specific amount for compensatory and punitive damages, but says “the damages shall be determined by a jury trial,” and that the plaintiff seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages.