|Case of David Kramer
Awareness Center (United States)
October 17, 2008
According to various sources, allegations of child molestation were first made back in the early 1990s at the Yeshivah Beth Rivkah Colleges (Melbourne, Australia). It is believed that there were over 30 children who were sexually victimized.
At first the school did nothing after being warned by a psychiatrist that David Kramer would harm himself. After a few days the parents warned the school that they would go to the police. It was at that point that the school allegedly shipped him off to Emanuel, Israel. It is believed that David Kramer has left a string of victims in New York, Australia, Israel and any where else that he might have traveled.
If you or anyone you know were molested by David Kramer please e-mail: The Awareness Center or call: 443-857-5560.
1991-92 (Melbourne, Australia) -- Former Yeshivah College principal Rabbi Avrohom Glick confirmed this week, that for a short time in the early 1990s, Kramer had taught Jewish studies to boys in years 5 to 8. It is understood Kramer was asked to leave the school, and the country, immediately following an alleged incident, which was not formally investigated.
1992 - ? (Emanuel, Israel)
2008 (St. Louis, MO) - Pled guilty to 2 counts of sexual molestation of a minor and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.
Table of Contents:
1. Temple Youth Leader Arrested (August 4, 2007)
2. Youth Volunteer Admits To Police He Exposed Himself To Child (August 5, 2007)
3. U. City Man Nabbed in Child-Sex Case (August 6, 2007)
4. Child Advocate of The Week: Rabbi Ze'ev Smason - Doing The Right Thing! (August 7, 2007)
5. "Our Precious Children" - The Jewish Community of St. Louis is A Role Model (August 30, 2007)
1. Update: Case of David Kramer (University City, MO) (March 13, 2008)
2. A Cry For Help - Update on the Case of David Kramer (July 14, 2008)
3. Former Melbourne Jewish school teacher jailed in the United States (October 16, 2008)
* Related Information:
1. The Awareness Center's Brochure
2. Jewish Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
3. Spiritual Abuse
4.When A Family Member Molests: Reality, Conflict, and The Need For Support
5. Recidivism of Sex Offenders (U.S. Department of Justice: Center for Sex Offender Management)
6. National Sex Offender Registry
7.Rabbis, Cantors and Other Trusted Officials
8.Offenders: Problems Our Parents Wouldn't Speak Of
9.Policies Addressing Victimization and Offenders
Temple Youth Leader Arrested
Fox News (St. Louis) - August 4, 2007
Watch the Video
UNIVERSITY CITY, MO (KTVI-myFOXstl.com) -- A St. Louis man conducting a youth program at an orthodox synagogue in Olivette has been charged with sexual misconduct with a child.
University City Police say the man exposed himself to a little boy. David Kramer led a youth forum at the Nusach Hari B'Nai Zion Synagogue back in April and was scheduled to have another one in June and one later in August. But he was taken into police custody instead.
University City Police arrested David Kramer, 46, Friday night. According to the warrant, Kramer is charged with one count of sexual misconduct involving a child. The incident allegedly happened between January and March at an apartment complex off Olive Blvd.
"He seems to be a humble man," says Jovana Hutson, who lives in that building. Hutson says Kramer seemed like a religious man, who she often saw walking to his synagogue.
"I'm shocked just on the strength he stays across the hall, so close," says Hutson. "I mean he doesn't look like a monster or someone who could do that, but you never know these days, you never know and it's just like wow. I'm shocked. I'm really and truly shocked."
According to the Nusach Hari B'Nai Zion Website, Kramer lead a youth forum back in April entitled "Hot Topics For Jewish Teens."
The program was geared towards 12-16 year olds. Kramer's alleged victim was reportedly a 12-year-old boy. It's unsettling news for Hutson who has a little boy of her own.
"I don't have any tolerance for it and I think it's pretty disgusting, I do. I mean it just blows me away I'm shocked and I will be informing the other parents around here."
Rabbi Ze'ev Smason said he was aware of Kramer's arrest but declined an on camera interview due to the Jewish Sabbath. However, the rabbi says Kramer was never an employee and was asked to leave the synagogue roughly five weeks ago
He wouldn't elaborate on why Kramer was asked to leave. He just said there was reason for concern.
U. City Man Nabbed in Child-Sex Case
By Harry Levins
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - August 6, 2007
University City — A man who once volunteered for a youth program at a synagogue in University City has been charged with sexual misconduct with a child.
Arrested Friday was David Kramer, 46, of the 1100 block of Briscoe Place in University City.
University City Police Capt. Michael Ransom said today that Kramer had been transferred to the St. Louis County Jail late Friday.
The Missouri Division of Family Services alerted police late last month to a hot-line tip. The tip alleged that sometime last winter, Kramer had committed the misconduct in his apartment with a boy under age 14, Ransom said.
Kramer's apartment sits close by Nusach Hari B'Nai Zion Synagogue on Olive Boulevard. There, Kramer once volunteered for a single program that works with youths ages 12 to 16, said Rabbi Ze'ev Smason. Kramer was neither an employee nor a member of the synagogue, Smason said.
Child Advocate of The Week: Rabbi Ze'ev Smason - Doing The Right Thing!
The Awareness Center - August 7, 2007
Long time friend of The Awareness Center - Rabbi Ze'ev Smason deserves an award for doing the right thing when he learned of an alleged sex offender in his synagogue. As soon as he learned of the allegations made against youth leader, David Kramer -- Rabbi Smason worked with the legal system and did what he could to protect his congregation from any more harm.
For those of you know who know Rabbi Smason, next time you see him stand up and give him a round of applause! He definately deserves it.
Youth Volunteer Admits To Police He Exposed Himself To Child
Fox News (St. Louis) - August 5, 2008
University City, MO -- A youth volunteer with ties to a local orthodox synagogue is charged in a sex crime. David Kramer's arrest warrant says he admitted to police he exposed himself to a child at a University City apartment complex. The synagogue's rabbi is speaking out for the first time.
"Our Precious Children"
The Jewish Community of St. Louis is A Role Model
Sometimes a good thing can come out of a horrendous criminal act. The hope of The Awareness Center is that by reading about "Our Precious Children," other communities will also be inspired create a program like this.
Recently the case of David Kramer broke in the St. Louis Jewish community. He was originally arrested and charged with exposing himself to a little boy in his apartment. At the time Kramer was a volunteer youth leader at Nusach Hari B'Nai Zion Synagogue (St. Louis, MO). Since then another arrest warrant was issued for David Kramer, this time the charges include sodomy.
As in many communities there was a large group who rallied behind the alleged offender, raising money to pay his bond and to help his family. And like in most communities there was very little support for the child survivor or the family. That is until a small group of people got together and started brainstorming. They were outraged and what they saw was happening and wanted to make a difference in the life of the survivor of Kramer and other Jewish children who were in similar situations. The answer was creating "Our Precious Children," a new organization and fund to help local children in the Jewish community.
"Our Precious Children" is sort of like the "Make A Wish Foundation" for sexually abuse children. Their primary goal is to help meet some of the financial needs Jewish sexually abused children and their family members. This includes helping to cover the costs of rape counseling or small things such as purchasing an IPOD for the child.
To learn more about them go to: http://ourpreciouschildren.com
FYI: Rabbi Ze'ev Smason is an orthodox rabbi who understands the issues of survivors of sexual violence (child sexual abuse/assault). If you are a survivor living in the St. Louis area and would like to talk to a rabbi, he's a great choice.
Rabbi Smason can be reached at: 314-991-2100 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Case of David Kramer (University City, MO)
The Awareness Center - March
The case of David Kramer was continued until April 7, 2008. There should be some indication as to whether a plea or request for trial will be sought at that time.
At one time Kramer volunteered for a youth program at a synagogue in University City. He was charged with sexual misconduct with a child.
A Cry For Help - Update on the Case of David Kramer
The Awareness Center - July 14, 2008
(St. Louis) June 26, 2008 -- David Kramer pled guilty to 2 counts of sexual molestation of a minor and was sentenced to 7 years in prison.
Below is a portion of the remarks made by the victim's father as part of the Impact Statement that was stated before the judge. The father felt that these remarks were worthy for the broader Jewish community to hear.
...this sentence sends an important and much needed message to the Jewish community, and society at large: namely; there shall be zero tolerance of sexual abuse and molestation of children. We the parents, leaders and clergy have to stand up for our children, and put our children first. Certain rabbis can't continue to shield predators. Parents have to report predators who assault their children. People in the Orthodox community must know: molestation is wrong and evil. Instead of the focus being on raising money for high priced attorneys to defend the predators --- let's support our children and put them first.
As a reaction to the case of David Kramer, Rabbi Ze'ev Smason was involved in the creation o of 'Our Precious Children' -- a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Jewish survivors of child sexual abuse in the St. Louis area.
Rabbi Smason shared:
I was stunned both by the community resources and money that were gathered and collected for David Kramer and his defense fund AND the deafening silence when it came to verbal and monetary support for the child survivor, his family, and Our Precious Children. The family told me that every morsel of support that they did receive, though, was greatly appreciated. Now that the sentence has been handed down, we're all hopeful that there's a degree of closure and the child survivor and family can move on.
There are other cases of sexual abuse and sex offenders here in our community. The obstinance of parents and clergy is stunning. For example, I warned one family who often hosts a certain "alleged" sex offender who was kicked out of his home by his wife. The husband of this host family said, 'we'll continue to keep having him over as a guest. I watch him carefully, and he doesn't show any interest in my children.' In another case, a family I know whose daughter was molested didn't report the abuse because "our rabbi told us not to report it."
The needs of the survivor and family require support both for rape crisis counseling, as well as encouragement from the community to let the survivors know that they are not alone.
The Awareness Center often hears similar stories shared by Rabbi Smason in Jewish communities throughout the world.
Both The Awareness Center and Our Precious Children need your help so that we can continue to do the work we do.
If you would like to show your financial support to either or both organizations go to:
The Awareness Center, Inc.
Our Precious Children (St. Louis, MO)
Former Melbourne Jewish school teacher jailed in the United States
By NAOMI LEVIN
Australian Jewish News - October 16, 2008
A FORMER Yeshivah College teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation and was sentenced to a seven-year prison term in the United States, The AJN learnt this week.
David Kramer was jailed in St Louis, Missouri, in July, after a local psychologist and the community's rabbi raised concerns about his conduct.
Former Yeshivah College principal Rabbi Avrohom Glick confirmed this week, that for a short time in the early 1990s, Kramer had taught Jewish studies to boys in years 5 to 8. It is understood Kramer was asked to leave the school, and the country, immediately following an alleged incident, which was not formally investigated.
Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Colleges general manager Nechama Bendet told The AJN this week that the school has since implemented rigorous protocols to prevent inappropriate behaviour.
"Any allegations of misconduct would be taken very seriously by the school and immediately reported to the appropriate authorities," she said.
She added that the school was fully compliant with the Working with Children Check requirements – a government policy that helps protect children from physical and sexual abuse – as well as the mandatory reporting legislation.
There are also policies in place on appropriate communication between teachers and students within and outside of school hours, and classroom doors have been fitted with windows. In addition, students have been taught to understand their rights to be safe and to develop strategies to avoid inappropriate behaviour.
"The Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Colleges will act without hesitation to ensure the maintenance of a child-safe environment at all times," Bendet said.
Rabbinical Council of Victoria president Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant also emphasised that schools are better equipped now to deal with complaints about teachers.
"Schools are more vigilant and teachers know what to look for," Rabbi Kluwgant said.
Kramer was working as a volunteer youth leader at the Nusach Hari B'nai Zion Synagogue in St Louis, when Rabbi Ze'ev Smason – who was leading the congregation – developed concerns after discussions with members of the synagogue.
"I met with him to tell him that he would be restricted from any further contact with youngsters within our congregation," Rabbi Smason told The AJN from the United States. "I also contacted the local government abuse hotline to register my concern.
"When my concerns ... intensified, I told him that he would no longer be welcome to attend our synagogue, nor would he be welcome to participate in any of our programs."
Rabbi Smason described Kramer as likeable and personable and said that this made it somewhat difficult to confront him.
"However, it was a no-brainer that I had an obligation to speak with him immediately upon hearing concerns expressed by families in my congregation," he said.
Rabbi Smason added that all rabbis have a legal, moral and religious obligation to protect children at risk.
"To do anything less is a dereliction of the duty we as rabbis have been entrusted with. Our children's safety comes before any other consideration."
The United States-based Awareness Centre, also known as the International Jewish Coalition against Sexual Abuse/Assault, reported details of an impact statement presented in court by the victim's father during Kramer's trial.
"This sentence sends an important and much needed message to the Jewish community and society at large, namely, there shall be zero tolerance of sexual abuse and molestation of children," the statement excerpt reads. "We, the parents, leaders and clergy, have to stand up for our children and put our children first."
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