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Jewish Boy dies after falling from tree in camp

Times Herald-Record

A 13-year-old Brooklyn boy tumbled 50 feet to his death at a Highland summer camp after the tree limb he had climbed broke, state police said yesterday.

Shalom Rabinowitz was climbing a pine tree behind his bunkhouse with a friend about 4 p.m. Monday when the branch he was on broke. Rabinowitz dropped 50 feet, striking several branches as he fell, police said.
Site of the camp.

The boys were not climbing the tree as part of any organized camp event at Camp Karlin Stolin. The second boy, who was not identified, was not injured and was able to climb down the tree and call for help, according to police.

“It was an inviting tree. It had branches right down to the ground. You could see it from the bunkhouse, and there was a path leading right up to it,” State police Investigator Chris Baker said.

Camp EMTs treated Rabinowitz until an ambulance arrived, which took the boy to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie. Hospital staff pronounced Rabinowitz dead as a result of internal injuries.

The camp, which is about 4 miles from Route 299 on North Chodikee Lake Road, has several age divisions, and provides summer housing for up to 350 adults and children from the Karlin Stolin Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. Police said it’s a quiet camp, and there have been no other accidents there this summer.

Two men who work in the children’s division said the entire high school segment and its staff traveled to Brooklyn yesterday for the boy’s funeral.

“Obviously this is an ongoing investigation,” Ulster County Health Department Director Dean Palen said. “Our staff met this morning to review the case. Because of the funeral, there were several people not present we still need to speak to.”

Palen said he was aware of no health or safety violations at the camp

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