Satmar Camp Rav Tov Forced Shut By Health Department Over Sewer Issues


A Satmar camp for nearly 1,000 girls is being forced to close early by the Ulster County Health Department. Camp Rav Tov located on Cherrytown Road in Kerhonkson will be closed at 5:00PM on Monday, the Daily Freeman is reporting.

The order was made by the Commissioner of the Ulster County Board of Health, Dr. Carol M. Smith.

“The issue is sewerage on the ground, and the camp is expected to be vacated by Monday,” said Dr. Smith. “It’s related to a failing septic system and there are reports that the sewerage leaks are reaching out to the road and leaking onto neighboring properties.”

Smith said she took the extraordinary step of shutting down the camp, which is one of four operated in Ulster County by Camp Rav Tov, of Brooklyn, because raw sewage from the camp’s failing septic system posed a health hazard to campers and the community.

“It’s a failing septic system and the untreated raw sewage is pouring over the surface of the ground, and reports from the town are that it is kind of trickled down into the roadway,” Smith said. She added the system, which has likely been in place for decades, is unable to accommodate the intense use of the camp.

Camp Rav Tov has been plagued by sewer concerns since last year when neighbors say problems with the camp’s leach field began.

At its worst, neighbors say the sewer smell in the summertime is unbearable.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says it has conducted joint monitoring of the camp with the Ulster County Health Department since last year. It said that a problem with Rav Tov’s private sewer system was found last year and is now ongoing due to “inadequate maintenance.”

(Charles Gross – YWN)


  1. You sound sooooo delighted….
    What’s sooooo exciting??
    Do you have the some picture?
    Or are you just reporting the goyishe neighbors antisemitism?

  2. This a common problem in many of these older camps and bungalow colonies in the Catskills which have never been connected to had a central city or town sewage system and are operating on sceptic systems designed for a 20-30 year life spa. The sceptic fields on the property simply cannot accept the sewage load being imposed by heavy use. How can it be anti=Semitic if the Health Department did not shut them down immediately erev Shabbos and allowed them until Monday to vacate the property. Obviously, the parents will want their kids out of their asap since their is likely a health risk from raw sewage on the grounds.

  3. “Untreated raw sewage pouring over the surface” is consistent with everything satmar.
    Perhaps some satmar hashkafos were spoken in public.

  4. I thought those old septic systems weren’t allowed any more. I remember over 50 years ago when I was a kid there were leaks in the septic system and the kids would get all exited about the sewage coming out of the pipes which we would see bubbling up in the grass. It’s about time they upgrade their sewage disposal. It’s not healthy at all.

  5. This has nothing to do with Satmar….even some misnagdim prefer that their kids attend summer camps without raw sewage leaching from the grounds. I have it on good authority that the masorah of Reb Yolish, Z’TL, did not contemplate letting children play in contaminated conditions.

  6. Is it also a satmar hashkofo to step on and knock down tomb stones while trying to get a better view of the Rebbe? Or is that from anti-Semitism from within the satmar camp? No pun intended.

  7. Takes 2 & amiti : can I know why you hate Jews so much??? wake up its elul!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Btw I’m wondering if satmar girls wear tzitzis??!!

  8. Such respect for the torah obligation of ve’nishmatem le’nafshosaichem and the laws of the land.

    those who cry anti-semitism are mi’chutz le’machane.

    have the rebbelech drink some of the sewage to prove that it is a false charge.

  9. I cannot believe the anti-Semitic comments on YWN. Isn’t this a religious webcite?
    Where is the ahavas Yisrael? We just had a Tisha B’av, and now we are in Elul.
    Let’s wake up and stop the hatred. YWN, why do you print these slanderous statements?

  10. Why didn’t they hire a licensed septic contractor a year ago when they were first notified? Not only is the a brazen disregard for their neighbors in the community but a health hazard. As someone who has lived rurally with both a septic system and a well, I can understand the health concerns. I do hope they were ordered to test their well water too. Chances are it’s been contaminated from failed septic system.

  11. Putin
    August 12, 2018 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm
    Takes 2 & amiti : can I know why you hate Jews so much??? wake up its elul!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Its ellul . Get your head out of the sand and realize tjat this story is a tremendous chillul hashem b’farhesya!
    Stop pushing things like this under the carpet

  12. Amil Zola
    If some of the kids get sick from the contamination, they will also blame it on anti-Semitism and claim the neighbors poisoned the ground water . However, I think this area has “city water” meaning its a centralized water network with piped water rather than well water.

  13. There is a much larger problem of aging facilities across ALL the chassidus who have camps and bungalow colonies in upstate New York which have B’H seen incredible growth in the past two decades but their facilities and infrastructure have not been able to keep up with the growth. Sadly, among the priorities and competition for scarce funds, installation of water and sewage systems in the Catskills and upgrading electric wiring etc. on aging wood buildings that are mamash real fire traps, are lower down the list compared with building and maintaining local schools, etc. The original facilities built in the ,1950s and 60s were built for use 2 or 3 months a year for a limited population and most are not up to modern standards. These failures will increase over time and will require tens of millions of dollars for upgrades.

  14. Two comments:

    1. It’s totally unacceptable that the camp administration should allow this to happen. The health of the campers as well as the neighbors is at stake. If they don’t understand sewage systems, they should hire someone who does and spend the money to get it fixed.

    2. The amount of sinas chinam being shown in the comments is also totally unacceptable. I don’t approve of a lot of Satmar positions, and I think that the actions of some Satmarer are not giving the frum velt a good picture in the eyes of others, but the type of language being used here isn’t fit to come out of a yiddishe moyl. Would people say these same things in person to a Satmarer chasid, or even to the kiddush club at their non-Satmar shul?

    As noted above, let’s all remember that it’s Elul, and was recently Tisha B’Av, and use our language accordingly.

  15. Many of these comments are strange. The story reports a determination by the Ulster County Health Department. The Department may be right, may be wrong, but if they are right, there is a serious public health problem and the owners of the property should deal with it promptly and properly.

    And we are commanded not to daven in the presence of filth. So if the Ulster Health Department is correct, the camp ground should be off limits to frum Jews for religious reasons alone.

  16. GAON
    August 13, 2018 12:16 am at 12:16 am
    What in the world does a solar system have with the sewer ? Am i missing something ? Or is it the ignorance of these two neighbors?
    Perhaps it you who is the ignorant one.
    Mounting and anchoring a solar field on a septic leech field is a big no-no , especially an aging septic field.

  17. I don’t know what the situation is there, but as usual the media mixes up stuff, most of the clip is in the boys camp and not in the girls camp where the story is

  18. The are a number of successful solar panel installations at sites formerly used as sanitary landfills, not sceptic fields. With proper liners and remediation, I don’t see why one could not install solar panels at this site or just about any other site but why would that be relevant to this story??