TRAGEDY IN THE CATSKILLS: Shimon Weiss z”l Passes Away After Falling into Pool

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It is with great sadness that reports the tragic passing of four-year-old Shimon Weiss z”l, son of Rabbi and Mrs. Aviezer and Leah Malka Esther Weisz of Boro Park, Brooklyn.

As reported yesterday, Shimon fell into a pool at KFC Bungalow Colony in Swan Lake, NY, Sunday evening.

Paramedics from Catskills Hatzolah, who responded to a call at 6:40 p.m., performed emergency resuscitation on Shimon, who was taken to Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris, NY. The paramedics stabilized him and then had him airlifted to Westchester Medical Center University Hospital in Valhalla, NY.

Unfortunately, Shimon passed away this morning at the hospital, with his parents and family mourning this awful tragedy.

The levayah will take place today in Boro Park. Details will be provided once they are finalized.

Boruch Dayan Ha’emes.

Update, 12:45 p.m.: The levayah will take place today, at 2:30 p.m. at the Chernobyl Bais Medrash, located at 4023 12th Avenue in Boro Park, Brooklyn.

{ Catskills News Desk}


  1. Terrible tragedy. Is there something we can do to prevent this from happening in the future? What more can we possibly do? This seems to happen every summer r”l.

    • Boruch Dayan HaEmes!

      Of course, Rabbi and Mrs. Weisz, being fully responsible people, did everything they possibly could to keep their son, Zichrono Livracha, 100% safe and completely out of dangerous situations. At the same time though, we can never be “too much safe,” so especially now that such a tragic tragedy did just occur, it is crucially worthwhile for us to re-express basic safety rules and restrengthen our implementation of them.

      ALL pools of water — whether for swimming or as part of a fountain or as a decorative part of a garden — must always be completely enclosed by a fence or some other kind of locked barrier that will prevent a child from wandering up to it and, Chas V’Shalom, slipping in. With pools for swimming, the locked enclosure can be opened (for swimming use) ONLY when a properly qualified lifeguard is present. For children to use the pool, IN ADDITION to the general lifeguard, they must be accompanied by a competent adult who is caring for them (like a parent or a grandparent or an adult sibling or other adult relative or qualified swimming instructor or camp counselor, etc.)

      When children use the pool, they can use ONLY the shallow area that is geared for them (and any venturing into “deeper waters” can be done only with a qualified swimming instructor). What would be really ideal would be what was at a certain resort that my family went to when I was a child: yes, THEY ACTUALLY HAD A SEPARATE POOL FOR CHILDREN!!

      Furthermore, when I was very young, for swimming, my parents would have me put around myself a round-ring-doughnut-shaped balloon like tube; a bit later, they instead would strap to my back a large Styrofoam oval-shaped ball they called “the egg.” When I would thus swim in the water, each of these devices would hold me up along the water surface and not let me duck below. (I well remember swimming in the children’s pool at the above mentioned resort with the egg on my back, AND, that I was quite annoyed that it was holding me up and not letting me go down into the water. Obviously though, the use of this “extra” safety device was one of the means by which, Boruch HaShem, several decades later, I am alive to write about it!)

      B’Ezras HaShem, our own re-strengthening of proper safety safeguards, especially with swimming & swimming pools, will certainly be a tremendous Z’cus for the Niftar, Zichrono Livracha, and all other such accident casualties.


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