Reason behind swim coach’s firing surfaces


photo courtesy of Dimensions Yearbook

New details surrounding the firing of former JCC and CESJDS swimming coach, Mike Karel, have emerged.

Details have emerged in the expulsion of former CESJDS swimming coach, Mike Karel, from the Bender JCC and his subsequent firing from the school. According to an email sent Tuesday, Nov. 19 by Karel to the team after being banned from the JCC and a later email he sent to The Lion’s Tale, two allegations of misconduct were made against him.

In the email to JDS swimmers and their parents, Karel said, “I have been accused, tried and convicted, without any input from me, of grabbing a female employee (of the JCC) by the arm and not letting go.”

Also, Karel noted a second instance was from a few years ago, which he described as a verbal argument he allegedly had with a JCC employee.

When asked for a comment, the JCC said it “made a business decision to terminate [Karel’s] employment which [the JCC] believed was in its best interest.” The JCC added that “since [Karel’s termination] is a personnel matter it is confidential.”

JDS administrators, including Head of School Rabbi Mitchell Malkus and Athletic Director Becky Silberman, had no comments or information to share other than what was in the initial email sent by Silberman to swimmers and their parents announcing Karel’s firing.

In an email to The Lion’s Tale, Karel stated that he has “no recollection” of the first incident of grabbing a female employee’s arm, and criticized the process in which the JCC fired him, which according to him, gave him “no opportunity to refute the allegation” made against him.

Karel said he was “fired” by a human resources officer at the JCC over the phone, prompting him to email Silberman on Friday, Nov. 15, in which he described his suspension and the allegations made against him in detail.

This story is developing and may be updated.