Student Claims of Abuse Not Reported by Yeshiva U.

Lamm Says He Let Alleged High School Abuser Leave Quietly

Accused: Yeshiva University High School for Boys, where George Finkelstein (left inset) and Macy Gordon (right inset) are alleged to have had inappropriate sexual contact with students, is located in Manhattan. Both men deny the charges. These images were taken from the 1970 Elchanite Yearbook.
Courtesy of Yeshiva University
Accused: Yeshiva University High School for Boys, where George Finkelstein (left inset) and Macy Gordon (right inset) are alleged to have had inappropriate sexual contact with students, is located in Manhattan. Both men deny the charges. These images were taken from the 1970 Elchanite Yearbook.

By Paul Berger

Published December 13, 2012, issue of December 21, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 4 of 8)

Gordon said that he had heard “various forms of [the sodomy accusation] before” but had “no recollection of such a thing.”

Asked if he had ever behaved inappropriately with students, Gordon said: “It depends on how you define ‘inappropriate.’ I would occasionally embrace the students, specifically if he (sic) was depressed… I think any teacher would do that. No, there was no inappropriate conduct.”

Asked whether there was any contact that could be defined as sexual between him and students, Gordon replied, “I don’t think so.” Pressed on his response, he said, “To the best of my memory there was not.”

Gordon said that he stopped teaching at Y.U. High School in 1984 and was placed on a one-year leave of absence until 1985 so that his children, who were on scholarships, could maintain benefits as offspring of a faculty member. He said that he left Y.U. as well as his post as a pulpit rabbi in Teaneck, N.J., because of his divorce, not because of any allegations of abuse.

He added that his personal circumstances were known to Lamm, who “okayed everything.”

Lamm said that he had no recollection of the details concerning Gordon’s departure.

The Forward has spoken to three men who say Finkelstein invited them into an office at Y.U. High School or to his home, where he told them to hit him and wrestle with him. The men recalled the overpowering smell of Old Spice cologne as, pinned to the floor, they felt Finkelstein’s erect penis brush up against them. Finkelstein also tried to kiss some students and told them that he loved them.

“He was unfit to be an educator on any level,” said Simeon Weber, a former Y.U. High School student who lived in a dorm at the school’s Washington Heights campus during the late 1970s and who said he was forced to wrestle with Finkelstein.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.