Yeshiva Rabbi Bluntly Warns Sex Abuse Reports Put Innocent Jews in Prison

Schachter Claims Student Rumors Lead to Jail With 'Shvartze'

Tall Tales: Rabbi Hershel Schachter was recorded at a London conference railing against the dangers of reporting child abuse claims directly to police. He used a derogatory word to claim that false claims could lead to Jews being jailed with black inmates.
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Tall Tales: Rabbi Hershel Schachter was recorded at a London conference railing against the dangers of reporting child abuse claims directly to police. He used a derogatory word to claim that false claims could lead to Jews being jailed with black inmates.

By Paul Berger

Published March 14, 2013.
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He appeared to be referring to Simeon Weber, a former Y.U. high school student who, in previous interviews, told the Forward that he informed Schachter he had been abused by a Y.U. administrator, Rabbi George Finkelstein.

However, there were discrepancies between Schachter’s and Weber’s recollections. Weber said he told Schachter about Finkelstein after he left Y.U.’s high school, when he was a Yeshiva College student, during the early 1980s. He also had no memory of being asked to see a school psychologist.

When asked to comment on Schachter’s remarks, Weber stuck to a carefully worded statement.

“I had the privilege of learning torah with Harav Hershel Schachter for four years,” Weber said. “Though I was far from his best student, I treated him with reverence [and] with the respect due to a true Gadol B’Yisroel [giant of torah].”

Weber added: “Though I am deeply hurt by my rebbe’s comments, my underlying feelings of respect and fond memories of our deep relationship require me to say no more than that the issue itself has to be addressed by those greater than me.”

Yeshiva University has been embroiled in a mounting scandal following a series of reports in the Forward since December about abuse allegations against two former staff members at Yeshiva University’s high school for boys in Manhattan.

Several former students have told the Forward that they were sodomized by Rabbi Macy Gordon, a Talmud teacher employed at the school until the mid 1980s. More than a dozen students have complained of inappropriate behavior by Finkelstein who rose to school principal before he resigned in 1995.

Finkelstein was notorious for forcing students to wrestle with him in a school office and at his home. Several students told the Forward they could feel his erect penis grinding up against them during the wrestling sessions.


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