Former Y.U. High School Students File $380M Suit Claiming Sex Abuse Cover-Up

Student Pleas for Help Ignored — 'They Just Wouldn't Listen'

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 July 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Nineteen former students of a Manhattan high school run by Yeshiva University have filed a $380 million lawsuit against Y.U. accusing administrators and teachers of covering up decades of physical and sexual abuse.

The lawsuit, filed July 8 in U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y., alleges a “massive cover-up of the sexual abuse of [high school] students…facilitated, for several decades, by various prominent Y.U. and [high school] administrators, trustees, directors, and other faculty members.”

The assaults are alleged to have taken place during the 1970s and 1980s, at a time when Y.U. faced severe financial problems.

In New York, criminal and civil cases of child sexual abuse must be brought before a victim’s 23rd birthday. However, Kevin Mulhearn, a lawyer representing the victims, argues in the suit that the statute of limitations does not apply because Y.U. fraudulently covered up the abuse.

“I am proud to represent these 19 men. They are entitled to the respect, dignity and justice which was denied to them when they were children,” Mulhearn said. “We are looking forward to prosecuting these claims.”

One of the plaintiffs, Barry Singer of New York, told the Forward: “It was necessary to file the suit because there was no proper response from Yeshiva University to any of our claims and to any of our pain.

“They just wouldn’t listen,” he added.

Singer said of his decision to reveal his name in the lawsuit: “I don’t have anything to hide. The only power in what has been for 40 years a horribly powerless situation is that I can stand up for myself.”

Y.U. said in a statement that it would not comment on ongoing litigation.


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!
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • 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.