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

(page 3 of 3)

The suit also alleges that Richard Andron, a former Y.U. student now believed to be living in Boca Raton, Fla., was allowed to visit the high school dormitory even though staff knew he was a threat to children. Two former high school students say Andron abused them after befriending them in the dormitory.

The abuse took a terrible toll on students, according to the lawsuit. Many have suffered from depression, anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual addiction, emotional distress, broken marriages, and problems holding down a job. Some have spent years in counseling and on medication.

Several former students contemplated or attempted suicide shortly after they were abused or after attempts to alert Y.U. were ignored. One victim said the abuse made him fear having children of his own, the lawsuit contends.

Many former Y.U. administrators and staff are named in the suit, including Rabbi Lamm, who was president of Y.U. from 1976 to 2003. Lamm retired as Y.U. chancellor on July 1. In a letter announcing his retirement, Lamm acknowledged making mistakes in his handling of abuse allegations when he led Y.U.

Rabbi Robert Hirt, a former vice president of Y.U.’s theological seminary, which has oversight of operations at Y.U.’s high school, is also named. The suit also targets as yet unidentified board members of Y.U. and of Y.U.’s high school during the period the suit covers.

Mordechai Twersky, of Israel, and Singer are the only victims named in the lawsuit. Others are listed anonymously. Twersky, who first brought the allegations of abuse at Y.U. to light, declined to comment on the suit. “I would like to let the complaint speak for itself,” Twersky said.

Although overcoming New York’s statute of limitations is difficult, Mulhearn has been successful once before. He used a similar legal strategy to win an undisclosed settlement on behalf of 12 men who were sexually abused decades ago by Phil Foglietta, a football coach at the elite Poly Prep Country Day School, in Brooklyn.

Finkelstein and Gordon continued to work in Israel until the Forward’s stories were published. Reached by the Forward in December, both men denied any wrongdoing.

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter @pdberger

Lawsuit filed by former Yeshiva University High School Students against Y.U.


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!
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “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.