Boca Raton’s Jewish community is reeling after Richard Andron emerged as the latest alleged abuser in a widening sex abuse scandal tied to Yeshiva University.
Until now, only Rabbis George Finkelstein and Macy Gordon, both former staff members of Y.U.’s Manhattan high school for boys, have been named in a series of articles in the Forward.
Now, Andron, 67, a former youth volunteer who now lives in Florida, has been accused of abuse, along with Finkelstein and Gordon, in a lawsuit filed July 8 in U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y. by 19 former high school students.
The suit alleges that during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Andron, then in his thirties, was “allowed to roam the halls” of Y.U.’s high school dormitory, even though he had nothing to do with the school. The suit cites three men — a Y.U. college student and two Y.U. high school students — who say Andron invited them to stay over at his apartment where he attempted to touch or did touch their genitals.
The suit alleges that Y.U. staff either knew, or ought to have known, that Andron was a threat to children, but they allowed him access to boys anyway.
The Boca Raton Synagogue, where Andron has been a member for decades, sent an email to congregants July 9 telling them that the “the accused person had withdrawn his membership at BRS and agreed not to come to the BRS campus, or attend any BRS event in the future, whether on or off campus.
“Be advised that there have been no allegations we are aware of that any improper conduct occurred within the past thirty years, or in our community.”
Andron’s case cuts broadly across the Modern Orthodox community. According to several interviews conducted by the Forward, Andron was also heavily involved with the Modern Orthodox youth organization, the National Council of Synagogue Youth. The Forward has spoken to two men who are not involved with the Y.U. lawsuit, who say that they were abused by Andron after meeting him through NCSY, the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union.