Y.U. Report on Sex Abuse Draws Mixed Reaction From Modern Orthodox

Some Say Administration Keeping Lid on Crucial Findings

Regret and Shame: Yeshiva U. President Richard Joel expressed regret and shame over the findings of the report, even though it states that conditions improved under his leadership.
yeshiva university
Regret and Shame: Yeshiva U. President Richard Joel expressed regret and shame over the findings of the report, even though it states that conditions improved under his leadership.

By Paul Berger

Published August 28, 2013, issue of September 06, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

The Modern Orthodox community has broadly welcomed a long-awaited report into allegations that Yeshiva University staff physically and sexually abused numerous students over several decades. But the report, which withheld most of the findings uncovered by investigators, was not enough to mollify some current and former Y.U. students and victims of abuse.

“More will need to be said” in the future, said Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, honorary president of the Rabbinical Council of America, the main clergy association for Modern Orthodox rabbis. But Goldin hailed the report, released August 26, as a “critical milestone” in Y.U.’s handling of the abuse allegations.

Y.U. cited a pending lawsuit as its reason for not releasing the specific findings by the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, which conducted the investigation. The 21-page report instead offered a three-paragraph summary of the investigation, stating that “multiple incidents of varying types of sexual and physical abuse took place” from the mid-1970s through the 1990s at Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan, “in certain instances, after members of the administration had been made aware of such conduct.”

New Semester, Old Scandal from Jewish Daily Forward on Vimeo.

The report added that until 2001, “there were multiple instances in which the University either failed to appropriately act to protect the safety of its students or did not respond to the allegations at all.” In addition, the report stated that investigators found “that, during the relevant time period, sexual and physical abuse took place at other schools comprising the University as well.”

For now, Goldin said, Y.U.’s statement had to be “viewed against the backdrop of the litigation” and people have to “recognize there’s not going to be a detailed clarity because of legal concerns.” Despite this constraint, Goldin said, the report was “very sobering in its limited findings.”

“The report clearly admits wrongdoing on the part of the university,” Goldin said.

In contrast, Y.U.’s student newspaper, The Commentator, stated that the decision by a so-called Special Committee of the school’s board of trustees to withhold the law firm’s findings was “casting doubt on the true independence of the investigation.”


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!
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • 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."
  • 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.