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

(page 4 of 5)

Sullivan & Cromwell hired Lisa Friel, a former head of the Manhattan District Attorney’s sex crimes unit, to assist with the investigation. Friel heads up a sexual misconduct consulting and investigations division of T & M Protection Resources.

The investigative team conducted more than 145 interviews and sifted through tens of thousands of paper documents, including items from university archives, personnel and payroll files.

The report stated that the team reviewed 70,000 emails “that hit on a broadly-defined set of targeted search terms” dating back to 2003. But it said that the period in which Y.U. failed to deal adequately with abuse ended in 2001. The report noted that 70 people either did not respond or declined to be interviewed by investigators. It said that the attorneys who represent former students suing Y.U. did not make their clients available for interview.

At least one of those students, Barry Singer, told the Forward that he was interviewed by investigators in February. Kevin Mulhearn, who represents the majority of the alleged victims, said that he provided investigators with a fact sheet, detailing the assaults against each of his clients and the reports of the assaults that they made to Y.U.

Y.U.’s president, Richard Joel, issued a statement August 26 expressing his “deepest and most heartfelt remorse” for the findings of the Sullivan & Cromwell report which, he said, “serve as a source of profound shame and sadness for our institution.”

Joel said that Y.U.’s board and community “truly hope that our recognition of these issues provides some level of comfort and closure to the victims.” Joel, who took over the Y.U. presidency in 2003, no doubt breathed a sigh of relief when the report was published.

The report absolves the current administration of any blame.

“The University’s response to allegations of physical and sexual abuse that occurred at the University since 2001… significantly improved,” the report found. “Indeed, with respect to all such allegations, the Investigative Team found that the University acted decisively to address the allegations and to ensure the safety of the University’s students.”


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!
  • 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?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • 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.