Yeshiva U. Faces Growing Fiscal Crisis Amid Downgrades and Abuse Suit

Richard Joel Admits Problems as Rumors of Cuts Swirl

Storm Gathers: Yeshiva President Richard Joel has warned the flagship Modern Orthodox institution faces dark fiscal days ahead.
yeshiva u.
Storm Gathers: Yeshiva President Richard Joel has warned the flagship Modern Orthodox institution faces dark fiscal days ahead.

By Paul Berger

Published November 22, 2013, issue of November 29, 2013.
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Anxiety is building at Modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institution, Yeshiva University, as rumors swirl of looming cuts to address a financial crisis.

Y.U.’s official student newspaper, the Commentator, reported November 20 that the school’s president, Richard Joel, “may announce mandatory furloughs to Y.U. employees” pending an emergency meeting of the University’s board of directors.

School officials have declined to confirm or deny the report.

The Commentator story followed hard on the heels of a memo Joel sent out to faculty and staff a day earlier, warning of dire financial challenges ahead. The email was first reported by the JTA.

Several sources close to Y.U. have told the Forward that the school’s board will hold its emergency meeting early next week.

Y.U. board members did not respond to calls or emails for comment on November 19 and 20. Michael Scagnoli, a Y.U. spokesman, declined to comment on whether the meeting is taking place.

“We are talking about internal things at the university,” Scagnoli said on November 20. “So currently I am not going on the record to confirm anything like that that’s happening.”

Scagnoli said that he would have to look into whether he could provide a copy of Joel’s email to the Forward because it was private.

According to a copy of the email that the Forward obtained independently, Joel told staff: “We intended to achieve a balanced budget by this year so that we could then begin to reverse the trend of cutbacks. Despite our best efforts, we have not yet succeeded.”


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