Yeshiva U. Accusers Claim Victory Despite Judge's Decision to Toss $680M Abuse Suit

7 Ex-Students Stand By Decision To Air Decades-Old Claims


By Paul Berger

Published February 04, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Former students who say they were physically and sexually abused at Yeshiva University High School for Boys say they are disappointed but not surprised that a judge dismissed their $680 million lawsuit against Yeshiva University.

Seven ex-students told the Forward that despite the legal setback they achieved a tangible victory by witnessing their decades-old allegations aired — and acknowledged — in public.

Barry Singer, one of the 34 former students who sued Y.U. and one of two named in the suit, said: “To me, the victory is getting it out in the open.”

Click to see the rest of the section, Click for more stories about abuse at Y.U.

“The fact [is] that we could sit in the courtroom and have an advocate… stand up and accuse Yeshiva University of things I never dreamed we would get to accuse them of in public,” Singer said.

Another plaintiff, who is an anonymous litigant in the lawsuit, said: “If I in any way helped one kid not get abused or one sicko person realize he’s in trouble if he does it, then it was worth all my emotional efforts.

“Am I disappointed? Yes. Did I expect it? Yes.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in July, 2013, accused Yeshiva University of covering up abuses by Rabbi George Finkelstein, a high school administrator, Rabbi Macy Gordon, a Talmud teacher, and Richard Andron, a visitor to Y.U. high school’s dormitory.

All of the incidents were alleged to have taken place during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

United States District Judge John G. Koeltl, dismissed the lawsuit last month citing federal and state statutes of limitations. In a written decision, published January 30, Koeltl noted that “the statutes of limitations have expired decades ago, and no exceptions apply.”

Kevin Mulhearn, an attorney for the former students, has vowed to appeal.

Although most of the former students the Forward contacted seemed to take the decision in their stride, one former student was less sanguine.

“It was a travesty of justice,” said the man, who is an anonymous litigant in the lawsuit. “You will notice that not for a second did the judge or Yeshiva University deny any of the allegations or that any of these horrible incident ever occurred.”

“Law is law,” the former student added. “But the statute of limitations can’t possibly begin to apply to a 15 year old minor who has been molested and threatened not to talk. That minor lives his whole life with an incredible amount of doubt and uncertainty about whether he is crazy or not.”

He added: “It hurts so bad… But if I’ve survived the last 30 years, I’ll survive another 30 years if I have to see the enablers brought to justice.”

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


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!
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • 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.