Yeshiva U. Sheds Burden of Albert Einstein Medical School — But at What Cost?

'Crown Jewel' of Modern Orthodox Flagship Is Gone

Model Med School: Albert Einstein checks out scale model of Yeshiva University’s medical school in the Bronx. He is flanked by Yeshiva University president, Samuel Belkin (left) and New York’s attorney general, Nathaniel Goldstein.
ap image
Model Med School: Albert Einstein checks out scale model of Yeshiva University’s medical school in the Bronx. He is flanked by Yeshiva University president, Samuel Belkin (left) and New York’s attorney general, Nathaniel Goldstein.

By Paul Berger

Published May 27, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 5)

Y.U., which has had to borrow heavily in recent years, set aside half of the Block bequest — about $82 million — not for long-term building projects or endowments of the sort associated with capital campaigns, but as operating cash for Einstein, according to a recent report by the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. Indeed, according to Y.U.’s most recent financial statement, Einstein spent $50 million of the Block funds within a couple of months of the dinner on what it called “medical research spending.”

The reality is that Einstein, the nation’s first medical school established under Jewish auspices, has been losing tens of millions of dollars a year. And for Y.U., which is facing its worst financial crisis in more than 30 years, the Bronx medical school has posed perhaps the single biggest problem.

Consultants brought in by Y.U. to solve the crisis isolated Einstein as the chief cause of Y.U.’s dire financial condition. One Y.U. faculty member who did not wish to be named said colleagues were stunned at a March 19 faculty meeting, when Robert Hershan, a consultant for the turnaround firm Alvarez & Marsal, told staff that Einstein is responsible for two-thirds of the university’s annual operating deficit.

A spokesman for Y.U. declined to comment on the specific percentage that Einstein contributes to the university’s annual operating deficit. But Carolyn McLean, an analyst at S&P confirmed the figure to the Forward for the last financial year.

That year, McLean told the Forward, $43 million of Y.U.’s total operating deficit of $64 million was attributable to Einstein.

McLean declined to reveal Einstein’s operating deficits for the previous three years. But Y.U.’s overall deficits for those years were $106 million, $47 million and $107 million, respectively.

In recent weeks hundreds of Einstein employees have been faced with buyout offers or the risk of layoffs, according to a May 21 report in the Bronx Times.

The Bronx newspaper also reported then that rumors were swirling among Einstein staff of a possible merger between Einstein and Montefiore.

Asked whether Y.U. remains pledged to retain Einstein long-term, a spokesman for the university told the Forward on May 20: “Our answer to that question is, Yes.”


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!
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • 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?
  • 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.