Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
News

Yeshiva U. Apologizes Over Alleged Abuse

Yeshiva University President Richard Joel has issued a statement of apology in response to a Forward story describing how Y.U. failed to report claims of child abuse made against staff members during the 1970s and ‘80s. Joel’s statement, released this morning, offered victims who were allegedly abused by members of YU’s faculty and administration “my deepest, most profound apology.”

The Forward investigation into allegations that two staff members at a Manhattan boys high school run by Y.U. sexually abused students led to a startling admission by the university’s chancellor Rabbi Norman Lamm: The school dealt with allegations of “improper sexual activity” against staff members by quietly allowing them to leave and find jobs elsewhere.

For years, former students have asked Y.U. to investigate their claims that a former principal at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, in Manhattan, Rabbi George Finkelstein had repeatedly abused students in the all-male high school. Another former high school student said Y.U. covered up for a staff member, Rabbi Macy Gordon, who sodomized him.

Joel’s statement tracks very closely with a statement issued to the Forward on December 3.

In the previous statement, Joel expressed his “deepest, most profound regret.” Now, that word has changed to “apology.”

The statement reads, in part: “The inappropriate behavior and abuse alleged by The Forward to have taken place in the past, and described in statements attributed by The Forward to Dr. Lamm, are reprehensible. The actions described represent heinous and inexcusable acts that are antithetical both to Torah values and to everything that Yeshiva University stands for. They have no place here, in our community, or anywhere at all. The thought that such behavior could have occurred at our boys’ high school, or anywhere at this institution, at any time in its past, is more than sufficient reason to express on behalf of the University, my deepest, most profound apology.”

Contact Paul Berger at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, @pdberger

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.