Former students filed a $380 million lawsuit against Yeshiva University, alleging the school covered up allegations of staff members’ sexual misconduct.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in White Plains, alleges a “massive cover-up of the sexual abuse of [high school] students … facilitated, for several decades, by various prominent Y.U. and [high school] administrators, trustees, directors, and other faculty members,” the Forward reported.
Rabbi Norman Lamm, past president and until last week chancellor of YU, recently admitted that he asked two former Yeshiva University staff members to leave rather than fully investigate claims of abuse involving them. Rabbis George Finkelstein and Macy Gordon were accused by alleged victims in a report by The Forward of inappropriate contact with several students at the Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan.
Finkelstein left the high school in 1995 and took a post at a Jewish school in Florida before moving to Israel. Gordon also lives in Israel and until recently was a teacher at the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center. Both men deny the charges.
The lawsuit, filed by 19 former students, names Rabbi Lamm and Rabbi Robert Hirt, a former vice president of Y.U.’s rabbinical seminary. Only two of the alleged victims — Mordechai Twersky, who lives in Israel, and Barry Singer of New York — are named. The rest are listed anonymously.
The plaintiffs’ attorney, Kevin Mulhearn, claims that university administrators are guilty of fraud for portraying Gordon and Finkelstein as men of good character despite the many warnings they had sexually abused young boys. A YU spokesman, Matt Yaniv, told The Jewish Week the university could not comment on pending litigation.