Yeshiva University hit with sexual abuse lawsuit
NEW YORK (AP) — Thirty-eight former students of an Orthodox Jewish school in New York City operated by Yeshiva University sued Thursday over claims they were molested by two prominent rabbis in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.
The suit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleges that the university failed to protect students at Yeshiva University High School for Boys and promoted one of the rabbis to principal even after receiving abuse reports.
A Yeshiva University spokesperson declined to comment, citing a school policy against speaking publicly about litigation.
The lawsuit is one of hundreds that have been filed over child sexual abuse allegations since last week, when New York state opened a one-year window for suits previously barred by the state’s statute of limitations.
During a news conference Thursday, three of the alleged victims, flanked by their lawyers, spoke about disturbing behavior they say went on for decades.
“I didn’t even understand at the time that this was sexual abuse; I just knew that this guy was putting his hands all over me,” said Barry Singer, 61, speaking of one of the rabbis he said kept reaching into the boy’s pants, even in school hallways.
The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual abuse unless they choose to be named.
One of the accused rabbis, George Finkelstein, targeted children of Holocaust survivors, according to the lawsuit, telling them they would increase their parents’ suffering if they spoke about the abuse. The other, Rabbi Macy Gordon, who taught Jewish studies, allegedly sodomized boys in a “vicious and sadistic” manner using objects, the lawsuit says. Gordon died in 2017 in Israel. Both he and Finkelstein have denied the allegations in the past.
Finkelstein was promoted from the school’s assistant principal to principal even after some of the boys’ parents reported the alleged abuse to school officials, the plaintiffs s...