JUST in time for the upcoming Jewish New Year (commencing the evening of September 29, 2019), followed by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, it is only fitting that a decades-long awaited reckoning is in the offing. Better late than never!
ONCE again, before the latest “dirty laundry” of a most heinous crime is exposed for public viewing, it is imperative to hark back to July 2013, a little more than six years to date. In reality, said amount of time is a blip in one’s lifelong calendar, especially, when it comes to revisiting traumatic events. Trust, this writer is all too familiar with life-altering terrain and its residual impact. Blow-back.
THAT being established, “A Mark Of Cain: Charges Of Pedophilia/Sex Abuse Rocks Yeshiva University….” (July 21, 2013) was reported at this site – a personally sad and tragic expose’. Nevertheless, it had to be outed. So, this no holds barred, take no prisoners writer had no option, but to suck it up. As revealed….
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Full Disclosure: the following report hits very close to home. A dagger in the heart, too. It involves a revered institution which evokes many wonderful childhood memories; including, free rein to explore its vast campus, not to mention the opportunity to flirt with cute boys, Yeshiva University being an all-male school. My father – of blessed memory – worked tirelessly at Yeshiva University for 45 years, as a Rabbi in its main Administrative Center on the upper west side of Manhattan. In fact, he taught at its esteemed school for Rabbinical Studies, REITS, when he first arrived in New York from war-torn Europe.
NEVERTHELESS, the subject matter at hand is so serious that bypassing it is unthinkable. Besides, as one who duly reports on the depravities of the Gay-in-Chief(and surrogates), as well as assorted levels of deviance embedded at Hill’s State Dept., surely, keeping this topic under communal cover is a non-starter, regardless of its shameful nature and personal attachment.
BUT for those not in the loop, it is important to understand that The Forward (cited below) is a widely read Jewish newspaper for many generations. Others as well. More specifically, it is socialist-leaning and highly in sync with Demster politics. Know this: its publishing and editorial staff are reflexively hostile towards Jewish Orthodoxy. So, it is no surprise that they collaborated with the Huffington Post. Fellow travelers.
EVEN so, just because discomfiting news is reported at leftward papers doesn’t obviate the facts, at least, in this particular case. Mind you, even a broken clock can be right once.
Rabbi Norman Lamm Resigns; Yeshiva University Chancellor Cites Mishandling Of Sex Abuse Allegations …..continue reading the whole sordid saga here….
WITH the aforementioned backgrounder in mind – though decades overdue from the initial crimes – it was heart-lifting to read the following on August 23, 2019:
With a New York law, the Child Victims Act, taking effect last week that modified the state’s statute of limitations surrounding sexual abuse, 38 former students have sued Yeshiva University, alleging they were sexually abused by three rabbis and other school staff from the mid-1950’s through 1986.
Five of the plaintiffs are named in the civil lawsuit, filed on Thursday, against Yeshiva University, Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, which is YU’s high school; board members of both institutions; former YU chancellor Rabbi Norman Lamm; and Rabbi Robert Hirt, a former vice president of its rabbinical school.
The act allows victims in New York one year to file civil lawsuits, no matter when the alleged sexual abuse transpired.
At a news conference in New York on Thursday, lawyers for the plaintiffs accused YU of inaction, even though it received numerous complaints of sexual abuse spanning over a three-decade period.
Five staff members are accused of allegedly abusing the students, though lawyers said that principal George Finkelstein, who was promoted in the 1980’s and named “Educator of the Year” in 1985, and Jewish-studies teacher Macy Gordon did the majority of the abuse.
Gordon died in 2017.
“The lawsuit says Finkelstein repeatedly groped boys, and that he specifically targeted the children of Holocaust survivors, telling them they would add to their parents’ suffering if they told them of the abuse. Gordon, a teacher, is being accused of sodomizing multiple young boys in a ‘vicious and sadistic’ manner using objects, the suit says. Both men have denied the allegations,” reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Both YU and MTA declined to comment to JTA.
“Our clients have patiently waited for years to get through the courthouse door to obtain the justice they so rightly deserve,” Kevin Mulhearn, one of the attorneys representing the victims, said in a statement.
“For decades, Yeshiva University was aware of the pervasive problem of sexual abuse by its employees, including high-profile, revered rabbis who were serial sexual predators; and yet it consciously chose to take no action to protect our clients and other vulnerable high school students.”
Mulhearn, says the lawsuit is the largest filed currently under the Child Victim’s Act.
Citing an expired statute of limitations, in 2014 a New York District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit by 36 students alleging sexual abuse at MTA.
TRAGICALLY, some of the offenders are dead and are not around to suffer the public humiliation (which, in these tight-knit circles, is “holier’ than anything else) they righteously deserve, that is, by facing their accusers (and the community) at trial.
AS is known, justice delayed is justice denied. On the other hand, some of the perpetrators (those who shielded them are equally guilty) are alive and will be hauled into court, regardless of age or infirmity. Hell, even if they have to be dragged out of their nursing homes, well, so be it.
BUT not to be overlooked is the fact that substantial settlements will have to be paid to the victims, with hefty fees outlaid for their attorneys – and, that, in the humble opinion within, will be the catalyst to ensure the following knock-on effect: if a whisper….a hint….a whiff….re another deviant employee comes to the fore, rest assured, the head honchos will do the right thing – even if not for the right reason(s)!
YES, finally, with the long overdue enactment of the Child Victims Act, Yeshiva University (other institutions/individual perpetrators, too) has been forced to recognize that huge financial settlements – for said acts of treachery and malfeasance – will bankrupt them, if they fail to protect their charges. Indeed, no longer will “dirty laundry” be able to be swept under the rug!
THEN (back in July 2013) as now, let there be no doubt: this posting will rile up a goodly portion in the Orthodox Jewish community, by dint of fact that too many within said confines prefer the “dirty laundry” to hide and remain behind closed doors. But this address brooks no such quarter, as many realize from various “airings” – having already exposed the problem of alcoholism and substance abuse within the Orthodox Jewish community.
MOST significantly, what about the victims – whose suffering from sexual abuse never really wanes, regardless of the passage of time? As such, don’t they deserve communal support, and the ability to confront (and excoriate) their abusers? Not only that, the perpetrators warrant a dual punishment – by the justice system and via the court of public opinion, agreed? If not, why not?
ALAS, it is on behalf of the victims (and future ones, too) that it is incumbent to air uncomfortable truths, never mind the push-back. Besides, said heinous, life-changing crime cries out for a particular measure of justice. Pedophiles, regardless of their religion, race, sex, or stature in the community, deserve nothing but our contempt – not our protection, nor a circling of communal wagons, so to speak.
WHEN all is said and done, the only thing sexual abusers “deserve” is a Mark of Cain!
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