38 Former Students Sue Yeshiva University over Alleged Sex Abuse

By Priscilla DeGregory
New York Post
August 22, 2019

After years of failed attempts to sue Yeshiva University, 38 former students who say they were sexually abused by three rabbis and other school staff decades ago can now seek justice under the Child Victims Act.

The victims say while they attended all-boys Yeshiva University High School, the principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, and four other staffers variously sexually abused them, beginning in 1955 and continuing through 1986, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

The school received more than 20 complaints from parents and students about the alleged abuse but did nothing, the court papers allege.

One victim, Mordechai Twersky, claims he was twice sexually abused by Finkelstein in 1980 — and despite letting school officials know, they kept the rabbi at the school and even gave him the “Educator of the Year” award in 1985.

In 1995, Finkelstein was given the Heritage Award while the school had quietly fired him, the court documents allege.

The other former students — including 33 who filed suit anonymously — brought similar claims against the various staffers. Many of the victims claim they sought years of therapy because of the trauma of the incidents, the suit says.

Many of these victims had been trying to sue the school for years but their lawsuits were tossed because a deadline for suing had lapsed decades prior.

With the Child Victims Act going into effect last week, victims with old claims now have a one-year window to file suit regardless of when the alleged abuse happened.

“Our clients have patiently waited for years to get through the courthouse door to obtain the justice they so rightly deserve,” lawyer Kevin Mulhearn 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.”

Reps for Yeshiva University did not immediately return an email requesting comment.

Finkelstein could not be reached for comment.








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