Yeshiva U. Apologizes for Handling of Sex Abuse Charges in 1970s

December 14, 2012

Richard M. Joel, president of Yeshiva University, issued an apology Thursday for the way the institution may have handled allegations during the 1970s of sex abuse of boys at a high school the university runs. An investigation by The Forward found that the university dealt with allegations of sex abuse by high school officials by letting them resign and seek employment elsewhere, without the allegations ever being reported to authorities. Norman Lamm, who was president of the university from 1976 to 2003 and is now chancellor, told the newspaper that it was standard practice to let such employees move on. “If it was an open-and-shut case, I just let [the staff member] go quietly. It was not our intention or position to destroy a person without further inquiry," Lamm said.

The statement issued by Joel, the current president, said that there are many procedures and policies in place now to prevent such incidents. His statement also included a university apology for what happened in the past. "The safety and well-being of our students is Yeshiva University’s highest priority. 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," he said. "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."


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