Last month, 38 former students of Yeshiva University High School for Boys in New York City filed a lawsuit against the school alleging systematic sexual abuse by Rabbi George Finkelstein, Rabbi Macy Gordon and Richard Andron, during the mid-50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. 34 of the plaintiffs (known as claimants in English law) tried to sue Yeshiva University High School for Boys in 2013, however their actions failed in 2014 when a New York District Court Judge ruled that their claims were time barred.
In August 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into the Child Victims Act, which gives survivors one year to file civil law suits, irrespective of when the abuse occurred. (See our earlier blog here).
It is believed that Finkelstein is alive and living in Jerusalem. It is alleged that he targeted children of Holocaust survivors, telling them they would increase their parents suffering if they spoke about the abuse. Plaintiffs say that Finkelstein was promoted from the school’s assistant principal to principal even after some of the parents, who were aware of the abuse, reported it to the school’s officials. The press reports that Finkelstein was quietly forced out of Yeshiva University High School for Boys in 1995 because of inappropriate wrestling with boys. He took up two further posts: one as dean of a Jewish school in Florida, before moving to Jerusalem to become the director general of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue in Israel.
Plaintiffs allege that Macy Gordon anally raped students in a ‘vicious and sadistic’ manner using objects. Gordon died in Israel in 2017.
Both Gordon and Finkelstein have denied allegations in the past.
Diana Goldstein, Associate, BLM