Yeshiva University cover up of sex scandals

Yeshiva University is the latest all-male religious institution that has been exposed as covering up the sexual abuse of students by religious leaders. The newspaper The Forward reports, in a long article that details the abuses, that many but not all of the offenses occurred at an all-male high school run by the university and then, when the crimes were brought to the attention of the school authorities, they covered them up and quietly transferred the perpetrators to other institutions where they could continue to prey on students. Two of the accused, both rabbis one of whom taught the Talmud, now live in Israel. Once again, we see families of the violated young people being reluctant to go to the police because of fears that they would be seen as damaging the religious institutions to which they belonged.

Now that the Yeshive University story is out in the open Norman Lamm, the chancellor of the university and supposedly a revered member of the Orthodox Jewish community, has resigned and given a half-hearted apology for his lack of action. His responses to questions posed by The Forward provide a disgusting display of blame shifting and evasion of responsibility.

It is incredible how closely this pattern follows that of the Catholic church, exposing once again the corruption that lies at the core of religious institutions. For example, today we learn from newly released documents that the Catholic diocese of Milwaukee had covered up abuses by pedophile priests for eight decades.

These are the people who are considered religious leaders.


  1. Chiroptera says

    Two of the accused, both rabbis one of whom taught the Talmud, now live in Israel.

    I wonder whether the US has an extradition treaty with Israel? If the rabbis aren’t covered in such a treaty, maybe we could get a country to force Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plane to land so it could be searched.

  2. CaitieCat says

    Not the Jews too? Crap. One of the few religious groups that never tries to have any impact on my life (pacem that I don’t live in an area where the Orthodox right-wing sorts are numerous enough to make life annoying) , and who at least follow the forms of logic, even if I think a lot of their premises are verkakte, in determining religious behaviours.

    When I was working on getting an omnibus same-sex rights bill passed back in 1994 here in Ontario, I had a letter from an Orthodox rabbi in Toronto, who said that he thought the government should pass the bill, because, he pointed out, he wouldn’t want the government telling him who he could marry, or how he could love, or trying to say he didn’t deserve equal rights because he was different from the majority. I called him, surprised; he made the point that MLK made, about an injustice to one being an injustice to all, and that while he personally didn’t approve of gayness, he didn’t see that he had any right to impose that view on anyone.

    So colour me disappointed and bummed.

    Also, hopefuI that the young men affected are able to find peace and help for the damage done to them.

  3. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    These are the people who are considered religious leaders.

    These is no difference between the people who are considered religious leaders and religious leaders. All someone need do is persuade others they have contact with a higher reality and they are granted unquestioned and usually unjustified respect.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    Aw shucks.

    If not for that penultimate paragraph, you could have had this blog post cited (for years) by Bill Donohue!

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