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July 15, 2013

Alleged YU Abuser Also Abused NCSY Kids, Lanner Told, Did Nothing

NCSY LOGOAn alleged victim of Richard "Rick" Andron, one of the three named alleged child sexual abusers in the Yeshiva University scandal, was allegedly reported to National Conference of Synagogue Youth's regional director Rabbi Baruch Lanner. Lanner, by then himself a notorious pedophile and child abuser left in place knowingly by NCSY's parent organization the Orthodox Union (OU), did nothing, and Andron continued to allegedly abuse kids.

 

The Forward reports:

Boca Raton’s Jewish community is reeling after Richard Andron emerged as the latest alleged abuser in a widening sex abuse scandal tied to Yeshiva University [in Manhattan and its affiliated Manhattan high school].…

Andron, 67, a former youth volunteer who now lives in Florida, has been accused of abuse, along with Finkelstein and Gordon, in a lawsuit filed July 8 in U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y. by 19 former high school students.

The suit alleges that during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Andron, then in his thirties, was “allowed to roam the halls” of Y.U.’s high school dormitory, even though he had nothing to do with the school. The suit cites three men — a Y.U. college student and two Y.U. high school students — who say Andron invited them to stay over at his apartment where he attempted to touch or did touch their genitals.…

When the boy finally realized, at the age of 16, that he had been abused, he told his parents. He said they instructed him to confront Andron, alone, and that since Andron was a martial arts expert he should do so in a Manhattan synagogue.…

The boys’ parents told him he also had to warn [Rabbi Baruch] Lanner, the NCSY regional director, about Andron. At the time, Lanner was infamous among Modern Orthodox youth for his habit of kneeing boys in the crotch and for taking teenage girls for long Sabbath walks in the woods.

The man said he described in detail to Lanner what had happened to him but that Lanner did not remove Andron from his involvement with NCSY.

An Orthodox Union spokesman, Mayer Fertig, confirmed that Andron was involved in NCSY “to the best of our knowledge in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.”

Fertig said that NCSY “today is altogether different from the one of that era” and that “difficult, painful lessons” from that period had been learned. He directed the Forward to a 14-page Conduct, Policy and Behavioral Standards Manual which pledges that “NCSY’s commitment to the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of all NCSY professionals, volunteers, and NCSY’ers is non-negotiable.”

“NCSY and the Orthodox Union stand by those words and today go to great effort to enforce a policy of zero tolerance for any inappropriate activity,” Fertig said.

Several months ago, the Forward attempted to reach Lanner at his home in New Jersey to ask about Andron. Lanner’s wife, Sarah, said that because of a “serious medical condition he cannot comment or have discussions at this time.” A subsequent attempt to reach Lanner was unsuccessful.…

Comments

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does anyone here realize how upset the people who donated tens of millions of dollars to build wings for YU feel?

I can't say I'm shocked by any of this. The problem is arrogance and heartlessness. And I'm sorry to say that these traits are common in the Jewish world. I know we love to boast how we are the superior race, but I just don't see it that way.

Is this the Jewish Foundation School's lovely principal that is so nice to the kids: RAbbi Dr. Richard Ehrlich? The suit also alleges that Richard Ehrlich and Elan Adler, described as “senior residence hall officials” at Y.U., knew that Andron visited the dormitory and entered boys’ dorm rooms.


Ehrlich did not respond to several requests for a response, July 11.
Please call ewish Foundation School

400 Caswell Avenue
Staten Island, New York 10314

718-983-6042
718-370-2591 (fax)

jfsschool@aol.com

The orthodox religion is based upon a firm foundation of lies, whitewashing, and gangster tactics in order to maintain a power structure that has been in place since medieval times, and to make it all look like it's the perfect way to live.

Why? The answer is always "Because God Sez So".

And how do we know that God Sez So? "Because Our Rabbis Say So".

If a few kids get their lives destroyed along the way, oh well. The important thing is to keep orthodox rabbis in power, and to make the orthodox world look like the perfect place to be.

How is a principal of a leading Orthodox school not responding to the Forward????????????? Please make sure that the school is called and the board members contacted. Twenty years ago when I was there the powerful people mostly sent their kids to that school.

"...a firm foundation of lies, whitewashing, and gangster tactics in order to maintain a power structure that has been in place since medieval times, and to make it all look like it's the perfect way to live...."

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Mix in religion so that questioning authority becomes blasphemy and the structure becomes entrenched, breakable only by outside intervention which is what's needed in Monsey and KJ and Brooklyn.

The true believers will continue to believe even after their gedolim are convicted by the 'antisemitic' authorities. Some of the younger people may perhaps be able to be peeled away. Exposing the entitlement-program fraud and cutting off benefits will also help to break up these cults.

WSC your comment is so perfect. I happen to be observant but believe nevertheless that the Orth world, including at YU, operates very much like you described.

@Hal-
I am observant too and sadly agree with Hal. It is difficult to listen to friends and neighbors it was/is no use.

I was in NCSY back then. Ricky would have me and others over to his bachelor pad on Shabbat. He didn't do anything improper with me or my friends, but I stopped going when I began to hear things. I could be mis-remembering, but I think he had Playboy magazines there for us. He was single and showed no interest in women. Lanner, I think, discretely got rid of him, eventually. But Lanner himself was an abuser.

My rusty brain just remembered this, for sure. One Saturday night after Shabbat Ricky took a friend and I to see a racy French (subtitled) Rom-Com, "Porquoi Pas?" ("Why not?"). It was an R rated film about a menage-a-trois. Not child abuse, true, but very inappropriate for a frum youth leader.

Nu? Did you call him for his response 718-983-6042.

What predators do is get the boys worked up using hetero porn.

That piece about the boy's parents who told him "to confront Andron, alone" illustrates how naive adults at that time were about sex abuse.

I remember Andron hanging out at MTA in those days. He projected a persona of being Mr. Cool , a Sober black belt, bigwig at Mobil Oil etc.
I recall hearing about him having guys over to his place but I wasn't part of that crowd (just took some classes with Sober).

I sometimes wonder how I managed to avoid being targeted by Andron, Finkelstein (I wasn't in Macy Gordon's class and while I went to NCSY events I didn't like Lanner) and later Benzion Sobel.
Maybe "luck of the draw" or I "wasn't their type" but it got me thinking about how carefully they chose victims. My father worked for a press organization - did that keep me off their lists?
I admit to a bit of "survivors guilt".
While I was going through a routine education, I was clueless that guys I knew were being abused.
At MTA the only staffer I later wondered about was a math teacher who was also a HS dorm counselor. If there is a "classically swishy" guy it was him. Not that I know he was gay (there are straight guys with effeminate affectations) but he did like to put his hands on the students.
I'm glad that over the years I never heard any accusations regarding him.
Maybe he was gay, but maybe he also had the moral fiber to stop him from abusing.

How ironic it is…finally the news about Ricky Andron gets out-I have been searching the web for years to see if his name ever surfaced-until today….which is so crazy b/c of all the Dora Golding news…and I was in CDG in 1981-83 and he was there then in some ad hoc role-and I always thought something was off…nothing happened to me BH but he was clearly a predator…I am in total shock at the "coincidence"...this is so unsettling.

Mcommenter

Would you please say what the first letter of the first name of that suspicious dorm councilor is?

I was in MTA as well and I knew I remembered the name Andron but didn't remember why. You gave me the answer. Karate. I took a class with Sober.

I am also a YU abuse litigant. That initial may be important. .if it is who I think it is..

Thanks in advance.

Mcom

I was one of the earlier abuse victims of Gorgeous George Fikelstein.

I never knew others were abused. When the story finally came out that he was doing his for so long. Wow was I surprised.

Somebody else had a shot at me. That's why I asked for the initial because so far his name has not been mentioned. If it turns out he was also a dorm councilor..........

I commuted so I didn't know the dorm staff.

Jake,
First letter of first name: D
If you were an early victim, as in early 70's then this guy may not have yet been teaching.

I didn't know about any of George's abuse until long after I graduated. I thought his disappearance in the 80's was strange but it was at my MTA reunion when the guy who organized it introduced the current MTA principal by saying "We know how horrible the school was but this principal promises there have been major changes so let's hear him out" that I knew there had to be stuff I didn't know about.
Then I hit the internet.

RnR: "I am in total shock at the "coincidence"...this is so unsettling."

When I started to search online and discovered that so many authority figures of my youth were creepy abusers I felt rather unsettled too!

Jake,
If you want to contact me ask Shmarya for my email.
I asked him to pass it to you if you request
(click the "contact & about" tab at the top of the page)

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