“The alleged behavior is despicable and cannot be tolerated in any place, at any time, and the response must transcend the confines of religious teaching. Leaders of this and every educational institution have a sacred responsibility under civil law to protect children from any action that might endanger or exploit them."
White House Chief Of Staff Condemns Alleged YU Child Sex Abuse Coverups, Says Response To Child Sex Abuse Must “Transcend The Confines Of Religious Teaching”
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Jacob Lew, and Orthodox Jew and the White House chief of staff, received an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University Sunday night at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.
But Yeshiva University was rocked late last week by allegations that it had covered up years of ongoing child sexual abuse at its affiliated high school in Manhattan during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Its former president, Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, who now serves as YU’s chancellor, admitted to allowing accused sexual abusers and faculty who had homosexual affairs to leave quietly and teach elsewhere without notifying the new schools of the abuse or the affairs, and said the allegations of abuse were not as important to him or the university as the university’s then-financial crisis was.
Lamm is accused of personally covering up the abuse of teenage boys.
So is Richard Joel, YU’s current president, who was allegedly asked to undo the coverups by a victim when he was hired about a decade ago. Joel allegedly did nothing then, although he sharply condemned the alleged abuse and apologized for it after the allegations were made public last week.
Lew, who received his honorary doctorate directly from Joel, used the occasion to sharply note the allegations against YU with what could be understood as a sharp rebuke not only of the sexual abuse, but of the YU policies surrounding it.
“The alleged behavior is despicable and cannot be tolerated in any place, at any time, and the response must transcend the confines of religious teaching. Leaders of this and every educational institution have a sacred responsibility under civil law to protect children from any action that might endanger or exploit them. Across the country in recent years, we’ve seen too much evidence of inappropriate behavior at too many institutions responsible for nurturing our children,” Lew said. “We can and must take a stand against it, promote awareness, set up preventive measures and openly address concerns as they arise,” Lew reportedly said. [emphasis added]
Joel had introduced Lew as “perhaps one of the highest-ranking Orthodox Jewish advisers to a head of state since the Abarbanel,” referring to the 15th-century leader of Iberian Jews, the JTA reported.