On December 13, The Forward broke the story regarding allegations of sexual abuse by both rabbis George Finkelstein and Macy Gordon.
Today several self identified survivors, who claimed they were abused by Finkelstein and or Gordon thirty years ago received the following e-mail from Rabbi Richard Joel; who is the current president of Yeshiva University.
In the statement he is suggesting that survivors contact the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell (see e-mail below).
According to Shoshana Avigail, a volunteer at The Awareness Center (the International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Assault), it is NOT in the best interest of survivors of any sex crime to communicate with an agency such as Sullivan and Cromwell, without the guidance of their own personal attorney who specializes in representing survivors of sex crimes.. Groups such as Sullivan and Cromwell are hired by various universities, organizations, agencies and business to protect the assets of their clients.
If you are a survivor of either rabbi Finkelstein or Gordon, or any other past or present employee of Yeshiva University and would like the names of attorneys who have experience representing the civil rights of survivors, contact The Awareness Center or your local rape crisis center immediately.
E-mail from Rabbi Richard Joel
We are in the process of looking into all the new information we have received, and while I understand your frustration, I hope that we will be able to make a meaningful difference in the way Yeshiva and the entire community deals with these issues.
As I mentioned in my most recent statement, the Yeshiva Board of Trustees has established a subcommittee to oversee this matter. The law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell has been retained to conduct a full and independent investigation of the allegations as well as to review our current policies and procedures. The investigation will be led by Karen Patton Seymour, co-managing partner of Sullivan & Cromwell’s litigation group and Sullivan & Cromwell has engaged nationally recognized abuse expert, Lisa M. Friel, to assist and advise them in connection with the investigation and to provide specialized knowledge and expertise with regard to abuse allegations and prevention.
If you would like to contact Sullivan & Cromwell and/or (REMOVED) directly, please feel free to do so by emailing (REMOVED) or calling (REMOVED). In addition, if you would like to take advantage of the University’s counseling resources in confidence you can email REMOVED.
Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance,
Richard M. Joel
President and Bravmann Family University Professor