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(RNS) The 148-page lawsuit filed on Monday accused former president Rabbi Norman Lamm and other Yeshiva officials of a “massive cover-up of the sexual abuse of students” at a high school run by the university.

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  1. Arguably, the documented efforts to cover up what happened at Yeshiva reflect a vicious institutional callousness which is not only a matter of the past, but continues in all sorts of insidious ways today.

    In this regard, it is interesting to observe that YU’s current vice provost, while still the chairman of the NYU Jewish Studies department (from which position he resigned to assume his current post at YU), testified in a court of law that “nobody reads” the NYU faculty code of conduct, and that he himself had no idea how that code defines plagiarism. One wonders if these statements accurately represent the ethical standards and attitudes of YU’s current administration. For further information and commentary, see:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/from-the-trial-testimony-of-nyu-officials-and-related-texts/

    http://ronntorossian5wpr.tumblr.com/post/41858790841/does-yeshiva-university-answer-to-a-higher-authority

    YU’s vice provost is also reported to have admitted that he “wasn’t supposed to talk about it at the trial… But I realized no one would stop me, so I just went on and on, and the jury—they were eating it up.” See:

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/121361/dead-sea-scrolls-go-to-court

    And see this account of how the same vice provost of YU recently had letters sent to various legal experts, including Prof. Eugene Volokh, demanding that they remove certain material, apparently critical of him, from their websites:

    http://blog.simplejustice.us/2013/03/13/schiffman-meet-streisand.aspx

    Does YU’s current president, Richard Joel (a former prosecutor) support the attitudes these efforts and statements by YU’s vice provost seem to reflect? President Joel’s own ethical standards are a topic of considerable interest, as can be seen from these items:

    http://tzvee.blogspot.com/2008/12/yeshiva-university-gave-president.html

    http://thebeaconmag.com/2011/01/news/article-discussing-president-joels-salary-creates-questions-controversy/

    Hopefully the announced lawsuit will help shed some light not only on past abuses, but also on what appears to be the ongoing laxity in ethical standards at YU in general.

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