Schachter, Y.U. dean, warns about reporting sex abuses cases

(JTA) — Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a dean at Yeshiva University, has warned against reporting uncorroborated sex abuse allegations to police.


Schachter was recorded at a rabbinical conference in February in London warning that false allegations could lead to arrests and imprisonment with a “shvartze” — a dergatory Yiddish term for a black person. The recording was posted on and the voice was said to be Schachter’s.

Schachter did not respond to inquiries from the Forward newspaper, which has been running stories since December about allegations of abuse by former faculty members at Y.U.’s high school for boys. The alleged incidents took place decades ago.

“Before you go to the police and before you got to family services, every community should have a board…to investigate whether there’s any raglayim la’davar [substance] or not,” Schachter says, according to the recording. He also says that reporting people who are guilty of sex offenses does not contstitute mesirah, or betrayal — the traditional Jewish prohibition against informing on a fellow Jew to the secular authorities.

In state prisons, “the warden in the prison can kill you. They can put you in a cell together with a shvartze, with a…black Muslim who wants to kill all the Jews,” he added.

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