Monday, January 29, 2007

Looking For More information on Rabbi George Finkelstein

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The following comes from a survivor of Rabbi George Finkelstein:

I am telling you this story because I thank G-d I came out of it all pretty much OK, but if my "outing" this Rabbi through this story will help others come forward, especially if they were scarred by this Rabbi, then I'll feel I've done a service.

Rabbi George Finkelstein, long-time Principal at MTA- the YU boys HS is the Rabbi- Predator. I came to MTA for one year- and was warned by my friends that he was "gay" and he likes wrestling with kids. I heard it- but never took it seriously.

One evening, I wandered out onto the YU campus streets to buy something at the local greasy spoon (I dormed). It was about 9PM at night, and whom do I meet on the street but George. He proceeds to chat me up, and then invite me back to his office. I was totally flattered!

After a few minutes of talking in his office, he comes around to my side of his desk, stands over me, and asks me to hit him. I was stunned. "why would I hit you". Go ahead, he said, hit me. "No way, you're my principal, I'm not hitting you". At this point I was spooked., He asked me if I like wrestling., I said no. He said maybe you will. He proceeds to knock me to the floor, and sit on top of me, his crotch clearly rubbing against mine. He exorted me to wrestle with him. Not only did I refuse, but I figured that my best option to get out of there was to start crying. Here I am, a 15 year old boy scared out of my mind because his Rabbi/Principal on the YU campus was sitting on top of him on the floor at 9:30 at night. It was surreal.

My crying got him to stop. At which point I said it's best I leave, and I did.

Good luck- I hope this encourages others to come forward. Needless to say my year was ruined, and I left after that one year.

I am convinced that YU knew all about him. Now that he is Executive Director of one of the world's most famous synagogues, I only hope his temptations have been kept in check.

If you have any information regarding professional sexual misconduct by Rabbi George Finkelstein please forward it to me or contact The Awareness Center, Inc.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

George left Hillel in Florida years ago.

There were no complaints against him in Florida.

At MTA, people either loved him or hated him.

He hated YU for its mistreatment of him and YU hated him for his popularity.

This story is shocking.

January 30, 2007 5:49 PM  
Anonymous New Case said...

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070123/NEWS/701230361/1004/NEWS01

HOWELL — A 35-year-old wrestling coach for a recreation program is facing charges of performing a sex act in front of an 11-year-old wrestler, police said.

Greg A. Eisenstein was arrested Sunday night at his home in Freehold Township, police said.

On Thursday evening, the Howell Predator Wrestling Club was using a local school's facilities for practice when Eisenstein took the boy to a secluded area of the school, exposed himself and performed a sex act, police said.

January 31, 2007 3:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Survivor" got it right. Every student George "liked" experienced something along the lines of what was described here. He LOVED to wrestle and say things like, "You and me are going to come to heads. I have a score to settle with you." I am unaware of any instance of his advances going beyond the point described here -- but his "wrestling" fetish was widely known and joked about among students. Like Rabbi Meyer Schiller openly using his talmud class to teach obscure racial seperatist philosophy, Finkelstein's perversion was an open secret. My entire high school career, I was convinced Y.U. would go down in scandal. Never happened. I can almost smell his foul breath and see George's oggling eyes thinking about it over 15 years later. F that dude.

February 20, 2007 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it do difficult for people believe that a predator was living among us? George Finkelstein should not be allowed anywhere near children. Throughout my four years at MTA I was abused by Rabbi Finkelstein. It was the same scenario; "hit me" he would say. Then , like the rest, it turned into wrestling and inappropriate touching.

February 26, 2007 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is complete slander. I am sitting in shul and hear about this pathetic blog. He was not the most popular principal of all time but he cared and he wanting his students to learn and as we all know it was not the easiest place. The place was full of distractions, people being hit by cars and I can hear the screetching noices, ice cream truck, and boys that are desperately trying to crave attention.


Lets remember the good times and not spread rumors.

A graduate from 1993

November 04, 2007 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any more stories like these about when he was at Hillel in Florida?

November 09, 2007 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ABSOLUTELY.

This is not slander, this is the truth.

I will share 2 personal experiences with Rabbi Finkelstein that could have made for a very different (probably miserable) life today had they been taken a step further.

1. "Student X, please report to Rabbi Finkelstein's office" were the words that would cause my friends and I to cringe when they came over the Hillel PA system. We all knew that the person that was being called in had a very high probability of finding himself in a very unpleasant situation. We were not concerned with detention, phone calls to parents, or any type of reprimand. Rather, the situation that made us nervous (and sympathetic when it was not us being called down) was the following: Shortly after arriving at Rabbi Finkelstein's office he would greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake and then proceed to sit you down across his desk. His next step would be to close the door to his office and place the extra guest chair directly adjacent to yours (the chairs were literally touching). Finally he would sit next to you, put his hand on your knee and take you into his confidence by offering his assitance in whatever capacity seemed appealing to you. After repetedly telling him that everything was ok, that I was very happy, and respectfully declining his offer, he would reaffirm that he enjoyed helping people and would gladly play the role of a father figure if I ever so desired.

I found myself in this situation a total of 4 times before my parents called the school and explicitly requested that they be present in any meeting that involved me and a staff member. That was the last time I got called to Rabbi Finkelstein's office for "a chat". Some of my other friends were not as fortunate and endured this until they graduated.


2. As far as I can remember one of the more popular rituals at Hillel was the senior overnight at Camp Owaissa Bauer in Homestead. It was literally an overnight camping trip (probably aimed at building unity and bonds between the senior class) where the students slept in cabins seperated by gender. The evening we slept there was a typically hot and muggy Miami night. Even so, the weather did not discourage us from playing our tackle football games, pranks, and taking part in other activities. Late in the evening everyone was given a couple of hours of free time before lights out. The majority of the class ventured out into the wooded area trying to find a pair of old limestone caves that are part of the property. My friend and I decided to stay back in our cabin -- he needed to catch up on an AP class and I was exhausted from football. I had fallen asleep on my cot wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and underwear when all of a sudden my friend starts shaking me to wake me up. I asked my friend what the problem was and he answered me, pointing at the door to the cabin "someone wants to say hi to you". Standing there with a smile from ear to ear was Rabbi Finkelstein. I jumped out of bed, put my sweatpants on, nodded at him and said hi in return. Rabbi Finkelstein seemed somewhat surprised (I suppose whatever plan he had was just abrubptly spoiled). He looked back at us, said "Ummm, I just wanted to make sure I passed by to say goodnight", and the turned around and left as quickly as he came.


I thank G-d that nothing ever happened to me at the hands of Rabbi Finkelstein. You can take whatever you want from my experiences, I am 100% convinced that G-d was with me and he averted a catastrophy in my life. For the record, at Hillel I was a starter on several Varsity teams, graduated with honors, and enjoyed a very warm and stable family life at home and friendhsips at school. The concept of needing a surrogate friend or father in Rabbi Finkelstein was ridiculous. Were his intentions good natured and perhaps misunderstood? The first time I was called to his office, perhaps. The fourth time in his office it was clear that "good intentions" was not his agenda. As for Camp Owaissa Bauer, I firmly believe that had it not been for my friend, the good Rabbi might have shown me a wrestling move or two as I lay sleeping in my bed.

I am a graduate from 1997

November 14, 2007 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come no one has ever called the head of the board of MTA or Hillel? Or even the authorities?
It seems no one has stopped this abuse, and it will continue if no one does or tells someone who can actually help out.

November 18, 2007 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this blog a few months ago, which was surprising since I’ve been looking for information (confirmation) on Finkelstein for a while now. I can say from personal experience that he acts inappropriately around adolescents. I graduated MTA in the late 80s. He used to wrestle with me. Usually he would provoke me into wanting to kick his ass, falling into his trap. He wanted me to punch him as hard as I could, etc. He’d put his hands on my knees in his office. I know for sure similar stuff happened to a fellow student as well.

He ‘looked’ after me and saved me from getting in trouble with my teachers a time or two. He fancied himself a father figure and one time when I finally asked him why he took such an interest in me, he said, “Because I love you.” No kidding.

He’d call me at home to wish me a good shabbos (or I’d be guilted by my parents into calling him). He’d often say he loved me. I’d had the unfortunate experience of being coerced (by my parents and him) into spending shabbos at his apartment. Friday afternoon, when his wife wasn’t home yet, he inevitably wanted to wrestle. He wound up on top of me (on my back) and the next thing you know, the motherf%$#er is dry humping me. I could feel his beard on the back of my neck and his breath. All I remember thinking is, is this for real, is this really happening? Nothing more sinister took place (like that wasn’t enough). I wasn’t raped or anything, but still...
I blocked out the rest of the weekend.

Truth is, I feel bad for his wife and kids. Imagine what he did to them. I figured when he left NY it was due to scandal but I never read or heard anything about it.

Not only should Finkelstein be indicted for all this, the rest of the MTA administration should be as well. I won’t name names (I could), but there’s no way they didn’t know what the hell was going on.

He wrote me letters in Israel (I wish I could find them – I’ll look again). He was angry when I didn’t respond to all of them. Like a spurned lover.

If I thought this out more, I’m sure I could provide more details. I blocked most of it out of my mind. One day a few years ago, all this came flooding back. I actually started laughing because the whole thing was so highly inappropriate. I can’t believe I never reported the psycho or that no one else over the years did. Even if he was reported, I’m sure no one would have done anything about it. The community lives in denial.

Also a few years ago he wound up getting my cell phone number (I have no idea how) and left me a message. I promptly deleted. Then I started getting angry. Apparently, the bastard won’t stop.

January 09, 2008 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another victim of George (VOG) here. Graduated MTA in the early 80s. I, too, was warned about George's being "gay" and his wrestling fetish. Back then we didn't know any better. Today we can easily describe his actions as sexual misconduct and abuse.

The MO was pretty much the same as described by many (but not nearly enough) others...gets you alone in his office...closes the door (what, were the secretaries just outside deaf or stupid??)...eventually winds up next to you or on top of you with his hard little weiner pressed against you as his hands groped over and under your clothing.

I also experienced the Shabbos at his house...fortunately with a few other friends...I found it almost hilarious when he once chastised his daughter (couldn't have been more that 4 or 5, if that) for dressing immodestly in front of us!

I'd estimate having "experienced" him in his office 4 or 5 times over the 2 years I was at MTA...usually when I was in some sort of trouble or being chastised for something: not davening with kavanah at a Rosh Chodesh minyan, going on the MTA/Central "blind date", not signing up for a year at Yeshiva in Israel (glad to have missed that shit over at Neveh!!)

What amazed me is that everyone knew and nobody cared. Even today, as he sits as Director General of the Great Synagogue, no one gives a shit about the pain he caused and the lives he ruined. Ask just about any Modern Orthodox Rabbi or educator and they'll likely tell you that they've heard the "rumors". I can attest...they're not rumors. The scumbag carried on that way for years. Unfortunately, even today, no one does anything. It continues to be hushed up and ignored.

January 16, 2008 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a feeling sonething was fishy. Being a woman I was never approached but I knew things were not kosher. I told some administrators but it was a subject that people at the school wouldn't touch. It bothered me terribly. Being a mother of two boys I felt very helpless.I thought it was over when he left. I'm sorry for the scar it would leave on these young teenagers.

January 17, 2008 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will all come out soon....and he will go down...

March 13, 2008 10:17 AM  
Blogger Draw Loud! said...

Whoa! It has taken me 27 years to realize that MTA was filled with Sexual Predators. Rabbis and other "So Called" Orthodox men. I wrestled with George on a few occasions when I was called into his office during my Freshman year in 1981. As a 13 year old, I did not know what to make of it. Me being called into his office I think had something to do with me not wearing a Tie on Rosh Chodesh. Rabbi Weinbach was not in the office at the time. Additionally, I had a wrestling coach who used to put kids into Sleep - A - Holds, have them pass out and then would grab their privates. I'm not naming names ..YET..But I do intend to out someone very soon..I dormed at Strenger dorm, the MTA High School Dorm during my freshman year, run by Rabbi Rick Ehrlich and there were a few that were given carte blanche to roam the halls of the dorms. There was one, a student of Chaim Sober, a Black Belt in Tora Dojo who befriended some of the kids there..He invited many of us to his house for the weekend/Shabbos, and on one occasion I accepted..Well, I won't go into much detail here, but let's just say I was taken advantage of and molested..I've kept this a secret for 27 years! Well, someone is going to pay..This particular person must be in his 60's and I am sure I was not the only one..I wish I would have spoken up sooner,as this predator has probably violated many more since..Like Bernie Madoff just said in court last week, I knew this day would inevitably come..Well your day will come..Very soon..Once a predator..Always a predator..It is not hard to find out where you live, who you are married to..Who your kids are..Your day of reckoning is coming..You have scarred me for life..It's time for payback...You must finally be held accountable for your actions..There might be such a thing as statute of limitations..But there is no Statute of Molestation..

Email me here if you too were a victim of such sick behavior:

pro.motions.212@gmail.com

March 22, 2009 1:05 AM  
Blogger elies said...

I know him extremely well and you guys are simpletons. Any physical contact is unwelcome in this apathetic country we call, "America."

March 16, 2010 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry fellas,

was an mta boy myslef and I remember R' George from the time he interviewed me in 8th grade to the time he left sometime later...was all business to me...just another funky Y.U. character in the administration...he was no weirder than the rest of them and never came across as a perve...he disliked punks & rebels, and didn't seem to get to chummy chummy with the regulars or lost souls...

July 07, 2011 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only realized later on how perverted and probably sick this man was. I dormed at YUHS aka TMSTA-YUHSB at the time, as he insisted it be called.. The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy Yeshiva University High School For Boys.
Under the guise of "opening me up" to talk about things, he initiated wrestling purportedly to get me angry or riled up enough to express myself. He had me in his office, a closed door behind the seceratary desk, and pinned me on the floor and wouldn't let me up unless I spoke about personal things or fought him. I remember at times his sweaty face pressing against mine as he delivered his therapy. He would talk about personal information about family which he was privy to, being the vice principal, a position of trust. When approached, many parents and rabbis flat out denied the possibility of this.
Perhaps I will provide more details if I see this blog is taken seriously. I was in "MTA" 1980-1984.
Thank you for the blog.

October 05, 2012 3:10 AM  

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