Rabbi Norman Lamm of Yeshiva University Resigns

And in the what took so long category, Rabbi Norman Lamm, the longtime Chancellor of Yeshiva University today finally resigned. In his resignation letter, he acknowledged he failed to act appropriately in response to sexual abuse perpetuated by his staff. He admittedly knew about the activities and did not alert the authorities, preferring to handle it privately.

Rightfully, Lamm says “At the time that inappropriate actions by individuals at Yeshiva were brought to my attention, I acted in a way that I thought was correct, but which now seems ill conceived. And when that happens — one must do yeshiva. So, I too must do teshuvah [repentance].”

It is despicable to be silent in the face of wrongdoing – especially in matters as heinous as child molestation. As I wrote repeatedly (here, here and here), Lamm had to go and Yeshiva University as an institution had a lot to be ashamed about as the result of this affair.  Owning a crisis PR agency, I understand the need to handle matters at the right time and in an appropriate manner. No matter what and where, child molestation must not be covered up.

As Lamm himself wrote “True character requires of me the courage to admit that, despite my best intentions then, I now recognize that I was wrong.”  We all know what the road to hell is paved with.

Now that Lamm has finally – much too late – stepped up and is finally taking responsibility, others should follow.  Who else on YU’s staff, board and community also needs to do teshuva?  This is an issue which involves many people – and many more still need to take responsibility.

About the Author
Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of 5WPR. Headquartered in New York City, the firm is one of the 25 largest independent public relations firms in the United States. 5WPR has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards; and Ronn Torossian is the winner of the Silver Stevie Communications, Investor Relations, and PR Executive of the Year of the Year Award by the American Business Awards. Ronn’s book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations,” received rave reviews. He is a member of the prestigious Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is an active board member of a number of non-profit organizations. Ronn Torossian is a frequently sought after communications expert, often appearing on FOX News, CNBC, Huffington Post, Time Magazine, and other major media outlets. He resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his family. Email: Facebook: Ronn's Facebook Twitter: Ronn's Twitter Page