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Yeshiva University's ongoing legal battle persists. Photo: Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty

Did Yeshiva University forget it's not a secular institution for $230 million?

Yeshiva has 30 days to provide full accounting of how it spent the money

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Last year, Yeshiva University, a Modern Jewish Orthodox school announced its “intent” to recognize an LGBTQ group—establishing Kol Yisrael Areivim Club a “traditional Orthodox alternative to YU Pride Alliance.” 

The ongoing legal battle with students that challenge the institution's stance arguing it violates the law by fostering an environment of discrimination based on sexual orientation. 

The Supreme Court ruled at the time favoring the formation of an LGBTQ club “Pride Alliance” in Yeshiva university’s campus. 

At the time, the University president, Rabbi Ari German said “every faith-based university in the country has the right to work with its students, including its LGBTQ students, to establish the clubs, places and spaces that fit within its faith tradition.” 

However, the victory was short-lived after YU halted all student clubs after ruling, causing an uproar among students’ who viewed this as a desperate attempt to avoid recognizing the LGBTQ club, forcing the YU LGBTQ club from reaching a compromise that it will not force the institution to recognize the LGBTQ club if all clubs are reinstated. 

Kol Yisrael Areivim Club did not exist despite the University’s claim of establishing an LGBTQ club. 

Today the New York Times reported that “the Modern Jewish Orthodox school might have misrepresented itself as a secular institution on at least two occasions in order to qualify for more than $230 million in public funds to build and renovate its facilities and restructure its pre-existing debts.” 

The higher education institution has been given “30 days to provide a full accounting, with supporting documents, of how it spent that money,” reports New York Times. 

“I think this matter is worthy of investigation and a potential criminal inquiry, based on what we know from their own court testimony,” said Senator Brad Hoylman, the chair of the Judiciary Committee and one of the signatories of the letter sent to Yeshiva. “There is the potential that Yeshiva has misrepresented its mission and that could constitute fraud.”

The University is still in a legal battle over religious freedom and civil rights violations. 

The penalties the school may face are unknown, but it may affect its ability to students to receive public funding in the future.

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