One black back Linda Gerstel was in ninth grade, one of her agents at the celebrated Ramaz School, Albert Goetz, asked her to break backward afterwards class.
By then, in the mid-1970s, Goetz had become a appalling amount at Ramaz, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He would anon become a allegorical academy adviser, able to dedicated a student’s accepting at an Ivy League academy with one buzz call. And, as best of the accepting knew, he was a claimed acquaintance and tennis accomplice of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Ramaz’s well-respected principal. Lookstein, now the arch emeritus of Ramaz, officiated at the alliance of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in 2009.
But to Gerstel, Goetz was aloof her funny, affable algebraic teacher.
Then he fabricated an abnormal request.
“He bound the aperture and said he had a acquaintance who was on deadline, autograph for a accurate journal, and that he bare pictures of feet,” Gerstel, now an advocate in New York and Connecticut, told the Forward.
An angel of Albert Goetz from Ramaz’s 1976 yearbook.
Gerstel didn’t apprehend that Goetz’ absorption in her, and her feet, was ual. Back she told her beforehand sister about the adventure later, her sister said Goetz had done the aforementioned affair to her.
Goetz’s history of delinquency at Ramaz has appear to ablaze as the aftereffect of an absolute address appear by the academy in August about cases of animal delinquency by accomplished teachers. According to the report, Goetz had bloodthirsty relationships with changeable accepting over a aeon of added than two decades while he was at Ramaz. His behavior ranged from photographing their anxiety to abrasion the girls’ beard to “physical and adventurous relationships” with them, according to the report.
And while the photographs were broadly accounted at the school, a ancestor has told the Forward that she a Lookstein about Goetz’s “physical” accord with a apprentice 1982. The ancestor said that he beneath to act on the advice because she had been “sworn to secrecy” and wouldn’t acquaint him the name of the student.
The mother’s anniversary contradicts Ramaz’s report, which was aggregate by lath at the law aing Debevoise & Plimpton. The address declared that there was “no evidence” that Lookstein or any added Ramaz ambassador anytime knew about the concrete relationships. It did accede that Lookstein had accepted at assorted credibility about Goetz’s convenance of photographing changeable students’ anxiety and had alleged not to aish him.
The mother’s anniversary of her chat with Lookstein was corroborated by two above accepting who abounding Ramaz in the 1970s and 1980s: the woman’s daughter, who the Forward will accredit to as “Sarah,” and a woman the Forward will accredit to as “Reena.” Goetz didn’t blow or photograph either Sarah or Reena, they said. Both told the Forward that they were told about the chat amid the mother and Lookstein at the time it happened.
“It’s about time that these bodies were alleged on this,” said the mother. “It’s amazing to me what they preach, and what they do. Aloof be consistent.”
The relationships included concrete contact, activity on dates, and exchanging adulation letters, according to “Elana,” a above apprentice at the academy in the 1970s and 1980s who asked to abide anonymous. Elana said she had announced anon with two women who had such relationships with Goetz. She said that, to her knowledge, the relationships were not “case[s] of animal aggravation or animal corruption or abduction or annihilation like that.”
A agent for the academy and for Lookstein did not acknowledge to emailed questions beatific on September 12 about Lookstein’s connected role at the school, whether he draws a bacon or maintains an arrangement at the school, and what added the academy affairs to do to appearance its behavior against absorption accepting from delinquency by teachers. The Forward additionally queried whether Lookstein was acquainted that Goetz had concrete relationships with accepting above-mentioned to 2005.
Lookstein did not acknowledge to a buzz alarm and two argument letters to his claimed corpuscle buzz that were denoted as “Read.”
Goetz did not acknowledge to assorted letters larboard for him on his home buzz articulation mail and at his accepted abode of employment.
“He knew how to aces them.”
The mother’s adventure is the latest adumbration about animal delinquency in Jewish schools in New York City that accept alike this year. Ramaz appear the after-effects of its ysis in August, while two added schools — SAR Academy, in Riverdale, and Wester Day School, in Mamaroneck, NY — accept not yet done so.
The Ramaz address alleged three above teachers, including Goetz, who abused accepting at the school. One of the added teachers, Stanley Rosenfeld, was the accountable of a Forward ysis in August. The Forward appear beforehand this ages that Lookstein was a in 1980 that Rosenfeld, who was an ambassador at Ramaz from 1972 to 1974, had confused a Ramaz student. The third man, Richard Andron, was a karate adviser at an afternoon affairs at Ramaz.
Courtesy of a above Rama…
An angel of Goetz bistro pizza with accepting from Ramaz’s 1982 yearbook.
Goetz came to Ramaz in 1969, according to a archetype of his resume from 2013 acquired by the Forward. He was alone removed in 2005 back he was about to be accustomed at the anniversary dinner, and association associates contacted the academy administering in protest, citation his animal aggravation of changeable students. The academy advised him and begin that he had photographed the anxiety of at atomic 17 Ramaz students, and had “romantic and concrete relationships” with two accepting in the aboriginal 1980s. The ysis and its after-effects are declared in Ramaz’s August report. The address doesn’t say whether Goetz’s relationships with changeable accepting were ual, and Ramaz beneath to acknowledgment questions about the report.
Goetz acclimated his position of ascendancy as a abecedary and a academy adviser to bulldoze changeable accepting to let him booty their account and besom their hair, according to Gerstel, Elana, Sarah and Reena.
According to the students, Goetz had a type. The girls he became aing to were generally academically talented, religiously advertent and not commonly pretty.
“Plain, intellectual, quiet and good,” said Sarah. “That was his sensitivity, alive which girls were activity to break quiet.”
“They were outstanding accepting — religious, not rebellious, went assimilate Ivy League schools,” said Reena. “He knew how to aces them. He was a master.”
But Goetz was alike added careful about the women he chose to appoint in adventurous relationships with. He generally alleged these accepting to be the editor of the yearbook, of which he was the adroitness adviser for several years.
“They were his favorites, and his protected,” said Elana.
The relationships were accepted amid a subset of the school’s changeable aerial academy accepting in the backward 1970s and aboriginal 1980s, according to the bearding above students. They happened at a time back friendly, aing relationships with agents at the academy were not exceptional of. Accepting generally socialized aboveboard with the agents afterwards academy hours. Goetz was broadly accepted to booty the anniversary agents on birding trips on the weekends, or accept them to his accommodation for dinner. On Sundays, the anniversary agents formed in Ramaz’s abandoned architecture beneath Goetz’s direction.
Many accepting thrived with these aing relationships with faculty, and the above accepting who batten to the Forward said that discrimination didn’t anticipate them from accepting abundant educations. Goetz, for example, was cited by the above accepting as actuality the best algebraic abecedary they anytime had.
But Goetz presented a different case of accouterment accepting with able affidavit to advance a aing accord with him: His academy admissions prowess.
After aing the academy advising arrangement in 1978, he helped pushed the academy appear acceptable the admissions “juggernaut” it is today, according to Lee Levine, who abounding in for Goetz afterwards he was let go from the academy in 2005. In a 2007 ysis of absolute aerial schools by the Wall Street Journal, Ramaz had a academy amount of graduates in aristocratic colleges than nationally accepted schools like Sidwell Friends, in Washington, D.C., or Horace Mann, in the Bronx.
“I accept that Goetz gets the acclaim for accepting created that dynamic, whereby a buzz alarm from Ramaz could change a cessation to an acceptance,” said Levine, who larboard Ramaz in 2007, and still works in academy advising. “There are actual few bodies on the arena who can do that.”
Meetings about academy advising took abode in Goetz’s office, which was amid in a bend of the school’s basement, afterwards academy hours — sometimes until eight p.m. He generally asked the changeable accepting to besom their beard or beating their feet, sometimes for about the absolute advising appointment. Some of Goetz’s accepting about absitively to let Goetz accept his way, if it meant they would get into the academy of their dreams.
“If you’re singled out by this person, and he brand you, again you don’t appetite to blend with that,” said Elana, who said she additionally had her anxiety photographed by Goetz.
The apprentice continued, “[T]here were all the signs of inappropriate absorption to students, and anybody saw that, anybody knew about that, and it was never questioned. Nothing was anytime done to say this is inappropriate.”
‘He’s not like that.’
Reena said she bent Goetz with changeable accepting on two occasions in the aboriginal 1980s. The additional time, back she opened the aperture to his arrangement unannounced, two girls who formed on the anniversary were abaft his desk. One of them was sitting on his lap, and both of the girls looked disheveled. The above apprentice recalled that as anon as she absolved in, all three of them jumped and confused abroad from anniversary other.
“I accept no abstraction if he anytime absolutely had with them,” Reena said. “I don’t apperceive how far it went with any of the girls.”
In 1982, aloof afore graduation, Sarah a her ancestor about a changeable student’s accord with Goetz. The ancestor said she was “appalled,” and anon alleged Lookstein.
When a about the allegation, the ancestor says, Lookstein “sang [Goetz’s] praises.”
“Oh, he can’t accept it, he’s not like that,” the ancestor recalled. “He dedicated him.”
Lookstein asked the ancestor to yze the babe in the accord with Goetz.
“I wouldn’t acquaint him,” the ancestor said. “I said, ‘I’m affidavit to secrecy, but you still charge to attending into it.’”
“He didn’t appetite to do annihilation if I didn’t acquaint him who she was,” the ancestor added. “You don’t accept to apperceive who it is, you aloof accept to apperceive its happening.”
According to the August report, Lookstein did apperceive about an instance in which Goetz had approved to photograph the anxiety of a changeable apprentice in the aboriginal 1990s. The apprentice appear the adventure to her parents, who in about-face a Lookstein. Lookstein again told the parents that it was “not the aboriginal complaint he had accustomed about Goetz,” according to the report
Lookstein again had Goetz evaluated by a psychiatrist. The yst was alone acquainted of the abandoned incident, and accounted Goetz fit to abide alive at the school. But by 2000, according to Gerstel, Goetz’s photographs were no best artlessly a rumor.
“It wasn’t a secret,” said Gerstel. “People knew.”
Gerstel said she a Lookstein about her own adventure of actuality asked to appearance her anxiety for Goetz’s photographs in 2000, back she was attractive for a Jewish academy for her daughter.
“What I told him is that I didn’t feel adequate sending my babe to the academy because Al Goetz was still teaching at the school. And he didn’t assume surprised,” Gerstel recalled. “I didn’t absolutely feel so comforted by that.”
From the 1970s up until 2005, Lookstein maintained a amusing accord with Goetz, according to a actuality accustomed with the long-running match. They were common tennis partners, sometimes arena doubles matches calm with their wives. Goetz was a affiliate of Lookstein’s alternating doubles crew, which was the accountable of a abbreviate adventure in the New York Times.
After the 2005 ysis was completed and Goetz was absolved from the school, he confused to Virginia. In 2006, he began alive as an accessory academician in mathematics at George Mason University, and accomplished on-and-off there until the bounce division of 2017.
According to David Walnut, the armchair of GMU’s algebraic department, no apprentice has anytime lodged a complaint about Goetz while he accomplished at the school. Walnut said it was cryptic if Goetz was assassin on the advocacy of Ramaz, because the above armchair who assassin him has back died, and the algebraic administration frequently hires accessory advisers on the backbone of their resumes.
Goetz is currently the Senior Mathematics Editor for the publications of the National Council of Agents of Mathematics, area he has formed back July 2005.
A agent for the NCTM could not be accomplished for comment.
In acknowledgment to the absolution of the August report, Ramaz said it had conducted a daylong training with accepting and agents in the academy about how to admit animal misconduct. The academy said it planned to absorb acquaint from that training into its policies.
Gerstel said that the academy needs added safeguards, including at atomic one absolute lath affiliate to whom accepting and parents and address issues of misconduct. She added that accepting may not consistently apperceive back they’re actuality ualized, or back a aing accord with a abecedary is aing on acceptable a animal relationship.
“There needs to be an acquaintance campaign,” she said. “Not all accepting will admit behavior that can advance to added inappropriate conduct.”
She additionally said that she wants the academy to assure accouchement over its own reputation.
“For such a continued time, cipher capital to abash the school,” said Gerstel.
Ari Feldman is a agents biographer at the Forward. Acquaintance him at [email protected] or chase him on Twitter @aefeldman
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