The internal investigation also concluded that some personnel of the Orthodox Union and its National Conference of Synagogue Youth failed to respond properly to ``red flags'' raised during decades of complaints against Rabbi Baruch Lanner.
No cover-up was found, but Lanner's ``inappropriate and crude behavior'' should have led to his firing, according to a summary of the report released Tuesday.
``We sincerely apologize for the pain and suffering these young people experienced as a result of Rabbi Lanner's actions. We also wish to apologize to the families of these young people who entrusted their children to us,'' union president Mandell I. Ganchrow said.
``We promise to use this sad event as an opportunity to assure that behavior such as this will never again occur within our organization.''
Lanner, 50, who separated from his wife earlier this year, did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.
He told The Associated Press in July that he violated Orthodox Jewish law by having romantic relationships with former female students--none teen-agers--but did not break any other laws. Physical contact was limited to hand-holding and putting arms around each other, he said.
Lanner resigned as director of regions for the New York-based youth group in June after The Jewish Week of New York, a leading Jewish publication, ran accounts from more than 25 former students charging sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
The students, now in their 30s and 40s, said that Lanner kissed, fondled and hit teen-age girls and kneed boys in the groin. His accusers also said he attacked a man with a knife.
Prosecutors in New Jersey are investigating.
The Orthodox Union, which has a membership of nearly 1,000 synagogues and puts a seal of approval on kosher food, said it has arranged for free counseling for current and former youth group members.
The report also includes recommendations for the union, some of which have already been implemented, including anti-harassment programs.
Asked if any union staff will be fired, Ganchrow said, ``The issue of personnel is one of the areas that we are looking at.''