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2014-11-21 digital edition

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November 21, 2014  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Court upholds ruling for Northwestern U. in Chabad discrimination suit

(JTA) — Northwestern University did not discriminate against a Chabad house when it cut ties with the religious institution, a federal appeals court ruled.

U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Richard Posner in Chicago upheld the dismissal of a 2012 lawsuit alleging the university had severed relations with the Tannenbaum Chabad House in Evanston,IL, and its director, Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein, for anti-Semitic and religious reasons.

Northwestern cut ties with the Tannenbaum Chabad House following reports that the rabbi had served underage students wine and hard alcohol.

In its lawsuit, Tannenbaum Chabad claimed that the university disaffiliated with it while campus fraternities and sororities also were guilty of underage drinking.

“As far as we’ve been able to determine, plying minors with hard liquor is not required by any Jewish religious observance,” Posner said in his decision, pointing out that alcohol was served regularly to underage students while under Chabad House auspices and that Rabbi Klein drank with them.

Posner also said Rabbi Klein was warned repeatedly but did not react.

Rabbi Meir Moscowitz, the director of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois, told the Daily Northwestern that “Rabbi Klein remains steadfastly committed to serving the students and faculty of Northwestern University, as he has for close to three decades.”

He said no decision had been made on a further appeal.

Alan Cubbage, Northwestern’s vice president for university relations, said in a statement that the university has affiliations with several other religious centers on or near the campus, including the Fiedler Hillel Center.

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