A Chabad man serves as the hazzan of a Chabad synagogue. Several years ago, outside another synagogue after a community event, the Chabad hazzan sexually assaults a woman who is a member of the Chabad synagogue. He is eventually arrested and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of lewd conduct. He is sentenced, serves a very brief time, is given probation and community service.
Meanwhile, the victim civilly sues Chabad, in part because she claims Chabad sheltered the hazzan. Now Chabad has sought a judgment against the victim for more than $175,000 in attorneys' fees, and a judge is about to grant that.
The Chabad? Las Vegas, Nevada. The Rabbi? She Harlig. The hazzan? Michael Segelstein. As Jewish Survivors notes:
Rabbi Harlig is attempting to sue a rape victim for attorney fees. This is a rape victim of a convicted sex offender who is on the national sex offender list.
Immediately after the arrest, Rabbi Harlig falsely claimed this victim – who worked in the synagogue's kitchen – was not Jewish. She went to the RCA's beit din. They investigated and found Rabbi Harlig's claim false. The woman is the daughter of a Jewish holocaust survivor from Vienna, Austria. The beit din issued her a document verifying her Jewishness. But, during the time the beit din was investigating Rabbi Harlig's false claims, this woman's teenage son – a very active synagogue goer and participant – was forced to sit in the back of the synagogue. He was banned from receiving aliyot or leading services. And he was shunned by other members, as was his mother, apparently at the direction of Rabbi Harlig.
And the man who attempted to rape this woman? He is a proud member of Chabad to this day, leading services and fully participating in synagogue life.
A double standard? You bet it is. And that double standard is sanctioned by and orchestrated by Chabad-Lubavitch.