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September 26, 2012

Chabad Forced Off Campus Due To Underage Drinking

Rabbi Dov Hillel KleinThe Northwestern University Chabad House repeatedly served alcohol to underage students in violation of the university's policy and local law, and ignorned warnings from the university to cease and desist doing so.

Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein

Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein

Rabbi prepares for last service after dispute with University
Cat Zakrzewski • Daily Northwestern

A growing rift between the Tannenbaum Chabad House and Northwestern was thrust into public view Tuesday after Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein sent an email to Jewish students saying that he was asked to resign earlier this summer.

In an email titled "Yom Kippur Reflection: A Very Personal Message," Klein announced that Wednesday would mark his last formal service on the NU campus.

Hours before Tuesday's Yom Kippur services began, Klein's email publicized the University’s decision to revoke Chabad House’s official status on campus. Klein wrote that Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president of student affairs, met with him in July and told him to resign immediately or the University would cut ties with him and Chabad.

Telles-Irvin informed Klein that Chabad House had not been following "university policy on alcohol consumption," according to Klein's email.

Telles-Irvin declined to comment on Klein's narrative Tuesday. NU spokesman Bob Rowley also had no comment, citing pending litigation.

Chabad filed a complaint in federal court against the University, stating Northwestern is discriminating against the Jewish faith by disaffiliating from Chabad, but not other campus organizations, according to Courthouse News Service.

Klein told The Daily he would not be discussing his email until after Yom Kippur, a day of atonement in Jewish culture.

Klein's roots in the NU community span nearly three decades. In his email, he recalled the "seven-year court battle" that brought Chabad to Evanston in the early 1980s.

Jewish students and members of the Chabad community said Klein's email caught them off guard.

“I couldn’t ask for a better campus rabbi,” said Evangeline Su (GWCAS '12), who has been active in Chabad since 2000.

Su said when she first came to campus, there were few kosher options available to students. Klein would take students shopping at kosher stores, she recalled, and was instrumental in bringing kosher meal options to Allison Dining Hall.

Su called Klein a source of counsel and comfort for students during times of tragedy. During a Yom Kippur service Tuesday evening, Su said Klein asked everyone to pray for the safe return of missing student Harsha Maddula, a McCormick sophomore who has not been seen since early Saturday morning.

Medill junior Kia Sosa, who attended a birthright trip to Israel with Klein in December 2011, said the rabbi served alcohol at student events but never encouraged excessive drinking.

“There’s no carding system,” Sosa said. “At a Shabbat dinner, there is alcohol.”

Many Jews honor Shabbat by reciting a blessing over wine that sanctifies the sabbath.

But Sosa said Klein sometimes offered what he called "brown and white," or hard alcohol. Sosa said students often drank "quarter shots" of the liquor.

“He always said, ‘It’s more a celebration of life than a means to get drunk,’” Sosa said. “There was no intention of students getting dangerously drunk at all.”

Despite the University allegations described in his email, Klein concluded the message on a hopeful note.

“Rest assured, we are not going anywhere,” Klein wrote. “We are staying right nearby to serve you for another 27 years and beyond.”

The Israel trip mentioned in the article appears to be one of the 25 Birthright trips Northwestern Chabad has offered that were led by Klein.

Comments

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About time.

The rules apply to everyone.

Lets hope that they can clear up these issues since Chabad is a valuable resource for Jewish college students. I know this since without Chabad my child would have nothing Jewish on or off campus.

I know of episodes at several other universities where Chabad used heavy whiskey consumption as a selling point.

I am not talking about wine for kiddush!

With Chabad it is Purim all year, and not in a good sense. I am sure Chabad got some warnings.

They should stick to Mountain Dew.

Barry, you mean they would have a lot of Jewish options if chabad did not make specific efforts to keep its monopoly status and keep other organizations from starting up on campus.

Anyway, its really time they learned that you can't break laws and policies and get away with it. Other clubs and organizations on campus might by accident give underage students beer in confusion, but i doubt any other clergy are plying students with hard liquor as a selling point.

“Rest assured, we are not going anywhere,” Klein wrote. “We are staying right nearby to serve you for another 27 years and beyond.”

I guess this is all that matters. I still think that it would be better if all parties can clear up their differences.

By the way, I love the reference to 27 years!

I was a student at Northwestern about 10 years ago, and I can say that NU is privileged to have Rabbi Klein as the rabbi of their local chabad. He is an easygoing man, does not force his religion on others and is respectful of all decent people.

Northwestern should deal with its bigger issues, such as its continued employment of former terrorist leader Bernardine Dohrn, before coming after Rabbi Klein and the Tannenbaum Chabad, which are not actually part of the university.

Where is the mention of underage drinking in the article? Since no mention of it in article, any mention of that at this point would be speculation at best, most likely ill-intentioned. Great way for you to start after Yom Kippur.

It's about time some oversight is finally put over these Chabad rabbis who have influence over impressionable underage college kids. As we recently all read right here about the Chabad rabbi who went to court with a thrice convicted Registered Sex Offender VOUCHING for him and trying to get his probabtion ended early. What kind of danger are the co-eds of Kingsborough Community College being exposed to when this Chabad rabbi invites these young girls to parties at his nearby shul where both wine and the registered sex offender will be present at the same time.

Can't find a better guy than Rabbi Klein. He is a blessing to NU and I can't think of why it's beneficial for the University to pick fights with such a wonderful man and organization.

what a joke on so many levels.
NU officials can demand the resignation of religious leadership of private organizations? What is official affiliation really worth? Scheduled access to NU facilities for events? LOL! There's nothing preventing Chabad from existing and operating as a wholly private entity right next door campus proper.

Universities and colleges in the US now operate in an atmosphere of fear. The paranoid, the mentally defective and the easily manipulated parental masses always respond predictably to cries of "Won't somebody please think of the children!".

The NU administration is a bunch of busybody pussies. They - and every other campus administration in the US - have succumbed to the obviously false notion that the administrative apparatus can and should act as babysitters to the student body. It simply cannot be done, there exist neither the resources to watch and protect all the kids all the time nor the moral obligation to do so - at least in a manner compatible with individual liberties for those over the age of majority.

Where is the mention of underage drinking in the article? Since no mention of it in article, any mention of that at this point would be speculation at best, most likely ill-intentioned. Great way for you to start after Yom Kippur.

Posted by: Charity begins at Home. | September 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM


Really?
“There’s no carding system,” Sosa said. “At a Shabbat dinner, there is alcohol.”Idiot.

Serving sacramental wine at a religious event is a legally protected right. It is permitted for churches and synagogues to do so in all 50 states. If Rabbi Klein is serving just the sacramental wine, he can defend himself more vigorously and remain on campus. However, if the article is correct and Rabbi Klein was serving "brown and white" alcohol to those under 21, he has broken the furnishing alcohol to minors law. If the university has evidence of that, they should provide it to the police and Rabbi Klein would be legally liable for misdemeanor consequences. In either case, the university is overreacting by kicking Chabad off the campus. Both parties should present the evidence that they have and let the local law enforcement sort it out in the courts. For more information about the underage drinking laws in your state and around the nation, please visit SocialHostLaw.com

The thing is, while the actions of Rabbi Dov are regrettable and indeed somewhat irresponsible, if the University is going to hold him accountable for serving alcohol to underage students, then it should also attempt to curb underage drinking in sororities, fraternities, and campus parties thrown by students or even social activity clubs that do the same. I don't feel this was an act of discrimination, but rather scapegoating or the desire to make an example out of Rabbi Dov. I'd be interested to know if perhaps the Chabad house was unwelcome on campus, or rather, if there were any other tensions brewing between campus administration, student life, and Chabad. While Rabbi Dov did not perhaps act in the most prudent manner, one can't deny that underage drinking on campus occurs, and occurs rampantly. I understand that Chabad is a sort of "institution" in the eyes of the academic bureaucracy, but I've seen administrations at universities to things much more serious: campus rape, sexual assault, plagiarism, etc etc etc. But I guess the fault is with Rabbi Dov and not the Chabad House. But then again, I can see using "FREE WINE AND WHISKEY" as a selling point for Chabad on a college campus...two sides to every story...

CHABAD = JEWISH ILLITRATE UNEDUCATED TRASH.they live with themselves by drinking and pretending they are Gedolim. it should be .....CHABAD THE JEWISH FREAK SHOW,.

If you give someone multiple warnings you can't just ignore that they continue flaunting l'hachis

Shmar--
Where is my post in which I explained what is going on?

I found it on the other article.
Here it is:


Rabbi Klein knows of what he speaks:
A farbrengen is an entirely different context from the campus abandon most are subject to.
As the Rebbe spoke of it in a maamer it is used to "take off the hide" and encourages chasidishe fellowship camaraderie.
http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/sichos-in-english/19/22.htm
I shall give them a bottle of mashke with which to hold a Chassidic farbrengen, at which they should talk about, encourage and inspire the participants to increase in Torah study, particularly Chassidus, beginning with Likkutei Torah.
http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/sichos-in-english/19/24.htm
As participation in the Melaveh Malkah, I will give mashke from this farbrengen for the Melaveh Malkah. And may it be G-d’s will that very soon we merit the time which will be “all mashke” — the future redemption.

2. [The following words were said in connection to the “Pegishah” held on this Shabbos.]

A “farbrengen” is possible only when there is more than one person present, for its purpose is for its participants to help one another in Judaism and all holy things.

There are two general categories of people at a farbrengen: The “mashpia” (giver) and “mekabel” (receiver). Each person at a farbrengen should learn from another, consonant to the directive of our Sages (Pirkei Avos 4:1), “Who is wise? He who learns from every person.” Thus, every person at a farbrengen is both a mekabel and a mashpia. In addition, there is a third, loftier force which unites the two ( “mashpia” and mekabel”).

Through a farbrengen, we elicit blessings from above, as stated, “Bless us our Father, all of us as one,” and, as the Alter Rebbe said, a Chassidic farbrengen can effect more that can the angel Michoel.

The above has particular application to this farbrengen, when many Jews from different places and walks in life have come together to inspire and strengthen one another to engage in all matters of Judaism and holiness.

I shall give mashke from this farbrengen for the farbrengen to be held at the Pegishah.

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