Kristin Lowman • Fox 23 News
Rabbi Mendel Rubin, the Director of UAlbany's Jewish Student Center faces a misdemeanor charge after police say he hosted a party at the center called Shabbos House and a student who attended was taken to the hospital. Police say this happened back on February 5th.
According to the police report at the scene the underage student was unconscious and blew above a .4 into a blood alcohol screening device, but the rabbi's lawyer says that number isn't accurate.
Guilderland Police Captain Curtis Cox says, "our emergency services got a call for someone sick almost unconscious on Fuller Road, so our department responded with our EMS department.
Police responded to 320 Fuller Road, Shabbos House, the Jewish Student Center at UAlbany.
Cox says, "EMS reported the person to be highly intoxicated and it appeared he had been sick. Thats when officers started their investigation."
According to the police report, Rabbi Mendel Rubin was hosting a party at the house where alcohol was provided. Police say the sick person, an underage student, had consumed alcohol at the party.
He had to be transported to St. Peter's Hospital and according to the report the student blew a .459.
Cox says, "at that BAC you are highly impaired its even life threatening."
Rabbi Rubin's lawyer Peter Gerstenzang says that BAC can't be accurate. By phone Friday night, Gerstenzang told FOX23 the student was attending the rabbi's birthday party which was only an hour long.
Alcohol was provided for the adults attending.
Gerstenzang says the student helped himself to the drinks adding the rabbi and his wife never served the minor.
Gerstenzang said by phone tonight that the Rubins are horrified by the charge. "This was a complete aberration that has shocked the Rubins and has resulted in an advisory committee being formed to supervise the issue. They have also instituted an absolute ban of alcohol at Shabbos House."
Gerstenzang says the Rubins didn't know the young man was drinking until he threw up and the ambulance was called.
He added the student was back at Shabbos House the next day.
Rabbi Rubin was issued an appearance ticket, he is due back in Guilderland Town Court at a later date.
February 5 – the 22 of Shevat on the Hebrew calendar – may be Rubin's birthday. But the 22 of Shevat has special significance to Chabad: the yahrtzeit of the Rebbe's wife, Chaya Mushka, who died on the 22 of Shevat 1988.