Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein
Chicago, IL - The religious discrimination lawsuit brought against Northwestern University by Lubavitch-Chabad of Illinois following the university’s disaffiliation with Tannenbaum Chabad House has been tossed out by a federal judge.
THE DAILY NORTHWESTERN reports that the 2012 suit was filed after Northwestern disaffiliated itself with Chabad House on grounds that its Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein had provided underaged students excessive amounts of alcohol.
In his December 19 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge John Darrah wrote the NU used a “legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason” when it exercised its disaffiliation clause with Chabad House.
NU voided Chabad House following an incident in which a underaged student required hospitalization due to over-consumption at a Chabad House event.
Rabbi Klein has maintained that state laws allow for minors to consume and receive alcohol during religious ceremonies, and that minor students were only served wine and hard liquor during Shabbot dinners.
Lawyers for Lubavitch-Chabad of Illinois had argued that other campus organizations, i.e. fraternities and sororities, have been found guilty of the same infractions, but have received “lesser penalties.”
Judge Darrah disagreed, stating that Lubavitch-Chabad was comparing “apples to oranges” because NU policy uses a different disciplinary code for the school’s Greek associations than it does religious organizations.
Reps for Lubavitch-Chabad said it plansto appeal the ruling.