Local News

Chapel Hill Rabbi's Past Catches Up To Him

Posted May 18, 2001

— A Chapel Hill Rabbi who belongs to one of Judaism's most religious sects, is trying to answer questions from the local community about his role in a violent crime 10 years ago.

Rabbi Pinchas Lew teaches at the Chabad near the UNC campus. A new book tells the previously unknown story about Lew driving the getaway car during an robbery attempt in Iowa. The robbery left a store clerk with a bullet in her spine. The book adds Lew has yet to pay damages to the clerk.

"That really seems to be the key issue: are you paying her back? What's going on with that? We didn't really get an answer to that," says Art Werner, the Local Jewish Federation president.

"The most serious question that I think we all face right now is that his main constituency that he reaches out to are college students," Rabbi Lucy Dinner says.

Rabbi Dinner of Temple Beth Or says Lew addressed the issue with several rabbis earlier this week. Lew declined our request for an interview.

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