Tacoma rabbi resigns following latest allegations of harassment

The rabbi accused of sending harassing messages to two women will resign his position Sunday. It’s not clear if he is also stepping down as director.

“I write to notify you that I am resigning my position as Rabbi of Chabad of Pierce County effective Sunday, August 11, 2019,” Rabbi Zalman Heber said in a statement provided to The News Tribune by his attorney Friday evening.

“Serving the community in Tacoma and Pierce County has been a privilege and an honor,” the statement continued. “I am grateful to our community for giving me the chance to serve, and I am proud of the work I have done on their behalf over the course of the last 16 years. I wish the community well going forward.”

The allegations against Heber were outlined in two stories in The News Tribune.

The first, on July 29, detailed a series of alleged sexually explicit messages sent to the wife of a soldier at Joint-Base Lewis McChord, Traci Moran.

The second, posted Friday, told of a similar pattern of harassment and an attempt of unwanted physical contact with a Chabad member, Kim Shomer.

An initial statement to The News Tribune said he was resigning as rabbi and director. A revised statement removed director.

“That will be determined,” Heber’s attorney, Barry Wallis, said regarding the director position.

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Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune for 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He previously worked at The Olympian and at other newspapers in Nevada and California.