Tunnel under Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters is not connected to Jewish Children’s Museum

By: Christian Haag
January 12 2024

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Tunnel under Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters is not connected to Jewish Children’s Museum

The original claim shared on X. Source: X/Screenshot/Edited by Logically Facts


The Verdict False

The tunnel is not connected to the Jewish Children's Museum as it was dug towards the synagogue and does not cross Kingston Avenue, in New York.

Claim ID 2ba9d8f4


In light of the recent news coverage of the illegally created tunnel under the Chabad Lubavitch headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, numerous conspiracy theories and claims have gone viral, primarily on X (formerly Twitter). Some posts claim that the tunnel was connected to the Jewish Children's Museum, which lies across the street from the headquarters. The claim has been repeated by high-profile misinformation spreaders with the suggestion that this is linked to trafficking and pedophilia. However, the claim is false. 

What happened?

The excavated area referred to as a tunnel was first discovered at the beginning of December and had been created by a fringe group within the Chabad Lubavitch movement. On January 8th, construction workers were to fill the area with cement and a group of Chabad students attempted to stop it from being sealed off.

Police attended to break up fighting, with several arrested at the scene. According to the Jewish news outlet Forward, the conflict boils down to theological differences within the Chabad Movement, as part of the movement wants to expand the Headquarters generally referred to as the "770."

In fact

Logically Facts contacted both the Chabad Lubavitch and the New York Department of Buildings (DOB). The DOB's investigation "found that a single linear underground tunnel (approximately 60 feet long, 8 feet wide and with a ceiling height of 5 feet) had been illegally excavated underneath a single-story extension located directly behind the four-story buildings at 784 Eastern Parkway and 786 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn." 

The DOB provided us with the approximate location of the excavated area. This shows that the tunnel was created towards and underneath the synagogue and does not cross over Kingston Street; therefore, it is not connected to the Jewish Children's Museum.

Approximate location of the excavated area provided to Logically Facts by the New York Department of Buildings.
(Source: Google Maps/Screenshot/Annotated by Logically Facts)

Logically Facts also spoke to Motti Seglison, spokesperson for the Chabad Lubavitch, who stated there is no tunnel from Union Street, as reported. The tunnel, as referred to by the DOB, is an area created by knocking through walls at basement level. Seglison also stated that nothing is connected to the museum and confirmed the location of the excavated area. 

Logically Facts has also contacted the Jewish Children's Museum for a comment. 

Antisemitism in response

The footage from the brawl inside the synagogue sparked many antisemitic posts on social media, particularly on X. Mike Rothschild, author of "Jewish Space Lasers, on the Rothschild family and two hundred years of conspiracy theories and myths," told Logically Facts that "The Jewish tunnel videos have sparked so many conspiracy theories because they tie into long-held prejudices and tropes about Jews, namely that they're secretive and devious, planning to do terrible things to Christian children and get away with it because they control the media and politics."

He added that such tropes also "play well with extant conspiracy theories about trafficking, secret tunnels, and sex crimes – which are a staple of the modern right-wing conspiracy movement. Essentially, the ground was already prepared for a conspiracy theory like this to spread, and it's being pushed by longtime conspiracy pushers with major followings."

Examples of the context in which the claim has been shared.
Source: X/Screenshot/Edited by Logically Facts

The verdict 

The DOB's report confirms that the excavated area runs from Kingston Avenue towards the Synagogue and is not connected to the Jewish Children's Museum. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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