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Prominent D.C. Rabbi Arrested for Voyeurism

Suspected of installing video cameras in mikvah showers at Kesher Israel

by
Stephanie Butnick
October 15, 2014
Kesher Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. (Adam Fagen/Flickr)

Kesher Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. (Adam Fagen/Flickr)

Barry Freundel, the rabbi at Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C.—a Modern Orthodox synagogue whose high-profile congregation includes Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and former Senator Joe Lieberman—was arrested yesterday on voyeurism charges.

According to the Forward, Freundel is accused of placing video cameras above the showers in the synagogue’s mikvah area. Kesher Israel’s mikvah, which is adjacent to the synagogue, is D.C.’s only Orthodox mikvah.

Computers and other devices were removed from Freundel’s Georgetown home at the time of his arrest.

Kesher Israel’s board of directors, which has suspended Freundel without pay, released a statement following the arrest.

This is a painful moment for Kesher Israel Congregation and the entire Jewish community. At this challenging time, we draw strength from our faith, our tradition, and our fellow congregants.



Upon receiving information regarding potentially inappropriate activity, the Board of Directors quickly alerted the appropriate officials.

Freundel is expected to appear in D.C. Superior Court today.

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.