Voyeur Rabbi Suspended as Details of Charges Come to Light

Police uncover six videos of women unwittingly filmed in Rabbi Barry Freundel's home.

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The Rabbinical Council of America suspended Barry Freundel, the Washington D.C. rabbi arrested this week on a voyeurism charge.

The RCA board met in an emergency meeting Wednesday and suspended Freundel, effective immediately, extending the ban to his activities with the Beth-Din of America, meaning that Freundel’s functions as one of the leading conversion rabbis in the United States were also suspended.

In a letter to member rabbis of the Orthodox body, the president, Rabbi Leonard Matanky, said the charges Freundel faces are “deeply troubling” and confirmed what had until now been attributed to anonymous sources — that the alleged peeping took place in the mikvah adjacent to Kesher Israel, Freundel’s Georgetown shul.

Freundel is “facing charges that are deeply troubling,” Matanky said, adding that the alleged peeping is a “terrible, awful violation of privacy and of the sanctity of the mikvah.”

Neal Augenstein, a journalist with WTOP, a Washington D.C. radio station, reported that the police have uncovered six videos of women undressing in the mikve in Freundel’s home.

According to a copy of the complaint posted online, the police have obtained video footage showing Freundel adjusting the hidden cameras multiple times. The complaint goes on to state that at least six women were caught on tape: Two on June 2, and four on September 13.

Washington’s police chief, Cathy Lanier, is meeting Sunday with Orthodox Jews to discuss privacy issues related to whatever recordings police may have uncovered in a search of Freundel’s house.

Matanky praised the Kesher Israel board, which reported Freundel to the authorities, for “acting responsibly” in the matter. He said in the letter that the RCA would “take further action as appropriate.”