Rabbi Barry Freundel, who has led the Kesher Israel Congregation synagogue at Georgetown University since 1989, was arrested by D.C. police in October 2014 and charged with voyeurism. In addition to his duties at the synagogue, Rabbi Freundel was also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law School and at Towson University in suburban Baltimore.
Rabbi Freundel, 62, is alleged to have used a hidden camera to record young women as they disrobed to participate in a ritual bath known as a mikvah, an ancient Jewish rite where the faithful immerse themselves in water as a path to spiritual cleansing and purification.
According to police and local media accounts, Rabbi Freundel placed recording equipment in the bathroom and dressing area adjacent to the mikvah bath facility he operated (which opened in 2005), and used this equipment to record young women as they prepared for spiritual cleansing. And although the mikvah rite is traditionally used only by Jews and those seeking to convert to Judaism, Rabbi Freundel apparently urged non-Jews (especially unmarried women) to use the facility on several occasions.
After his arrest, Rabbi Freundel was fired by the Kesher Israel Congregation synagogueand the bath facility has been methodically searched to ensure there are no more cameras or recording devices present.
In addition to criminal charges, a civil lawsuit–designed as a class action suit to represent the interest of all potential victims of the rabbi–has now been initiated. All those who attended the Kesher Israel Congregation synagogue at Georgetown University during this time, used the mikvah facility there, or who fear they may have had inappropriate contact with Rabbi Freundel are encouraged to contact us to learn more about the case.
The attorneys at Schochor, Federico and Staton are all too familiar with this kind of case, where there is a horrific breach of trust and voyeurism involving women in a time of vulnerability. We were, for instance, the lead attorneys representing the victims of Dr. Nikita Levy, a Johns Hopkins gynecologist who secretly photographed and videotaped women during examinations using a pen-like camera he wore around his neck. We helped secure a $190 million settlement for the victims of that case.
Please contact us immediately if you think you may be involved in the Rabbi Freundel case.