Orthodox Rabbinic Group Sued in Barry Freundel Mikveh Peeping Case

A lawsuit arising out of allegations of voyeurism at a Washington D.C. ritual bath added the Rabbinical Council of America as a defendant.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month by a third-year student at Georgetown University’s law school, initially named as defendants Rabbi Barry Freundel’s Washington synagogue, Kesher Israel, the adjacent mikvah and her own law school for allowing Freundel’s alleged misdeeds to go unchecked.

At a press conference on Thursday, the law firm representing her — Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin and White — added the RCA as a defendant and added two additional plaintiffs in a class action, WJLA, the local ABC affiliate, reported.

Calls to the law firm were unanswered, and Rabbi Mark Dratch, the RCA’s executive vice president, said the organization had not yet been officially notified of the suit.

RCA suspended Freundel in October and instituted reforms to prevent similar abuses.

The student in the original lawsuit took a class taught by Freundel and immersed at the mikvah while researching her paper.

She named Georgetown for failing to adequately check into Freundel’s background when hiring him.

“This case involves an unfathomable breach of trust by a Georgetown professor and religious leader and defendants’ utter failure to prevent and/or stop it,” the original lawsuit stated.

One of the new plaintiffs is Emma Shulevitz, who approached Freundel in order to convert and who has written about her experiences with Freundel and the ostracism she has suffered since speaking out.

The ABC report did not name the other defendant, but suggested the lawsuit could expand to include students of Freundel at another university, Towson, in Maryland.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Orthodox Rabbinic Group Sued in Barry Freundel Mikveh Peeping Case

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close