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Rabbi Freundel Conversions Are Valid, Israeli Chief Rabbinate Says

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate said it will recognize all past conversions performed by Rabbi Barry Freundel, the Washington rabbi charged with voyeurism.

On Tuesday, the Rabbinate clarified that it was joining the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America in affirming the validity of the conversions, a day after the Rabbinate said it would be examining their validity.

“The Chief Rabbinate of Israel clarifies that the Rabbi Freundel affair has no effect on the policy of recognizing conversions performed by him in the past,” Rabbinate spokesman Ziv Maor wrote to JTA in a text message.

Maor also wrote that until further notice, the Rabbinate will not recognize future conversions performed by Freundel.

“I’m pleased to see that the Rabbinate clarified the matter and acted relatively quickly in order to alleviate any further suffering on the part of Rabbi Freundel’s victims,” said Rabbi Seth Farber, director of the ITIM Jewish Life Advocacy Center, which pushed the Rabbinate to recognize the conversions.

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