Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Barry Freundel May Have Peeped on More Women — Prosecutors Create Web Site

Prosecutors reportedly said that there could be more victims in the Rabbi Barry Freundel mikveh peeping scandal at his hearing today in a Washington D.C. court.

Freundel was arrested nearly a month ago on charges that he secretly recorded women showering in the mikveh at his synagogue.

At the status hearing, government prosecutors told the judge that they were still investigating Freundel’s case, and were unprepared to offer a plea deal yet.

“There may be numerous victims we don’t know about,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Zubrensky said, according to the Washington Post.

The Washington Post reported that one attorney representing a potential Freundel victim was present at the hearing.

According to the Washington Jewish Week, one of the six victims already identified by prosecutors was also there. The paper said that no members of Freundel’s family appeared to be in attendance.

Freundel pleaded not guilty on October 15 to charges of voyeurism. He has been suspended by the Rabbinical Council of America and by his synagogue, Kesher Israel.

The RCA says that it knew of charges in 2012 that Freundel had behaved inappropriately in his role overseeing conversions, but that he was not barred from working with converts and his synagogue was not informed.

During a hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Zubrensky told Senior Judge Patricia Wynn that her office had created a section on the Justice Department’s website for alleged victims.

The section asks possible victims to contact the U.S. Attorney’s office with any information.

No plea offer was made and the investigation is continuing, said Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Wynn also ordered Freundel, who is free on his own recognizance, not to leave the country, Miller said.

The court has ordered Freundel to stay away from people he had helped convert to Judaism and participated with in the Jewish ritual bathing process known as mikvah, according to court documents.

He was also ordered to stay away from the Kesher Israel synagogue and the National Capital Mikvah. Freundel’s congregation has included Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.

Calls seeking comment from Freundel’s attorney, Jeffrey Harris, were not immediately returned. A status hearing is set for Jan. 16.

With Reuters

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.