Tagged Rabbi Barry Freundel

Mikvah-peeping Rabbi Barry Freundel’s jail sentence reduced by over a year due to good behavior

Rabbi Barry Freundel exits a courthouse after entering his guilty plea, Feb. 19, 2015. (Dmitriy Shapiro/Washington Jewish Week)

(JTA) — The jail sentence of Rabbi Barry Freundel, a once-prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi in Washington, D.C. who secretly filmed women in his synagogue’s mikvah, has been shortened by over a year due to good behavior, his lawyer said. Freundel’s 6 1/2-year sentence also was reduced because he participated as… Read more »

Barry Freundel’s former DC synagogue trying to move past mikvah trauma

Rabbi Avidan Milevsky, gesturing, leads a Sunday morning Talmud class after services at Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2015. (Uriel Heilman)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Though it’s been more than a year since Rabbi Barry Freundel was hauled away in handcuffs for installing secret cameras at his synagogue’s mikvah, his crime still casts a shadow over his longtime Orthodox congregation, Kesher Israel. Three civil lawsuits are pending against Kesher by women… Read more »

Freundel apologizes for mikvah-peeping, but must Jews forgive?

Rabbi Barry Freundel exits the courthouse after entering his guilty plea, Feb. 19, 2015. (Dmitriy Shapiro)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Writing from his jail cell last week, just days before the Jewish New Year, Rabbi Barry Freundel said he was sorry. It was the rabbi’s first public statement since his arrest almost a year ago and his subsequent sentencing to 6-and-1/2 years behind bars for secretly filming women undressing in… Read more »

Panel recommends changes to Orthodox conversion, offers snapshot of converts

The Rabbinical Council of America found that 78 percent of those who convert through its system are women. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) – After facing criticism for its handling of inappropriate behavior by a convert-supervising rabbi who turned out to be a mikvah-peeping voyeur, the country’s main centrist Orthodox rabbinical group has released key guidelines aimed at preventing abuses during the conversion process. The Rabbinical Council of America is recommending that would-be… Read more »

Freundel pleads guilty to 52 voyeurism charges

Rabbi Barry Freundel, left, with his lawyer, Dmitriy Shapiro, outside the Washington courthouse where he pleaded guilty to 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism for spying on women at his Orthodox synagogue's mikvah, Feb. 19, 2015. (Dmitriy Shapiro / Washington Jewish Week)

WASHINGTON (JTA/Washington Jewish Week) — Rabbi Barry Freundel, the former spiritual leader at a prominent Washington synagogue, pleaded guilty to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism. The plea Thursday means that Freundel could be sentenced to a maximum penalty of 52 years in prison and ordered to pay tens of… Read more »

Why the RCA’s conversion system is better than the alternative

NEW YORK (JTA) – In a recent JTA Op-Ed, Rabbis Marc Angel and Avi Weiss made a number of claims about the Rabbinical Council of America’s conversion system. While some of their arguments have merit, they paint only a partial picture of what we’re doing in the North American… Read more »

For some Orthodox converts, biggest challenges come after mikvah

NEW YORK (JTA) – There was the convert who was barred from a synagogue on Yom Kippur, the Jamaican convert whose boyfriend’s rabbi offered him a coveted synagogue honor if only he’d dump her, the grandmother who told her granddaughter she’d be going to hell because she became a… Read more »

Op-Ed: What the Freundel scandal says about Orthodoxy

MODIIN, Israel (JTA) — With the news that Rabbi Barry Freundel, a prominent Orthodox rabbi, has been arrested for peeping at the naked bodies of his female congregants through a secret camera in the mikvah, or Jewish ritual bath, many disturbing questions are being raised about the implications of… Read more »