A prominent modern Orthodox rabbi at a Georgetown synagogue was arrested by D.C. police on Tuesday morning and charged with voyeurism, according to a department spokeswoman.
Barry Freundel, 62, of the Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown, was being held in police custody Tuesday and would likely have an initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday. Police confirmed that his arrest came during a search of his home on O Street NW, about five blocks from the synagogue.
The police spokeswoman, Gwendolyn Crump, confirmed the arrest but declined to provide details of the allegation. Freundel’s home phone was not answered Tuesday afternoon. His arrest was first reported by Washingtonian magazine.
Freundel is one of the region’s most respected rabbis and leader of Kesher Israel, which belongs to the modern Orthodox school, a branch of Judaism that emphasizes Jewish law and tradition while trying to accommodate modern trends such as the rise of women in leadership. Kesher’s board is led by a woman.
He has taught at Baltimore Hebrew University, the University of Maryland and Georgetown University School of Law and has served as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health on ethical issues. According to Kesher’s Web site, he also heads the conversion committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and is vice president of the region’s Vaad, which oversees kosher rules at Jewish institutions.
Freundel has been rabbi at Kesher Israel since 1987.