Synagogue launches religious court case to evict Rabbi Barry Freundel

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Washington synagogue that dismissed Rabbi Barry Freundel after he was charged with voyeurism is trying to evict him from his synagogue-owned residence.

On Wednesday, Kesher Israel launched a case with the Beit Din of America to oust Freundel, who was arrested in October on charges that he spied on women, among them his students and converts, who used a ritual bath adjacent to the Orthodox synagogue.

“We were informed in late December that Rabbi Freundel did not have plans to leave the house,” Elanit Jakabovics, the president of Kesher Israel, said Thursday in an email to congregants. “So, we began informal conversations to resolve this issue with Rabbi Freundel and his attorney, but to no avail.”

Jakabovics said the synagogue was contractually bound to resolve disputes with Freundel through the Beth Din of America.

Kesher Israel terminated Freundel’s contract in November.

The rabbinical court system is affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America. Freundel’s alleged victims have named the RCA in a lawsuit.

Freundel is granting his wife, Sharon, a religious divorce, or get, the Washington Post reported.