DC- Rabbi allegedly filmed women bathing, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, October 15, 2014
A prominent Orthodox Rabbi from Washington DC has been arrested after allegedly video tapping women bathing in a ritual bathhouse. We applaud the brave woman who alerted officials to her suspicions.
Prior to his arrest, Rabbi Barry Freundel has been the rabbi at Kesher Israel in Georgetown since the late 1980s. He allegedly was filming women as they bathed at the synagogue’s mikvah, which is a traditional bathhouse. We are disappointed that a trusted official allegedly abused his position of authority to violate the privacy of maybe countless women.
We hope officials at Kesher Israel reach out to anyone who may have been violated. And we urge law enforcement officials to vigorously investigate and pursue the allegations and we urge synagogue officials to contact former synagogue members and staff who may have information about these allegations.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.