The Metropolitan Police Department is asking anyone who used the National Capital Mikvah in Georgetown to submit his or her photo to the department as part of the ongoing investigation into Rabbi Barry Freundel, who was charged Tuesday with voyeurism.
Freundel is accused of making secret video recordings of at least six women in the bathroom and shower area of the National Capital Mikvah as they dressed and undressed during their visit to the mikvah.
At least one D.C. woman who has used the mikvah decided to submit her photograph. Rabbi Freundel “is someone I trusted,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. “He is the leader of the Jewish community. When you say his name, everyone knows it.”
The woman, who converted to Judaism through the Conservative Movement, had approached Freundel about receiving an Orthodox conversion. During that conversation, he told her he would take her to the mikvah for a practice dunk, even though she didn’t have the $25 fee with her.
Freundel did come into the shower room and talk to her there. She did not undress in his presence, the woman said.
“At this point, in hindsight, I feel like I was coerced into doing something that was beneficial to him, not me,” she said. “I am totally in dismay. I had so much respect for him,” she said.
Those who believe they were may have been a victim in this case should email Det. George DeSilva at firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture of their face and contact information, using “mikvah case” as the subject line.
Suzanne Pollack is a reporter at Washington Jewish Week, the Jewish Times’ sister publication.