Report: Tiny cameras, memory cards found in Freundel’s Towson U. office


(JTA) — Tiny cameras and memory cards capable of holding hundreds of thousands of images were found in the Towson University office of Rabbi Barry Freundel.

The  devices, memory cards and flash drives, as well as a photo of naked women and a handwritten list of names, were found in the rabbi’s office on the campus near Baltimore during a police search, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

Freundel, a prominent Orthodox leader and rabbi at Washington’s Kesher Israel synagogue, was arrested on Oct. 14 for allegedly installing a clock radio with a hidden camera in the shower room of the synagogue’s mikvah, or ritual bath. He is believed to have secretly filmed women showering and undressing before their immersions, which is part of the conversion ritual and which married Orthodox women perform each month following menstruation.

Freundel pleaded not guilty to voyeurism in a D.C. court on Oct. 15. He is charged with six misdemeanor counts of voyeurism.  Kesher Israel has suspended Freundel without pay, as has the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America.

Freundel has been a tenured associate professor at Towson since 2009. The school also has suspended Freundel and barred him from campus.

The affidavit for the search warrant filed in Baltimore County District Court and obtained by the Washington Post says that “several young female students” toured the Orthodox synagogue Kesher Israel at Freundel’s invitation, with “some even participating in the bathing ritual.”

Some students have told the Towson student newspaper The Towerlight that several female students who toured the synagogue used the mikveh at Freundel’s suggestion for an educational experience. It is not known if any of the students were filmed.

“Dr. Freundel has been suspended from any and all faculty duties and responsibilities, pending the outcome of that investigation and associated criminal proceedings. At this time there is no indication that these activities occurred on the Towson University campus. We are concerned about the serious nature of this matter, and we are providing support and counseling resources to members of the campus community,” Towson Director of Communications Ray Feldmann said in a statement Wednesday.

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