Kesher Israel 

From the President's Desk

January 29, 2015

Dear Friends,


I invite you to join us at our Town Hall Meeting Monday evening, February 2, at 7:30pm.  We will be discussing a wide-range of topics affecting our shul and our community.  (Please note that this event is closed to the media and the general public not associated with Kesher Israel.)


(Please RVSP if you plan on attending and come at 7pm to help make minyan that night.)


Before Monday's meeting, I would like to provide everyone with an update and an accurate timeline of what has occurred since Rabbi Freundel's arrest on October 14. 


On November 24, the Board notified Rabbi Freundel that we had unanimously voted to terminate his contract with KesherSince his contract provided him the benefit of living in the shul-owned rabbinic residence while employed, the Board notified him that he had until January 1, 2015, to move out. 


Unfortunately, that has not happened. We were informed in late December that Rabbi Freundel did not have plans to leave the house. So, we began informal conversations to resolve this issue with Rabbi Freundel and his attorney, but to no avail. 


Of significant note is that since his arrest and initial suspension without pay on October 14, Rabbi Freundel has not received any financial compensation from Kesher Israel.


Under the terms of his contract, all contractual disputes are to be resolved via arbitration through a beit din. Therefore, on Wednesday, January 28, we formally opened a case against Rabbi Freundel with the Beit Din of America.


Kesher's position is clear: Rabbi Freundel's contract with Kesher has been terminated, for cause, and he must vacate the residence and return all shul property immediately. We have also asked for monetary compensation for his illegal occupancy of the house since January 1 and compensation to cover the costs of this unnecessary arbitration.


We are still hopeful that we can resolve this issue before appearing in front of the beit din so that we can focus on continuing to heal and move forward. I will continue to provide updates on the case as it proceeds.


As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, concerns, or just to talk.

All the best,
Elanit signature
Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter
Join Our Mailing List


Have something to share in the SAP or the Tuesday Weekly Digest? Email


Kesher Israel Congregation


2801 N Street NW

Washington D.C. 20007

(Corner of 28th & N)



Office: (202) 333-2337

Fax: (202) 333-4808

Eruv: (202) 338-ERUV


Visit the Kesher Israel website.


Stay connected with the Kesher Israel calendar.


For general inquiries, email


Welcome to Kesher
If you are new to the community, we'd like to welcome you and make Kesher your new home. Tell us about yourself! Fill out this brief form, let us know who you are and how we can help you settle in. Email the  
for more information or with any questions!


Daily Minyan

Please help us make a minyan as often as you can.  Even if you can only commit to attending once a week, it would be helpful.      



Please visit the website to see the current class schedule. 



If you have an extra place at your table for Shabbat, please email the Hospitality team so we can accommodate those who need a Shabbat meal. Thank you!


Kelim Mikvah

The mikvah remains open.  Please do not use the kelim (utensil) mikvah after sundown.


Sponsor Kiddush!

We provide kiddush every week for the congregation, with or without sponsors. Help support us by contributing to our kiddush fund. No donation is too small! Email for more information about kiddush sponsorship.


Contact Information


Board of Directors - Channah Charlton 


Shabbat Meal Hospitality - 


Mikvah - (202) 

Please give at least 48 hours notice for appointments.


Children's Programming - Shari Diamond and Toby Munz 


Social Committee - Rachel Hellman 


Welcome Committee - Stephanie and Mike Vidikan 


Educational Programming - Matt Peterson  


Housing - Yehudah Hampel 


Gabbaim - 


New Baby Meal Coordinator - or call the shul office (202-333-2337)


Welfare Fund (confidential help for community members in need) - Jessica Pelt and Mordecai Lebenberg - or call Jessica at (202) 333-2337  


Kesher Parents e-mail list - Subscribe to this list