Foggy Bottom Deli Distances Itself From Rabbi Accused of Voyeurism

Barry Freundel’s off the menu at Char Bar & Eli’s Market.

Rabbi Barry Freundel has been charged with six counts of voyeurism. Photograph by Harry Jaffe.

In the wake of Kesher Israel Rabbi Barry Freundel’s arrest last week on charges that he illicitly filmed women in the changing room attached to his Georgetown synagogue’s ritual bath, several organizations have distanced themselves from the modern Orthodox Jewish leader. Along with the temple’s board of directors, Freundel has also been suspended by Towson University, where he was an associate professor; the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington, which supervises the application of Jewish dietary laws; and the Rabbinical Council of America, a major Orthodox governing body with which Freundel once led a group overseeing conversions.

But it’s not just big, institutional entities distancing themselves from Freundel. Washington Jewish Week reports that Char Bar & Eli’s Market, a month-old Kosher steakhouse and deli in Foggy Bottom, scrubbed its menu last week of “the Freundel,” a grilled pastrami and smoked turkey sandwich with chipotle dressing served on thick slabs of toast. Naming dishes after influential Jews is standard practice at kosher delis, but one named after an alleged mikveh peeper probably doesn’t move a lot of sandwiches.

While it sounds delicious, Char Bar’s pastrami-turkey-chipotle combo is now sold as “the Georgetowner,” a rather dull and common name that appears on too many sandwich boards to count. Surely there’s another Washington macher worthy of sandwich-dom. Help a deli out and put your menschiest suggestion in the comments.

Find Benjamin Freed on Twitter at @brfreed.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.