Kesher Israel, the prestigious Modern Orthodox congregation in the Georgetown section of Washington, which has been without a spiritual leader since it fired Rabbi Barry Freundel after he was accused of engaging in voyeurism in the synagogue’s mivkeh more than a year and a half ago, has finally engaged a part-time interim rabbi, according to the synagogue's e-mail newsletter.
The congregation announced this week that Rabbi Avidan Milevsky, a psychotherapist, and associate professor of psychology at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, will begin serving at the synagogue on Monday, July 27. Kesher Israel, which conducted a search for an interim rabbi for several months, plans to hire a full-time spiritual leader by next summer.
Rabbi Milevsky, who studied at yeshivot in Israel, Chicago and Miami, will spend every other week, and holidays, at the congregation.“His research on families, well-being, and spirituality in psychotherapy has produced an impressive body of work, Elanit Jakabovics, president of the congregation, wrote in a message to congregants this week. “This unique combination of rabbinic and psychological work will serve our community well as we move forward.”A combination of congregants, and visiting rabbis and scholars, have served Kesher Israel since Rabbi Freundel’s departure.
The congregation will welcome Rabbi Milevsky at a bruch on Sunday, Aug. 2.