Washington Hebrew Congregation agrees to nearly $1 million settlement

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Washington Hebrew Congregation
Photo courtesy of Washington Hebrew Congregation

In Washington Hebrew Congregation’s nearly $1 million settlement with the District of Columbia, the synagogue denied the District’s allegations and claims that the WHC preschool violated child care regulations and consumer protection laws.

The settlement was announced Wednesday by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, who had brought the suit against the synagogue in 2020.

“Instead of protecting children in their care, Washington Hebrew put them at risk and ignored the law — every parent’s nightmare,” Racine said on Twitter.

“It is important to note that, occurring nearly four and a half years ago, the violations were administrative in nature. Not one was related to the supervision or alleged abuse of children,” the synagogue said in a statement to WTOP News. “In an earlier ruling on the OAG’s claims, the Court specifically found that WHC had already remedied the alleged administrative.”

As part of the $950,000 settlement, the synagogue will pay $550,000 to the city, $300,000 to families who enrolled their children in WHC’s Camp Keetov from 2016 to 2018, and $100,000 to a District-approved charity.

The settlement “allows Washington Hebrew Congregation to close this chapter and move forward,” Washington Hebrew President Lewis Wiener said in a statement, The Washington Post reported. “Under outstanding new spiritual and administrative leadership, WHC can continue to grow as a warm, welcoming community, open to all who wish to build a meaningful Jewish life.”

 

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