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Police investigate sexual abuse allegations at Jewish D.C. preschool.

(John Kelly/The Washington Post)

Police are investigating allegations of sexual abuse at a Jewish preschool in Northwest Washington.

Washington Hebrew Congregation sent out a letter earlier this month informing the community that a staff member at its early-childhood center was placed on administrative leave after allegations that the employee “may have engaged in inappropriate conduct involving one or more children.”

A D.C. police report said the alleged abuse occurred between September 2017 and this month.

The temple, which operates a preschool, offered few details about the allegations. Temple leaders wrote in the letter that they found out about the accusations on Aug. 15 and contacted child protective services and law enforcement officials. The police report said that someone reported the allegations through a D.C. Child and Family Services Agency hotline.

The temple also runs a summer camp for young children.

“The matter is under active police investigation,” Lewis Wiener, the temple’s general counsel, said in a brief interview.

The letter, from the temple’s rabbi, president and head of schools, said the temple is cooperating with the investigation and is conducting an internal review. They said law enforcement officials requested that they not release the suspect’s name.

“These allegations and the necessary investigations are painful for everyone, but as a sacred community and congregation we seek to provide support to all as we face these challenges,” the letter said. “We seek both justice and compassion as our tradition demands.”

Washington Hebrew Congregation held an informational meeting with families last week to address the investigation and provided parents with counseling resources.

Following the allegations, the preschool said that it will hire more staff members and make changes to ensure the safety of students. Children at the school will be accompanied by at least two teachers at all times. The school will have additional staff members supervise students in activities including art, construction and nap time.

The temple said it created a receptionist position to help parents, students and staff members, and to monitor teachers as they move outside of classrooms.