In June 2016, JCW shared information about the release of Daniel Sunray from an Israeli prison, where he had completed a six-year sentence for molesting and raping six children. In April 2016, we again alerted the community that Sunray had moved to NY. We shared this information to warn the community about a man who poses a potentially serious risk to children.
A few months ago, we received a notice to appear in front of Rav Knopfler’s Badatz Beis Din of Lakewood. According to the note, Sunray was suing JCW for Lashon Hara.
We are being sued for warning the community that a convicted sex offender, with a history of grooming children in shuls and offering children rides, had anonymously moved into their area.
Shockingly, Sunray is also armed with a letter (pictured below) from Rabbi Asher Weiss, a respected Rav, in Israel stating that he is a “wonderful and precious Jew” and should be accepted into all shuls and communities. Weiss also makes the stunning claim that he believes the convicted sex abuser to be innocent!!*
Because Knopfler’s Beis Din is considered so fringe that many Lakewood Rabbanim signed a letter denying him any legitimacy, we offered to go to another Bais Din, but Sunray refused.
A convicted offender has every right to return to the community upon his release, but the community also has every right to be warned of the potential danger.
The brazen and shameless behavior of Sunray, who has refused to accept any responsibility for his crimes or to register with the local sex offender registry as required, (along with his efforts to silence anyone who makes his past known) gives us even more reason to be concerned about the danger he may present.
We are therefore once again warning the community that Sunray is currently living in Harrison, NY and spends many Shabbosim in Stamford, CT.
Here is the translation of a letter from Rabbi Asher Weiss concerning Daniel Sunray to the OU – (R. Weiss’s hand writing is not legible at times so some of the translation may not be word-for-word)
To my brothers and the rabbis of the OU
I know Rabbi Danial Sunray as a wonderful and precious Jew who is G-d fearing and loves Torah. He was tried and convicted for hurting kids in the years 98-99. He was convicted and sat in jail for six years. Those years were hard and heart breaking.
I personally believe that he was innocent, and even if was not, he paid a bitter price, and repented for his sins.
He is able to fulfil any role, being a kashrus supervisor etc.… you should bring him close and encourage him you must not shy him away or hurt him.
It is simple and clear to me that you must except him as a member of the community, and shuls. I stand before God in heaven begging for him to redeem us, and thus it is costumery to behave with those who repent our brothers in Israel.
Asher Zalig Wiess.
*As many have asked, we did indeed reach out to Rav Weiss well before publicizing this letter. Not only did he express his anger at us for warning the community about Sunray, saying that we should let him move on with this life, but he refused to even consider recanting the letter. Furthermore, when asked if he’d be willing to speak to any of the victims, he was completely disinterested and said it wouldn’t make any difference to him.
Since posting this, we have been in communication again with Rav Asher Weiss, who has begun to review the specifics of this case in greater detail. Rav Weiss’s reputation is that of someone who truly cares about the issue of child protection, so we are hopeful and optimistic that with this greater understanding of this case we will be able to move forward in working with him toward a safer community for our children.
Thank you to Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz for his involvement and efforts on this matter and all of his important work in child safety education.
We also want to make it very clear that we are willing and have offered to come to any recognized and reputable Beis Din, such those of the RCA or Machon Horah of Monsey. We will not allow a non-recognised Beis Din to bully us with threats of a Siruv.