Top court upholds rulings on Satmar Hasidic sect assets

Associated Press/November 20, 2007

Albany, New York -- A court battle that has divided the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect whose members mostly live in Kiryas Joel and Brooklyn has been decided again in favor of the faction that now holds power in Brooklyn.

The state Court of Appeals in a decision today upheld lower court decisions in favor of supporters of Rabbi Zalmen Teitelbaum, 1 of 2 brothers with rival claims to leadership of the Satmar Hasidic sect.

Supporters of his older brother, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum - chief rabbi in the Orange County village of Kiryas Joel for many years - had sued to wrest control of assets, contending they had won an election in 2001 for lay leadership of the sect's Brooklyn branch.

Their father Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum, died in 2006 at the age of 91. In his will, he recognized Zalmen Teitelbaum, the third of his four sons, as the next rebbe, or grand rabbi.

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