Satmar Brothers Dueling Over Summer Camps — 3,500 Zalmanite Kids Hang in the Balance

The Satmar Brothers Aaron and Zalman are once again at each other’s throats, this time over who would get to use the four summer camps in Ulster County, New York.

David Rosenburg has administered the camps on behalf of Congregation Yetev Lev (CYL) of Satmar  for many decades. After the Satmar Succession Feud erupted in 1999, Rosenburg continued to administer the camps on behalf of the Zalmanite Williamsburg leadership until now.

This year, however, the Aaronites once again seized upon the 2006 New York State supreme court ruling that declared the Zalman-Aaron dispute “nonjudiciable”, meaning that the court is not allowed to rule on the dispute since that would entail making a judgement on the question of what constitutes proper religious adherence as stipuated in the CYL congregational bylaws and would thus be a violation of the United States constitutional clause requiring separation of church and state.

The practical upshot of the 2006 ruling has been tens of millions of dollars worth of congregational property in indefinite limbo, with neither side having legal title over it and law enforcement being instructed to simply maintain order and the status quo. When the Zalmanites attempted to apply for a permit to occupy the new synagogue under construction on Ross Street in Williamsburg, the Aaronites successfully blocked it since the Zalmanite applicants were unable to prove that they had a legal right to occupy the land.

Now the Aaronites are applying the same technique on the summer camps of CYL, which require an annually-issued permit from the county health department before they can be occupied for the summer. When the Zalmanites first applied for the permit before Passover this year, the Aaronites immediately counter-applied and apparently received a permit as well. After considerable rancor between the parties over who should get the final permit the executive revoked them both and exhorted the parties to mediate the dispute between themselves.

The Zalmanites are refusing to give an inch; they insist on holding on to all four camps, even as it is likely that the Aaronites would be content for now if thrown a bone of merely one camp. Conversely, the Aaronites would be triumphantly victorious if the camps would lie fallow for the summer as a result of Zalmanite intransigence. They are bent on ensuring that gam li gam loch lo yihyeh — neither I nor you shall have it, if Zalmanites refuse to negotiate in good faith.

Both parties are lining up the big-gun political connections behind their representatives: Vito Lopez (head of democratic party in Kings county) supporting Rabbi David Niederman on the Zalman side and state senator Daniel L. Squadron supporting Aaron Veltz on the Aaronite side. Vito Lopez reportedly personally showed up this week at the Ulster county executive’s office to exert pressure on behalf of his Zalmanite constituency.

Some people familiar with the camp dispute saga believe that the larger bribe will ultimately win the day. Whichever side can palm or pledge more money to their elected officials and/or Ulster county officials will take the spoils. Specifically, the Zalmanite party –deep-pocketed, well-connected, and with the urgency of up to 3,500 kids who may not have where to spend the summer if the permit is not granted them– is likely to prevail even though neither side is legally entitled to a permit without the other sides’s consent. Is is rumored that Ulster county officials privately advised the Aaronites that although they feel compelled to issue the permit to the Zalmanites under political pressure, if the Aaronites challenge it in court, the county won’t defend its action.


Be Sociable, Share!

29 Responses to Satmar Brothers Dueling Over Summer Camps — 3,500 Zalmanite Kids Hang in the Balance

  1. Sad. Why go elsewhere for hatred and jealousy, when you can get it among your own kind. How embarrassingly childish! It’s like they are TRYING to give orthodoxy a bad reputation; they are succeeding.

  2. Berny says:

    I hear that the Zalmenite faction have comitted fraud and attempted to change ownership which the court blocked the deal & wrote harshly agsint the longtime manager David Rosenberg.

    I’m not sure if this is directly related, but if the Zalmenite faction lost in court the County must adhere to the court’s ruling.

  3. YOELYG says:

    Both sides has the same amount of kids, so why not give 2 & 2 & both sould buy another one for the rest, dosnt make sense one sould get everything & the other side needs to pay alot $$ to build from scratch

    • Y. Gold says:

      don’t forget that in Monroe the zalys have to start with zero. so if u divide williamsburg you have to be ready to divide KJ as well. which the aroinis aren’t yet ready.

      • Satmar Nation says:

        But in KJ there is was never an official claim that the Aronites stole anything from the Zalmans. So while it may very well be that in KJ the Zalis have to build from scratch, its still not the Arons problem.

        While in Williamsburg from the second the Zalmans kicked out the Aarons from there leadership under the false and corrupt premise that Rabbi Moshe is purpotedly behind it. They instantly objected to it and sent 3 Beth Din Hazmana’s.

        In short: the Arons want a share of Williamsburg because they claim it WAS STOLEN from them and THEY ARE READY TO PROVE IT TO AN IMPARTIAL BETH DIN.

        While the Zalmans want’s KJ just because the Aron want’s Williamsburg, they are not ready to prove any rational claim.

  4. zalmen says:

    why cant they got to din Torah/a Jewish court?

  5. Jacob Gluck says:

    Zalman wouldn’t go to an impartial din torah because it’s not in his best interest. He will likely lose some property taht is currently “his” by status quo. He would only go to a biased beth din and Aaron is not interested in that (neither are they obligated halakhically to submit to a biased beth din of Zalman’s choice).

    • Y. Gold says:

      While that may be true that Zalmen wanted to go only to a so called “biased” Beth Din, that was when he was sued by the Aroinites of Williamsburg, Not Aron himself, and he answered that he has a right to go to his Beth Din which is Halachikly proper of “holchin achar haitvah” that u go after the defendant, not to the rabbis the plaintiffs choose. Truth be told that the Zalis have numerous times tried to resolve the whole Satmar conflict in any Beth din with the condition that its not williamsburg but also Monroe that will be debated and argued to divide it, but the Aroinis say that they dont want to argue about monroe only about Williamsburg, which is, in the mind of the Zalis, a ludicrous premise, to only divide their part of status qua. The Montreal Dayan Rabbi Moshe Menachem Tirnower famously became a Zaly after he fought for Aron bc of this issue that Aron wont sign “Shturey birurin” on the whole satmar entity even his home turf Kiryas Yoel.

      • Satmar Nation says:

        Please don’t lie, I beg you.

        The Aarons have from day one shown full readiness to put all KJ assets on the table, but only if the Zalmans come up with some rational reasoning why they are entitled to KJ. So far the only reasoning is “because the Arons wan’t Williamsburg I want Monroe”, well we wan’t a Beth Din to decide weather there is any substance behind this argument.

        So please stop lying.


    • I thought you were biased says:

      When the Bnei Yoel in general and Yosef Waldman in particular sent a Hazmana to Aron, he responded by calling the Beth Din A Beth Din Chutzif for having the gall to invite him court, he only agreed to go to a Beth Din where the Dayanim where on his payroll.

      Were the Bnei Yoel entitled to an impartial Beth Din or does the rule change constantly?

      • Satmar Nation says:

        No it doesn’t change…if aron said that in the past he was wrong than…but now you are wrong.

  6. Satmar Nation says:

    The Zalmanites have very extreme and wild views towards the Aarons, I’m a Satmar 3 generations, let me tell you something guys, the Zalmans believe that negotiating with the Aarons is like negotiating with terrorist, they believe the Aarons are like infidels and its against religious belief to give any legitimacy to the Aarons, that’s the blunt fact, it’s very sad.

    • Bnei Yoel says:

      Same hate as Aronies showed us? like Spitting at our kids, throwing out my grandfather from shul, hitting my sister on the street, throwing stones at our house or worse?

  7. a reall satmerer says:

    ane can pleas go tell ari teitelboam that hes really really crazy and he will never come out from geihenim

  8. V Visen says:

    Just got this, the Aronites sent a message they are willing to drop all claims against the Zalmonites under these conditions:
    1. Vyoel Moshe Building on Bedford Av. corner Williamsburg St. needs to be conveyed to them, Plus
    2. Bais Rachel girls school building on Heyward St.
    3. Plus they want the Zalmonites to buy the Skvere school next door with the package.
    4. Plus 20 Million in cash.

    And they will give them in writing that the’ll not contest any properties.
    Upon the questionn from the Z. side what they will get in Monroe, answer Zilch!
    Fair????? you decide

    • Satmar Nation says:

      100% fair

      because the arons have never refused to come to din torah regarding KJ, so why negotiate and just relequish my property while i’m ready to cooparate with a din torah

  9. Yanki Schwartz says:

    why include Monroe in dispute, Williamsburg was managed by mostly aroinem, and where thrown out by the zalis, so the argument is if they had a right to do it, so the aronim called to din tora for Williamsburg, but the zolinem said we want to include Monroe too, its like someone goes into another’s house in Williamsburg and throws out, the original owner calls him to bes din, and the ganav says I want to include your house in Monroe too, if you want to do that call him to din tora, its a separate issue, the aronim said lifnim mishiras hadin that bes din could discuss that 1st, and if they decide to include Monroe, so be it, but they can’t force some1 to sign for another property not related to the fight

    • Y. Gold says:

      Keep in mind that the Zalis say they managed and built KJ and they were thrown out by Aron.

      • Satmar Nation says:

        So who holds them back from sending a Hazmana to KJ leaders.

      • Yanki Schwartz says:

        why do u think so, it was lead by Moshe Friedman & shloma michel, they asked the birach mosh to put r’ aaron as ruv, and worked as a team for a few years, then some people came and complained of corruption, and after some arguments they resigned and the new leaders came in and in 20 years doubled or tripled the community, so there is no argument against them
        but even though there is, let them send a separate hazmuna, it has nothing to do with wmsb”g
        not only that, the aroinim kept saying, lets argue this issue b4 bes din, if they say to merge both so be it

        so this all argument is just to ignore din tora

  10. יעקב ברוך says:

    זאלי’ס גנבים גזלנים האבן צי גענימען די גאנצע האראוואניע פונ’ם סאטמאר’ן עולם אלע יארן וואס זיין טאטע זצ’ל האט זיך געמיטשעט איז ער נישט געוועין צים האבן קיינמאל אויפן טאטן נישט געקיט מאר זיך אנגעקימען צים גרייטן ציזאם גענימען דעם טאטענן שונאים אין זיך אריין געזעצט אין די בנינים אין יעצט שרייט ער מ’באגנב’ט מיך שעים דיך די אימפארשעימטער הינט

  11. Ketzel says:

    The zolis kicked out the aronis from all 4 camps and still have the nerve to call the aronis terrorists ? What a shanda

  12. moshe halpern says:

    I am shocked of this chulel hashem fighting in public !!

  13. jm inthe am says:

    the aronim are a bunch of antisamites including aron

  14. Ron says:

    I dont see what the big deal is, the US is going to eventually confiscate all that property anyway.

  15. seeing red says:

    What the hell?

    Kamtza and bar kamtza

  16. shoe lifts says:

    This blog site is extremely cool! How can I make one like this !?

  17. George says:

    very sad, and naught to do with Judaism.

  18. Brianvt says:

    Oy, such a shonda in front of the goyim!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *