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Court rules for Brooklyn Satmar faction

A New York court has ruled that assets of the Satmar Chasidim belong to the group’s Brooklyn faction.

The ruling Tuesday by the state Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision that Satmar assets rightfully belong to supporters of Rabbi Zalmen Teitelbaum, one of two sons of the late Satmar leader, Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum.

Zalmen and his older brother, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, who leads a faction based in the upstate enclave of Kiryas Joel, have been feuding over the leadership since well before their father’s death in 2006. At stake is control over the group’s vast real estate holdings, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Zalmen was recognized in his father’s will as the sect’s next rebbe, but supporters of Aaron never recognized his legitimacy. Violence has broken out sporadically between supporters of the opposing sides.

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