Zalman Teitelbaum controlled the camps for years until Aaron this year sought oversight of at least half of them.
The battle not only pitted brother versus brother in the Hasidic community, but Brooklyn Dem against Brooklyn Dem.
Lopez was backed by state Sen. Martin Dilan and his son, Councilman Erik Dilan, who is challenging Velazquez in a Democratic primary for Congress in a district with a large Satmar population.
Velazquez was joined by Councilwoman Diane Reyna.
“I’m very happy,” Lopez said. “There was a lot of pressure on both sides. The kids will have a camp. The majority side prevailed.”
He -- and Erik Dilan -- should be happy: The Zalman Teitelbaum faction controls at least two-thirds of the vote of the community and votes as a bloc. (From CK: In speaking about this issue with Lopez -- who made a personal visit to Hein on this topic, along with Councilman Steve Levin and Assemblyman Joe Lentol -- in recent weeks, he pointed out to me that he thought Velazquez was taking a political risk by siding with the Aaron faction; a spokesman for her office said she only wanted to make sure all parties involved were being treated fairly.)
Update: Here's a statement from Hein. More to follow...
“I have great respect for the entire Satmar Community. Unfortunately, a deep divide exists within this sect that has been at the root of much sadness and presents many profound challenges for everyone involved. Each side has made extraordinary efforts to resolve this impasse amicably, but to no avail, and ultimately I must do everything in my power as Ulster County Executive to ensure that the government does not stand in the way of the lawful opening of these childrens' camps.
“It is my great hope that both sides of the Satmar dispute will continue to use their collective energies to develop a lasting and long term solution for future operations of these summer camps for the good of the children and to avoid recreating this type of dilemma in the future.”
Update: George Arzt, speaking for Velazquez's re-election campaign, said, "Nydia has asked for a fair and equitable solution so that all the children can benefit. She is still concerned that not all the girls will have access to the camps."
Update: More reaction via Hank Sheinkopf's shop below:
“County Executive Michael Hein did what was right for thousands of children. We are very grateful for his rightful decision to issue the permits that allow our youth to have the wonderful summer they deserve,” said Rabbi Issac Mandel, Executive Director of United Talmudical Academy. “We want to thank the politicians for their diligent work bringing the community together on this issue. The camps will be run the way they always have been, by the people who have always run them. We’re currently in the process of making sure that as many children can attend the camps as possible.”
“This decision protects the livelihood of many people who depend on these camps to bring thousands of customers every summer,” said Rabbi David Rosenberg, executive director of Machne Rav Tov. “These camps are not only vital to the emotional well-being of our children, they [are] important to the economic health of the area. This decision today protects both.”
Source: NY Daily News BY CELESTE KATZ