Sunday, April 16, 2006

Satmar in the news, again.

It seems that the media just can't wait for the Satmar Rebbe to pass away. The frequent news articles are making that obvious.... ROL: Back then, Bob Kwiatkowski was a Woodbury patrolman. Neighboring Monroe had fewer than 15,000 people, and only a small percentage of them lived in the recently incorporated Hasidic settlement known as Kiryas Joel.But when the revered leader of the Satmar Hasidic sect, Joel Teitelbaum, died in 1979, Kwiatkowski and others would soon learn the magnitude of grief his passing could command. As the Times Herald-Record reported at the time, as many as 100,000 mourners descended upon an unsuspecting Orange County to attend the funeral and burial of the Satmar grand rebbe."I remember they gridlocked Route 17," says Kwiatkowski, today the chief of the Woodbury department. "Nothing moved. They parked cars in the driving lanes and walked into Kiryas Joel."This time around, police know what to expect. They've been planning for months how to handle the traffic that will pour into Monroe and Woodbury when 91-year-old Moses Teitelbaum, a nephew who succeeded Joel Teitelbaum as grand rebbe, dies and is brought to Kiryas Joel to be buried beside his uncle.Kwiatkowski, a veteran of one rebbe funeral, vows, "This is going to be a well-coordinated response."
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