Satmar Hasidic Papers Owe Almost $1 Million In Unpaid Printing Bills, Lawsuits Claim
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Der Blatt, the Yiddish-language newspaper mouthpiece of the Satmar Aharon faction, is being sued by two printers for nearly $1 million, the Times Herald-Record reported.
The two lawsuits, one by Stellar Printing in Queens and the other by Instant Newspaper, were filed in state court in Brooklyn and allege Der Blatt and its affiliated publications did not pay their printing bills.
Stellar claims Der Blatt owes it $628,000 for unpaid printing bills accumulated from 2008 through 2014.
Instant claims Der Blatt, which bills itself as "The Voice of Worldwide Orthodox Jewry,” owes it $341,000 for unpaid printing bills over an almost 10-year period from 2001 to 2010.
Some of the unpaid bills in both lawsuits were reportedly for printing costs for publications affiliated with Der Blatt, including the weekly Kiryas Joel Journal.
Der Blatt, itself a weekly paper, has offices in both Brooklyn and in the Aharon faction stronghold of Kiryas Joel. It was founded in 2000 as an alternative to the main Satmar newspaper Der Yid, a decades-old newspaper that fell under the control of the Satmar Zalman faction when the hasidic movement split at the turn of the millennium.
A copy of Der Blatt reportedly costs $3. Last Thursday's edition, which was reportedly jammed with full page ads, was 172 pages long.
Der Blatt is registered as a nonprofit organization. Elimelech Deutsch, who lives just outside of Kiryas Joel in the adjoining town of Monroe, is reportedly listed its president.
Deutsch owned two houses in Monroe, one purchased for $950,000 in 2006 and the other for $450,000 in 2004. Ownership of both houses was later transferred by Deutsch to Der Blatt.