Milton Balkany

Casino Jack: Are We Trapped in Money Worship?

Special to the Jewish Week

Watching “Casino Jack” on its opening weekend was the very first time I ever felt embarrassment for wearing a kippa in a movie theatre. When Jack Abramoff, played by Kevin Spacey, sponsored kosher restaurants and a yeshiva with dirty money, the woman sitting next to me let out a disgusted “My G-d!” I shrunk in my seat.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Brooklyn Rabbi Convicted of Extortion


(JTA) -- An Orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn was convicted in federal court of extortion.

Rabbi Milton Balkany, the director of a Jewish day school, was found guilty Wednesday by a jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan of extortion, blackmail, wire fraud and making false statements.

Balkany, 64, was convicted of trying to extort a $4 million donation to his school, Bais Yaakov of Midwood, from billionaire Steven Cohen's SAC Capital, using damaging information he obtained from an inmate at a federal prison where he served as a spiritual adviser.

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