Rabbi Milton aka Yehoshua Balkany has been embroiled in a number of contentious civil lawsuits recently. Milton got out of jail a couple of years ago for trying to shake down hedge fund king Steven A. Cohen for $4 million. Steven A Cohen almost got locked up himself for insider trading. The Feds cut him a break after he paid a $1.8 billion fine. Billionaires never go to jail. The little guys like myself and Rabbi Balkany are the ones who have to go to jail to deter real criminals like Steven A. Cohen. Actually Rabbi Balkany is far more infamous than me, I don’t mean to compare myself to the great Rabbi Balkany or Steven A. Cohen. Cohen just purchased the New York Mets baseball team. I hope Cohen will send me and Rabbi Balkany free season passes.
Rabbi Balkany has been on the Board of the Bais Yaacov yeshiva since 1971. Last year a guy named David Kenner was added to the Board. Bais Yaacov no longer operates a yeshiva. It rents its buildings. As board members of Bais Yaacov, Kenner and Balkany were involved in the attempted $3.2 million sale of the Bais Yaacov building to Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. They were also recently involved in a $1.2 million refinance of a Bais Yaacov mortgage. In a number of claims and counterclaims Balkany and Kenner have accused each other of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bais Yaacov money related to the refinance and the sale.
Kenner got a court order that requires Balkany to produce Bais Yaacov records of monies related to the sale and refinance, if Balkany has such records. Kenner also got a court order which enjoined Balkany from representing that he is a member of the Board of Bais Yaacov. Balkany claims that he resigned from the Board.
The Bais Yaacov yeshiva rented their building to Torah Vodaas. Bais Yaacov also had a $3.2 million contract to sell their building to Torah Vodaas. Bais Yaacov sued Torah Vodaas and claimed that the price was too low, and also claimed that Torah Vodaas owed Bais Yaacov back rent monies. Balkany claimed that Torah Vodaas threatened to excommunicate him unless he withdrew the Bais Yaacov lawsuit. Balkany claimed he couldn’t withdraw the lawsuit because he resigned from the Board of Bais Yaacov and had no such power to do so.
The Yeshiva Torah Vodaas prepared paperwork ordering Balkany to appear before the Tzedek Umishpot Rabbinic Court, comprised of Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchak Braunstein, Rabbi Daniel Geldzahler, and Rabbi Mordechai something. Mordechai’s handwriting was illegible on the court paperwork. When Balkany refused to appear before the Rabbinical court, a siruv was issued holding him in contempt, which means he was effectively excommunicated. In response, Balkany sued the Rabbinical Court, and also sued its individual members Rabbi Yerachmiel Barash and Rabbi Daniel Geldzahler. Balkany also sued Torah Vodaas, just for fun. Balkany claimed that the Rabbinical Court defamed him by issuing the siruv, ie., order of contempt. Its not clear what happened with the order of contempt as the lawsuit between Balkany and the Bais Din was recently dropped.
Balkany’s siruv stated that Rabbi Balkany: “has the status of one who refuses to come to rabbinic court, and who illegally goes to the civil courts which status is set forth in Shulchon Oruch, Choshem Mishpot chapter 11 and Yoreh Deoh chapter 334, until he recants and returns from his evil way and submits to the rabbinic court’s authority and obeys the court as is lawful and proper, and returns and is healed. Anyone capable of influencing him and those who assist him has a duty [to persuade him] to appear for trial and obey the court, and [whoever does so] shall be counted among those who establish the law in its proper place.”
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