Shmuel Kamenetsky

"Shmuel Kaminetzky" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Shmuel Kaminezki, the Chief Rabbi of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky

Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky speaking in Passaic, New Jersey, in November 2009
Position Rosh yeshiva
Yeshiva Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia
Personal details
Birth name Shmuel Kamenetsky
Born November 1924 (age 92)
Tzetivyan, Lithuania
Nationality American
Denomination Haredi
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dynasty Kamenetsky
Parents Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky and Ettil Kamenetsky
Spouse Temi Brooks
Children Sholom
Occupation Rabbi
Alma mater Beth Medrash Govoha, Ner Israel Rabbinical College

Shmuel Kamenetsky (born November 1924) is a Haredi rabbi and founder and rosh yeshiva (dean) of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia. He is one of the most widely known living Haredi Litvish Jewish gedolim outside of Israel. He is the son of Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky (18911986), one of America's greatest Torah leaders.


Kamenetsky was a primary student of Rabbi Aharon Kotler, from whom he received semicha (rabbinic ordination). Prior to studying in Kotler's Lakewood Yeshiva, Kamenetsky learned in Ner Israel Rabbinical College under the tutelage of his father's cousin, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman.

In the mid-1950s,[1] as part of the Lakewood Yeshiva's effort to establish out-of-town yeshivas, Kamenetsky and Rabbi Dov Schwartzman were sent to found the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia. In 1955, Schwartzman departed to open his yeshiva in Israel. Kamenetsky then called upon Rabbi Elya Svei,[2] to serve as co-rosh yeshiva. This arrangement continued until Svei's death in March 2009.

Kamenetsky is a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel of America and serves on the rabbinical board of many organizations, including Chinuch Atzmai (Torah Schools for Israel), Torah Umesorah, the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation and the Association for Jewish Outreach Professionals (AJOP).

His opinion is frequently sought and quoted on current issues such as same-sex attraction,[3] child molestation,[4] obesity and dieting,[5] smoking,[6] and drinking alcohol to excess on Purim.[7] His approbation is also sought for Torah books in English.


Kamenetsky's wife, Temi, the daughter of Chazzan Modche Brooks, grew up in the Boro Park and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn, New York.[8] Their sons are Rabbi Sholom Kamenetsky, A Rosh Yeshiva at Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia; Rabbi Avrohom Kamenetsky, an instructor of Talmud at Yeshivas Bais Yisroel in Jerusalem; Dov Kamenetsky, a well-known philanthropist and real estate magnate in Toronto; Rabbi Zave Kamenetsky of Lakewood, New Jersey, an instructor of Talmud at Belmar Yeshiva; Rabbi Dovid Kamenetsky, an author/editor for the Schottenstein Talmud (published by Artscroll/Mesorah) in both the English edition and Hebrew edition and a Talmud instructor at Yeshivat Darche Noam in Jerusalem, Rabbi Aaron Kamenetsky and Eliyahu Kamenetsky. His daughters are married to rabbis: Yechiel Moskowitz, Shaya Shechter, Shalom Kelemer. Another son-in-law is Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz, a Rosh Yeshiva at Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore.


  1. Birnbaum, Rabbi Avraham (2011). "Rav Dov Schwartzman, zt"l". Yated Ne'eman. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  2. Tannenbaum, Rabbi Gershon (1 April 2009). "Rabbi Elya Svei (1924–2009) Rosh Yeshiva Philadelphia". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  3. Goldberg, Arthur. "A Discussion with Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky on 'SSA'" (PDF). Hakira, the Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law and Thought. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  4. Berger, Paul (2 August 2011). "Leiby Kletzky Murder Reignites Fight Over Reporting Abuse". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  5. "'We Have To Control Ourselves': SOVEYA Interview With Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky" (PDF). SWITCHH. 4 (3). 2010.
  6. "Rabbi Shmuel against smoking". Retrieved 20 May 2013. (video)
  7. "New York Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky: 'It is an Aveira to Get Drunk on Purim'". Vos Iz Neias?. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  8. Gebber, Leah. "The Rebbetzin's Perspective: A schmooze with Rebbetzin Temi Kamenetsky". Mishpacha Family First, 27 September 2012, pp. 2632.
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