||R. Yaakov Kamenetsky (1891-1986), was a prominent rosh yeshiva, posek and Talmudist in the post-World War II American Jewish community. He was born in the hamlet of Kalushkove, Lithuania, in 1891. Shortly afterwards his family moved to the village of Dolhinov where he grew up. He studied in Minsk and then for 21 years in Slabodka yeshiva under R. Nosson Tzvi Finkel. It was there that he met his lifelong friend Rabbi Aharon Kotler, who would go on to found the Lakewood yeshiva.
While studying in Slabodka, Rabbi Kaminetsky decided he wanted to spend a period in the Kelm Talmud Torah, famous for its focus on task and ability to avoid distraction. However, he knew that if he asked R. Finkel directly he would be refused. Therefore, one day he took a round-about path to the outhouse instead of the direct one he always used. R. Finkel called him over and sent him to Kelm to learn discipline.
R. Kamenetsky was appointed rabbi of Tzitavyan in 1926 and moved to North America in 1937, where he initially took rabbinical positions in Seattle and then Toronto. From 1948 to 1968 he headed Mesivta Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn, New York. R. Kamenetsky was known for his ever-present warm smile and his expertise in Hebrew grammar.