As the National Director of Torah Umesorah, the National Association for Hebrew Day Schools, Dr. Joseph Kaminetsky was charged by Reb Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, Rabbi Aharon Kotler, and their peers with making an impossible dream come true: that there would be a yeshiva or day school in every Jewish community of five thousand or more.
The familiar Jewish simile of the time was that America was a Torah desert, but that term does not nearly capture the reality. A desert is passive; the bulk of American Jewry fought the concept of day school education tooth and nail. American Jewish parents were good and caring people -- but they wanted their children to be part of the American success story. The immigrant generation had suffered enough; America was a melting pot and Jewish boys and girls would be its ingredients!
Until Dr. Kaminetsky was drafted to lead the battle for Jewish survival.
He had grown up with great mentors. He counted some of the wisest and greatest Torah figures of the day as his teachers, his role models. He was a doctor of education, a spellbinding orator, a man of captivating charm and overpowering idealism, of boundless energy, and with a vision that could not be dimmed by adversity.
Today we take day schools and yeshivos for granted -- and that is Doctor Joe’s greatest testimonial, because he made it happen.
In this memoir he looks back. With him we meet the great men who inspired him, the colleagues who struggled with him, the opponents who failed to break him.
In this warm book, we become his companions and friends. And when we turn the last page, we want to shake his hand and say thank you for our future.