Photo Credit: Jewish Press

A handwritten letter I acquired this week written by the Rav Joseph Ber Soloveitchik is a reminder of the often forgotten relationship between Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Ahron Kotler.

The letter is written on behalf of Chinuch Atzmai, the independent education system of the charedim in Israel which was led at the time by Rav Ahron Kotler. Founded in 1953, Chinuch Atzmai is partially funded (55 percent) by the Israeli government and partially funded by private donations (particularly from United States).


While R. Ahron Kotler and Rav Soloveitchik had differences of opinion regarding many issues in Israel, they were both passionate in their support for Chinuch Atzmai. At the first dinner that Rav Ahron Kotler organized for Chinuch Atzmai, the guest of honor was Rav Soloveitchik.

The undated letter on Rav Soloveitchik’s stationary reads as follows:

“I heartily endorse this sacred cause, and appeal to all my friends in the rabbinate to do their utmost to make the undertaking a financial success. A traditional school system of the type of Chinuch Atzmai is of the greatest importance for the survival of Torah Judaism in the Holy Land.”


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Israel Mizrahi is the owner of Mizrahi Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY, and He can be reached at