||Letter of recommendation for a student of the yeshiva.
R. Aaron Kotler, a descendant of renowned rabbis, received his early education from his father R. Shneur Zalman Pines, the rabbi of Sislowitz, and from R. Zalman Sender Shapiro of Krinik, to whose yeshivah he was admitted before he reached the age of 13 since he possessed exceptional talents. At 14 he entered the Slobodka yeshivah and soon gained prominence as one of its most outstanding students. He married the daughter of R. Isser Zalman Meltzer, head of the yeshivah Ez Hayyim in Slutsk, and became his assistant (1914). After the yeshivah's forced transfer to Kletsk (1921) and his father-in-law's emigration to Erez Israel, Kotler directed the yeshivah for 20 years. Kotler's original teaching methods attracted many students from all over the world. He also distinguished himself as a forceful communal leader, particularly in the sphere of Jewish education, becoming one of the pillars of Agudat Israel in this area. On a visit to the U.S. on behalf of his yeshivah, he established an institute of higher rabbinical learning at Spring Valley, New York. During World War II R. Kotler fled with a number of his students from country to country, finally reaching Japan. Subsequently he went to the U.S., where he established the Va'ad Hazzalah (Rescue Committee) of the Agudat ha-Rabbanim in aid of the war refugees and established in Lakewood, New Jersey, the Beth Medrash Govoha, a school for advanced, nonprofessional talmudic study, with an enrollment of ten students, which has grown to thousands today. R. Kotler became president of the Supreme Council of Agudath Israel in 1954 and held this post until his death. He was the leader of the right-wing, yeshivah-based American independent Orthodoxy, a member of the presidium of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, and a founder of Israel's independent Orthodox (Hinnukh Azma'i) educational system.