I have never met anyone or heard of anyone that has received Semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky Zatzal. Did Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky ever give anyone Semicha? If the answer is no, was there a reason he did not give Semicha?
I spoke with a student of his. He said:
- R' Yaakov did not sign the institutional Torah VoDaath semicha (which was signed by his co-"menahel", Rabbi Gedalya Schorr) as that program required knowledge only on Shechita, Melicha, Basar B'Chalav, Ta'aruvos. (Slaughter, salting, meat&milk, prohibited mixtures.) The institutional semicha at that point, by the way, was kind of like passing a class -- you could do so with an "A", or with a "D." Thus they had different wordings for the semicha certificate.
- R' Yaakov felt that a semicha test should also require knowledge of Chumash with Rashi and Ramban, several tractates such as Gittin and Kiddushin, and the Laws of Shabbos.
- There are some people out there who claim to have personal ordination. The individual with whom I spoke said he wasn't sure whether their claims are true.
In Sefer B'Mechitzas Rabbeinu pg.117 (by a close talmid of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky -- I asked Rav Nosson Kamenetsky if he is reliable and he answered in the affirmative), the author writes that Rav Yaakov made a condition with Yeshiva Torah V'Daas that he will not be required to sign the semichas since he believed that one should know all sources from the gemara to halacha (like was done in Europe).
However, he did not understand the derech of those learning just the Shach and Taz without the foundation of the gemara behind the halacha.
Text of Mechitzas Rabbeinu:
we know that the Great Rav Ztsl was a master of Hebrew grammar and he may have felt that giving Semikhah to someone who did not know the rules of grammar, was tantamount to the recipient's possible mistake in Halakhah in the future and he would not want to be part of that error. He was also very well informed in general matters which are involved in Halakahah and this may have contributed to his decision to refrain from granting Ordination.