Malkiel Kotler

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Rabbi Malkiel Kotler
Rav A M Kotler.jpg
Position Rosh yeshiva
Yeshiva Beth Medrash Govoha
Began 1982
Predecessor Rabbi Shneur Kotler
Personal details
Birth name Aryeh Malkiel Kotler
Born April 1951 (age 67)
Denomination Haredi
Residence Lakewood, New Jersey
Parents Rabbi Shneur Kotler
Rischel Friedman

Aryeh Malkiel Kotler (born April 1951) is a Haredi rabbi and rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG) in Lakewood, New Jersey, one of the largest yeshivas in the world.[1] Serving with him as roshei yeshiva (deans) are Rabbis Dovid Schustal, Yeruchem Olshin, and Yisroel Neuman.[2] He is the son of the previous rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Shneur Kotler, and grandson of the founder of the yeshiva, Rabbi Aaron Kotler. He is a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (Council of Torah Sages) of Agudath Israel of America.


Kotler was born to Rabbi Shneur Kotler and his wife, Rischel, the daughter of Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Friedman. He was named after his maternal grandfather. On his father's side, he is the great-grandson of Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer. He is the second of 9 children.[3]

Upon the death of his father in 1982, he was named to the position of rosh yeshiva together with Dovid Schustal, Yerucham Olshin, and Yisroel Neuman, who are all married to grandchildren of Aharon Kotler. At that time, BMG had an enrollment of some 800. Since then, enrollment has grown more than 800% to a current size of some 6,300 students. To manage the huge enrollment, the four roshei yeshiva divide up the times they deliver shiurim (Torah lectures) in the various battei medrash (study halls) on campus. They have also appointed dozens of roshei chabura (heads of small study groups) to take responsibility for groups of students.[4]

Kotler, who participates in the Daf Yomi study program, was honored with the saying of the hadran at the 12th Siyum HaShas in MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey.[5]


Kotler's first wife Hinda was the daughter of Rav Yechiel Michel and Lifsha (née Soloveitchik) Feinstein (i.e. she was the granddaughter of the Brisker Rav, Rabbi Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik). When he went to the US to visit his ailing father, Rabbi Shneur Kotler, his wife refused to join him, claiming that he was trying to force her to move to the US against her family principles. While in the US, his father succumbed to his illness and Kotler was called upon to succeed his father as rosh yeshiva of BMG. Hinda refused to join her husband in Lakewood or to accept a get (Jewish divorce) without a Rabbinical court in Israel hearing the case; she would not submit to an American Rabbinical court.[6][7][8] In the face of this deadlock, Kotler was issued a rarely used exemption (Heter meah rabbanim) allowing him to take a second wife upon depositing the divorce document for the first wife with the Rabbinical court to be effectuated by her accepting it whenever she wishes.[9] Several months later he married his second wife Chana Leah Tikotzky.