Meir Zlotowitz

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Meir Zlotowitz
Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz.jpg
Zlotowitz in 2009
Born(1943-07-13)July 13, 1943
DiedJune 24, 2017(2017-06-24) (aged 73)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Known forGeneral Editor of ArtScroll

Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz (July 13, 1943 – June 24, 2017)[1] was an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, author, and founder of ArtScroll Publications.

Early Life[edit]

Meir attended Yeshivas Rabbi Jacob Joseph (RJJ)[2] on the Lower East Side. He went on to attend Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem and was a student of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.[3][4]


After graduation, Zlotowitz became director of a high-end graphics studio in New York.[5] The firm, named ArtScroll Studios,[6] produced brochures,[7] invitations, awards and ketubahs.[6] Rabbi Nosson Scherman, then principal of Yeshiva Karlin Stolin Boro Park,[6] was recommended to Zlotowitz as someone who could write copy, and they collaborated on a few projects.[4]

In late 1975 he wrote an English translation and commentary on the Book of Esther in memory of a young married friend,[8][9] a rebbe in Yeshiva Torah Emes[10] who died childless,[11] and asked Scherman[8][12] to write the introduction.[13] The manuscript was completed in honor of the shloshim (the 30-day commemoration of a death)[6] and "was published in February 1976, just in time to market it for Purim that year."[10] Its first edition of 20,000 copies sold out within two months.[14] With the encouragement of Rabbi Moses Feinstein, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, and other Gedolei Yisrael, the two continued producing commentaries, beginning with a translation and commentary on the rest of the Five Megillot (Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations and Ruth),[15] and went on to publish translations and commentaries on the Torah, Prophets, Talmud, Passover Haggadah, siddurs and machzors. By 1990 ArtScroll had produced more than 700 books, including novels, history books, children's books and secular textbooks,[5] and became one of the largest publishers of Jewish books in the United States.[7]

Zlotowitz was also chairman of the Mesorah Heritage Foundation,[16] ArtScroll's fundraising arm.[14]

Zlotowitz died in Brooklyn on June 24, 2017 at the age of 73.[17][1]

By the end of the year of mourning for a parent, Meir's son Gedaliah<Z.obit/> was listed in newly released ArtScroll publications, secondarily alongside that of his late father's partner, Nosson Scherman, as General Editor.[18]


Zlotowitz was married to Rachel and had four sons and four daughters.[11]

His son Ira Zlotowitz, is founder and President of Eastern Union Funding, a commercial real estate mortgage brokerage in New York City.[19][20].

His brother, Bernard, was a leading rabbi in the Reform Jewish movement in USA, and had originally attended Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.[21][22]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Until the passing of Meir, Zlotowitz and Scherman were the general editors of ArtScroll's Talmud, Chumash, Tanakh, Siddur, and Machzor series. They co-authored Megillas Esther: Illustrated Youth Edition (1988), a pocket-size Mincha/Maariv prayerbook (1991), and Selichos: First Night (1992).[23] They have also produced a host of titles on which Scherman is author and Zlotowitz is editor. Newly released publications list Scherman first, followed by Gedaliah Zlotowitz as General Editors.

Zlotowitz is the author of:[23]

  • Esther: The Megillah: A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources, 1976
  • Eichah (Lamentations): A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources, 1976
  • Koheles (Ecclesiastes): A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources, 1976
  • Ruth: A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources, 1976
  • Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs): A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources, 1976
  • Yonah (Jonah): A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic sources, 1978
  • Chanukah: Its history, observance and significance (co-author: Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm), 1981
  • Succos: Its significance, laws and prayers: A presentation anthologized from Talmudic and Midrashic sources, 1982
  • Shema Yisrael: A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources, 1982
  • Pirkei Avos, 1984
  • Bereishis: A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources (2-volume set), 1986

A biography, authored by Rabbi Yisroel Besser (Montreal), was written by the time of the first Yartzeit.[24]

Gedaliah Zlotowitz[edit]

Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz,[8] was Rabbi Meir's oldest son.

Arscroll's "Titles by Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz" had nine entries as of early 2019.[25]


  1. ^ a b Joseph Berger (June 27, 2017). "Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, Who Made Jewish Prayer Books Clear to All, Dies at 73". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "My father, the visionary". September 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Finkelman, Rabbi Shimon; Scherman, Rabbi Nosson (1986). "In the Rosh Yeshtvah's Presence - as His Talmidim Saw Him". Reb Moshe: The Life and Ideals of Hagaon Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. Mesorah Publications, Ltd. ISBN 0-89906-480-9.
  4. ^ a b Hoffman, Rabbi Yair (3 December 2009). "The ArtScroll Revolution: 5TJT interviews Rabbi Nosson Scherman". Five Towns Jewish Times. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  5. ^ a b Ephross, Peter (13 July 2001). "In 25 Years of Publishing, Artscroll captures Zeitgeist". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d Resnick, Eliot (6 June 2007). "'Our Goal is to Increase Torah Learning'". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 5 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b Joseph Berger (10 February 2005). "An English Talmud for Daily Readers and Debaters". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  8. ^ a b c "My Father, The Visionary - Gedaliah Zlotowitz Reflects On His Father, Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, Z"L". Ami (magazine). September 18, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Rabbi Meir Fogel
  10. ^ a b Yaakov Kornreich (July 18, 2018). "Meir Zlotowitz's Legacy: The Spiritual Engine Of American Orthodoxy's Renaissance". The Jewish Press. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Rabbi Yair Hoffman (June 29, 2017). "The Mesorah Of Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz". Five Towns Jewish Times.
  12. ^ whose writings in The Jewish Observer Zlotowitz admired
  13. ^ Rabbi Scherman's 24 page work was titled "Overview"
  14. ^ a b Nussbaum Cohen, Debra (11 October 2007). "Feminists Object, But ArtScroll Rolls On". The Jewish Week. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  15. ^ Zlotowitz, Meir (1986). The Five Megillos: A new translation with overviews and annotations anthologized from the classical commentators. Mesorah Publications Ltd.
  16. ^ "Edmond J. Safra Synagogue Values Timeless Heritage: Torah teachers honored at Mesorah Heritage Foundation community event". 2 April 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  17. ^ "Petira Of Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz Z'L; Founder Of Artscroll". Yeshiva World News. June 24, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  18. ^ Paysach J. Krohn (2018). Moved by a Maggid. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-4226-2222-3. ... son, R'Gedaliah, ... at the helm ...
  19. ^ "Eastern Union Commercial Outpaces Projected Revenues, Expands Operations; Average Deal Size Grew by 50%, Growth Attributed to Technology, Relationships". Business Wire. 7 September 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  20. ^ Bernstein, Dovid (11 January 2010). "Masmid Govoha Kicks Off 15th Year". Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b "Titles by Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz". ArtScroll. 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  24. ^ Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz. May 30, 2018.
  25. ^ "Titles by Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz". Retrieved January 10, 2019.