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Meir Zlotowitz

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Meir Zlotowitz
Zlotowitz in 2009
Born(1943-07-13)13 July 1943
Died24 June 2017(2017-06-24) (aged 73)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Known forGeneral Editor of ArtScroll

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

Early life

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


After graduation, Zlotowitz, who as a youth used his talent in art to overcome his stuttering,[5] became director of a high-end graphics studio in New York.[6] The firm, named ArtScroll Studios,[7] produced brochures,[8] invitations, awards and ketubahs.[7] Rabbi Nosson Scherman, then principal of Yeshiva Karlin Stolin Boro Park,[7] 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,[9][10] a rebbe in Yeshiva Torah Emes[11] who died childless,[12] and asked Scherman[9][13] to write the introduction.[14] The manuscript was completed in honor of the shloshim (the 30-day commemoration of a death)[7] and "was published in February 1976, just in time to market it for Purim that year."[11] Its first edition of 20,000 copies sold out within two months.[15] With the encouragement of Rabbi Moses Feinstein, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky and other rabbis considered "Gadols," or eminent rabbis, 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),[16] 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,[6] and became one of the largest publishers of Jewish books in the United States.[8]

Zlotowitz was also chairman of the Mesorah Heritage Foundation,[17] ArtScroll's fundraising arm.[15]

Zlotowitz died in Brooklyn on June 24, 2017 at the age of 73.[18][1]

By the end of the year of mourning for a parent, Zlotowitz's son Gedaliah[1] was listed in newly released ArtScroll publications, alongside his late father's partner Nosson Scherman, as general editor.[19]


With his first wife, Miriam, Zlotowitz had two daughters and one son; Estie Dicker, Mrs. Faigie Perlowitz, and Gedalia. With his second wife, Rochel Zlotowitz, Zlotowitz had three sons and two daughters; Ira, Boruch, Chaim, Mrs. Devorah Morgenstern, and Mrs. Tzivi Munk.

Ira is founder and president of Eastern Union Funding, a commercial real estate mortgage brokerage in New York City.[20]

Chaim is a real estate attorney based in New York.[21]

His brother Bernard (1925-2015) was a leading rabbi in the Reform Jewish movement in the USA and had originally attended Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.[22] Their father, Aron Zlotowitz, led Congregation Etz Chaim,[23] a Brooklyn congregation, for 60 years.

Selected bibliography

Until the death 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).[24] They have also produced a host of titles of 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:[24]

  • 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.[25]

Gedaliah Zlotowitz

Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz is Rabbi Meir's oldest son.[9]

Arscroll's Titles by Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz had nine entries as of August 2020.[26]


  1. ^ a b c Joseph Berger (27 June 2017). "Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, Who Made Jewish Prayer Books Clear to All, Dies at 73". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "My father, the visionary". 18 September 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. ^ Leah R. Lightman (Spring 2019). "The Blessing of Failure: 7 Steps to Building Spiritual Resilience". Jewish Action. Orthodox Union. p. 48.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b c d Resnick, Eliot (6 June 2007). "'Our Goal is to Increase Torah Learning'". The Jewish Press. Archived from the original on 31 January 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  8. ^ a b Joseph Berger (10 February 2005). "An English Talmud for Daily Readers and Debaters". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  9. ^ a b c "My Father, The Visionary - Gedaliah Zlotowitz Reflects On His Father, Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, Z"L". Ami. 18 September 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  10. ^ Rabbi Meir Fogel
  11. ^ a b Yaakov Kornreich (18 July 201). "Meir Zlotowitz's Legacy: The Spiritual Engine Of American Orthodoxy's Renaissance". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  12. ^ Rabbi Yair Hoffman (29 June 2017). "The Mesorah Of Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz". Five Towns Jewish Times.
  13. ^ whose writings in The Jewish Observer Zlotowitz admired
  14. ^ Rabbi Scherman's 24 page work was titled "Overview"
  15. ^ a b Nussbaum Cohen, Debra (11 October 2007). "Feminists Object, But ArtScroll Rolls On". The Jewish Week. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  16. ^ Zlotowitz, Meir (1986). The Five Megillos: A new translation with overviews and annotations anthologized from the classical commentators. Mesorah Publications Ltd. ISBN 9780899062259.
  17. ^ "Edmond J. Safra Synagogue Values Timeless Heritage: Torah teachers honored at Mesorah Heritage Foundation community event". 2 April 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  18. ^ "Petira Of Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz Z'L; Founder Of Artscroll". Yeshiva World News. 24 June 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  19. ^ Paysach J. Krohn (2018). Moved by a Maggid. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-4226-2222-3. ... son, R'Gedaliah, ... at the helm ...
  20. ^ "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.
    - Bernstein, Dovid (11 January 2010). "Masmid Govoha Kicks Off 15th Year". Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  21. ^ "Real Estate Attorney | Chaim C Zlotowitz, Esq.| Cedarhurst, NY". zlotowitzlaw. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "ArtScroll Founder Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz Passes Away". The Jewish Press. 28 June 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Titles by Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz". ArtScroll. 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  25. ^ Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz. 30 May 2018.
  26. ^ "Titles by Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz". Retrieved 20 August 2020.
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