THE PASSING OF A LEGEND: Rav Meir Zlotowitz zt”l


It is with great sadness that reports the passing of Rav Meir Zlotowitz zt”l, pioneering founder of ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications and one of the greatest disseminators of Torah in history. He was 73 years old.

Rabbi Zlotowitz, who resided in Flatbush, Brooklyn, led the “ArtScroll Revolution,” a transformation in the availability of Torah literature in English and Hebrew.

Rabbi Zlotowitz, during his formative years, studied at Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim, becoming a close talmid of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l and, later, his son, Rav Dovid Feinstein.

After completing yeshiva, he became director of a high-end graphics studio in New York. The firm, named ArtScroll Studios, produced brochures, invitations, and kesubos. First located on Coney Island Avenue, the company later moved to Second Avenue in Brooklyn.

Rabbi Nosson Scherman, then principal of Yeshiva Karlin Stolin Boro Park, was recommended to Rabbi Zlotowitz as someone who could write copy and they collaborated on a few projects.

In late 1975, a close friend of Rabbi Zlotowitz, Rabbi Meir Fogel, passed away, prompting Rabbi Zlotowitz to do something in his memory. As Purim was a few months away, he decided to write an English translation and commentary on Megillas Esther and asked Rabbi Scherman to write the introduction. The sefer was completed in honor of the shloshim and sold out its first edition of 20,000 copies within two months.

With the encouragement of Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, Rav Mordechai Gifter and other gedolei Yisroel, Rabbi Zlotowitz continued producing commentaries, beginning with a translation and commentary on the rest of the five megillos. He went on to publish translations and commentaries on the Torah, Neviim, the Haggadah, the siddur, the machzor, Mishnayos, and more.

ArtScroll has produced, to date, over 2,000 books, including seforim, novels, history books, children’s books and textbooks, and is now the largest publishers of Jewish books in the United States.

ArtScroll is perhaps most well known for its transformative Shottenstein Edition of the Talmud, which opened up Gemara learning for people the world over.

Rabbi Zlotowitz himself authored or co-authored, or served as general editor of, ArtScroll’s Talmud, Chumash, Tanach, Siddur, and Machzor series; Megillas Esther, Megillas Eichah, Koheles, Rus,Shir HaShirim, Yonah, Chanukah: Its history, observance and significance; Succos: Its significance, laws and prayers; Shema Yisrael; Pirkei Avos; and other volumes.

Rabbi Zlotowitz had recently been feeling unwell and underwent a procedure, from which he was recovering. He had a setback on Shabbos and passed away.

It is difficult to quantify just how great an impact Rabbi Zlotowitz had on the Jewish world. Perhaps no other individual in the last century had as colossal an influence on the world of Torah as he did.

His passing plunges the Jewish world into mourning, bringing to an end a life that saw extraordinary accomplishments in Torah publishing, unlike anything ever seen before. Rabbi Zlotowitz is truly irreplaceable.

Rabbi Zlotowitz is survived by his wife, Mrs. Rochel Zlotowitz, and their illustrious family of bnei and bnos Torah, including their children, R’ Gedaliah Zlotowitz, R’ Ira Zlotowitz, R’ Boruch Zlotowitz, R’ Chaim Zlotowitz, Mrs. Estie Dicker, Mrs. Faigie Perlowitz, Mrs. Devorah Morgenstern, and Mrs. Tzivi Munk, and many grandchildren.

The levaya will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Shomrei Hadas Chapels, located at 3803 14th Avenue in Boro Park, Brooklyn.

Yehi zichro boruch.

Those who wish to send a message or sentiments to the family may do so by emailing


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  1. Oy Vey! well said. This insensitivity of this posting has caused much pain.
    Also, posted originally with wrong age, missing names, wrong names a
    Is the frum media coming FAKE NEWS.

  2. I was shocked and deeply saddened to read of Rabbi Meir’s passing. May his family, friends and co-workers know that not only his memory, but also the many hundreds of his fine publications will be for a blessing and lasting reminder of this great man for generations to come around the world.

  3. To all the negative commentators:

    Matzav did the community a service by reporting about the life of this exceptional individual. All you could do is look for something to criticize and demean the report and you cannot even post it with your name. you needed to hide behind anonymous or some other mask.
    Yacov Schonfeld
    Lakewood, NJ

    • The ignorance of this comment is beyond comprehension.
      Matzav rushed to get a story out before family members were informed of his passing. They were in such a rush to beat other news outlets that getting accurate information was never a consideration.
      It’s sad that’s what it’s become.

    • Nobody has an issue (as far as I know) on the story about his life. Great job there. Issue is the insensitivity towards the family. Hope you are never in that position but think about it for a minute, when the story is rushed out there before some grandchildren were even informed and to go on top of that they didn’t list all the children. Story could have been easily posted at 11:00 instead of 10:00

  4. Very few people have accomplished what he has. Many tens of thousands of people have sedorim in limudim that they would never have dreamed of being able to learn. I myself are testimony to that being the case.

  5. I have a familial connection, of my great grandfather and his great grandfather (on my Mom’s side of the family). My great grandfather asked his great grandfather to start a yeshiva for his children in Montreal and our families have been connected ever since.
    Also, my Dad worked for Artscroll many years ago and was very close with Rabbi Zlotowitz ztl
    No one in the world has done as much for Klal Yisroel with all the seforim he has published and are located in shuls, schools, homes, etc. He was a very holy soul and has amassed a fortune of mitzvos to his spiritual bank account, beyond infinity. May his neshama have an aliyah and go straight to Gan Eden.

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