BARUCH DAYAN HA’EMES: Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz Z”L, founder of ArtScroll [UPDATED]

It is with great sadness we report the Petirah of Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz Z”L, the founder of ArtScroll, who was Niftar over Shabbos.

Rabbi Zlotowitz Z”L underwent an emergency procedure last week, and began recuperating before relapsing over Shabbos. He was 73.

Rabbi Zlotowitz, father of R’ Ira and R’ Baruch of Lakewood, was a student of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein at Mesivtha Tifereth Yerushalayim.

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

In late 1975, a close friend of Zlotowitz, Rabbi Meir Fogel, was Niftar in his sleep, prompting Rabbi Zlotowitz to want to do something to honor 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 book was completed in honor of the shloshim and sold out its first edition of 20,000 copies within two months.

With the encouragement of Rabbi Moshe 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), and went on to publish translations and commentaries on the Torah, Prophets, Talmud, Passover Haggadah, siddurs and machzors. The name ArtScroll was chosen for the publishing company to emphasize the visual appeal of the books.

In its first 25 years, ArtScroll produced more than 700 books, including novels, history books, children’s books and secular textbooks, and is now one of the largest publishers of Jewish books in the United States.

Zlotowitz is also chairman of the Mesorah Heritage Foundation, ArtScroll’s fundraising arm.

The Levaya will tentatively take place at 2 PM Sunday at Shomrei Hadas in Boro Park, with Kevurah in Eretz Yisroel.

UPDATE: The family has set up an email for those looking to share their stories about Rabbi Zlotowitz Z”L. The address is


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There are 12 Comments to "BARUCH DAYAN HA’EMES: Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz Z”L, founder of ArtScroll [UPDATED]"

  • Bde says:

    Klal Yisroel today lost a true Gadol. Someone who has infused the Jewish world with Torah, and whose work will be an everlasting tribute to him – Tzidkaso Omedes La’ad.

    I have no doubt he will be welcomed in the Olam Haemes by the Gedolei Torah, and have a place right near them in Gan Eden.

    May he be a Meilitz Yosher for his beautiful family.

  • Eli says:

    Other websites reporting that he was 79

  • Bubby says:

    BD”E. What a sad loss for Am Yisrael. May the family have a nechama.

  • Wow says:

    If not for him I would know very little gemara, I’m almost finished shas. BDE.

  • The H says:

    Also father of R’ Baruch of Lakewood. (Kings Ct.)

  • eli says:

    He was probably from the biggest ‘mezaka es harabim’ in our nations history
    Look at how many people finish shas or a great portion of it because of him
    How many ppl learn mishnayos, nach, chumash etc with a real clarity due to his mission.
    may his zchusim be a maylitz yoisher for all of klal yisroel

    Perhaps we all owe him to learn a new seder or a mishna or two in his memory

  • aron says:

    I personally am very indebted to him
    I learn several hours a day either very early am or I sneak in, an hour here or there, so a chavrusa is not practical
    With the artscroll gemara, I always have great chavrusas anywhere anytime
    What a remarkable achievement
    We should all learn to try to accomplish something to help the klal

  • Yitzchak says:

    It is humanly incalculable the amount of Torah learning he beought into the world, in addition to the amount of beautiful tefillos that have been created through the ArtScroll siddur (b=bH, well more than 1,000,000 printed). The man was a prince and a beautiful and true ambassador for HaShem in this world.

  • yehi zichro boruch says:

    BD’E. Will the hespadim be translated into loshon kodesh?

  • Mindy/Sarah-Hadassah says:

    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.

  • Jarred says:

    Can anyone tell me if his son ira will be sitting Shiva in Lakewood. And if an address can be posted

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