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BREAKING – FIRST REPORT: Lakewood BMG’s CEO Rabbi Aaron Kotler To Step Down [PHOTOS]

Rabbi Aaron Kotler, Lakewood BMG’s CEO, will be stepping down, sources confirmed to TLS.

Kotler has served as the CEO for the last 27 years.

Rabbi Kotler is credited for transforming Lakewood from a small suburb his grandfather Rav Aharon Kotler Zatzal moved to, to the city it is today.

Under his watch, BMG grew from just a couple of buildings, to its current 18 Batei Midrashim throughout Lakewood. In addition, Rabbi Kotler created structure to allow for the Yeshiva to grow into the largest Makom Torah in America, which is now at its highest enrollment numbers ever.

Rabbi Kotler also had a hand in the opening of nearly 100 Kollelim around the globe, providing seed money and guidance to allow for the Kollelim to grow and flourish.

Rumors about his resignation started several years ago, but today, Rabbi Kotler called a meeting with BMG managers, as well as with his brother Reb Malkiel, in which he officially announced he would be stepping down.

He will remain in BMG for the next few months to assist with the transition. He also shared with the managers that he will always remain available to assist them in any way possible.

There is no immediate name for a replacement.

Photos of the meeting today:

kotler resigning

 

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There are 45 Comments to "BREAKING – FIRST REPORT: Lakewood BMG’s CEO Rabbi Aaron Kotler To Step Down [PHOTOS]"

  • ouch says:

    Wow. I remember when he was first hired.
    Either way this is a huge lost for the Yeshiva and the community.
    He’s probably the smartest & most gifted CEO in America.
    Of any kind.
    Period.

  • Zs says:

    He literally saved families by arranging pesach food boxes at the beginning of covid as well as ensuring the needs of the community were met. It was then that I realized that he is not just CEO of bmg. He has the backs of the entire lakewood community.

  • mordy says:

    Wow..a true Even Hashem..behatlacha

  • Chaim S says:

    I remember the early 90s when BMG was on the brink. The place was dilapidated and was headed south. What this man did for the yeshiva, for the town of Lakewood, and for Klal Yisroel is unimaginable. Kol Hakavod Rabbi Kotler. Please continue to use your God gifted talents for the Klal!

  • Big News says:

    Good for him. He put every ounce of his strength making Lakewood and the Yeshiva a place to live, learn and invest in. He deserves time now to enjoy life, spend time with his family and breathe a little. Rumor has it that there are some very talented young Kotlers on deck to fill his shoes. Thank you Reb Aaron. We all know it wasn’t easy. And it was even very tough sometimes. But Lakewood Yeshiva has now become a very desirable Charity destination and a financially stable organization. Hatzlachah!

  • Dov Beer says:

    This is a tremendous tremendous loss for the Yeshiva. Why is he stepping down?? He brought such Kavod Hatora to this town. Why oh why.. על אלה אני בוכיה
    Agav. I heard Rabbi Kotler twice speak He is of the most gifted public speakers I’ve ever heard.

  • Joe says:

    Sad.
    Sad
    Sad

  • Goose Gossage says:

    A sad day in Lakewood when he took over the Yeshiva was in dire straits now it’s a powerhouse.

    Thank you R’ Aaron K

    Gossage out

  • sam gutman says:

    just to get the facts down, although the numbers are at the highest ever, the growth rate has slowed tremendously, as yungerleit are leaving kollel earlier then ever before, for several years already bmg has not opened any new building. this was not the case 10 years ago, when every few zmanim they needed a new bais medrash, as bochrim came and the older ones stayed kollel as well

    • joe says:

      Grada false Im in bmg now and they are constantly adding new space. Bais Yitchak upstairs last zman downstairs two years ago princeton upstairs now… but good try to throw some shmutz.

    • su says:

      Who said that staying in kolel indefinitely is a good thing?

    • NNR says:

      This man has single-handedly built and transformed the largest Makom Torah into a well-functioning, financially solvent wellspring of Torah. Under Rabbi Aaron Kotler’s leadership, Yeshiva has brought Torah to the Arba Kanfos Ha’aretz, including to formerly Nazi-occupied Germany. Rabbi Aaron Kotler has given his life’s work to Klal Yisroel, and with blood and toil, sweat and tears, brought us the most vibrant Torahdik community the world has ever seen. With all manner of convenience and institutions of assistance for those wanting, the Lakewood of now is truly a modern man-engineered miracle. We owe this truly great man a tremendous debt of gratitude; oftentimes for things we don’t even know he put into motion. From every individual – the suffering teen-at-risk, to those entangled in legal woes, to those building their own organizations – we all benefit from this truly remarkable man.

  • point says:

    @Sam what’s your point?

  • Know it all says:

    Sam

    I did a day of learning at BMG one Sunday.
    They are packed to the rim. They just opened up a new Bais Medrash upstairs from the big new bais Medrash. I’ve heard it’s supposed to be offices but there was no room for guys to learn. They are growing I hear

  • Emes Vyatziv says:

    Reb Sam,

    I’m sorry to inform you that unfortunately you have no idea what you’re talking about. About three years ago the Yeshiva opened a new Bais Medrash in the basement of Bais Yitzchok (the Hertzka building) that housed first the Eiruvin Chabura and than the Niddah Chabura which seats 250 yunerleit. Than about a half a year ago they opened another Bais Medrash in the Hertzka building on the third floor that seats 450 yungerleit. And finally this zman the Yeshiva opened yet another Bais Medrash in the Princeton campus seating 324 Yungerleit.

    So BH Lhagdil Torah Ulhadirah BMG is growing & growing and they should continue growing מחיל א-ל חיל

  • NNR says:

    This man has single-handedly built and transformed the largest Makom Torah into a well-functioning, fiancially solvent wellspring of Torah. Under Rabbi Aaron Kotler’s leadership, Yeshiva has brought Torah to the Arba Kanfos Ha’aretz, including to formerly Nazi-occupied Germany. Rabbi Aaron Kotler has given his life’s work to Klal Yisroel, and swith book and toil, sweat and tears, brought us the most vibrant Torahdik community the world has ever seen. With all manner of convenience and institutions of assistance for those wanting, the Lakewood of now is truly a modern man-engineered miracle. We owe this truly great man a tremendous debt of gratitude; oftentimes for things we don’t even know he put into motion. From every individual- the suffering teen-at-risk, to those entangled in legal woes, to those building their own organizations- we all benefit from this truly remarkable man.

  • Tzaddik says:

    Let us hope he is leaving to open a girls high school.

  • Richard H. Roberts, M.D., Ph.D. says:

    This is a major loss for BMG. Aaron is singularly responsible for building and growing a well structured, highly effective, organization that has managed successful growth for over a quarter century. The amount of Torah learning in, and contributions to, the world Jewish community that he has achieved is astounding. It will be interesting to see if BMG can succeed, as an institution, in the coming years without his brilliant and experienced leadership.
    Hatzlochah Aaron,
    Rich Roberts

  • sam gutman says:

    everyone agrees he has built up this great makom torah, and reb aron deserves the greatest respect, he did something unimaginable! i was just mentioning a new trend i noticed, sorry if it came out wrong,

  • Were is rich says:

    We are all waiting..

    A comment from Rich Roberts.

    Or video.

    Something

  • BMGMasmid says:

    What a sad day for the Lakewood community. Aharon Kotler is a legend and will always be known as such. The tremendous Hatzlacha BMG had under his financial leadership will continue for a very long time. He has put BMG on financial footing like no one could have ever dreamed. I remember growing up in Lakewood and seeing how the buildings were neglected and in need of lots of TLC. Unfortunately they had no money for repairs. Look how Aharon transformed it and what BMG is today. Kol Hakavod to Reb Aharon and a big thank you for everything you did (and will continue to do) for BMG and the Lakewood community!

  • mayo says:

    dont think he will ever “leave”. maybe its just a way to bring in a younger new CEO who can take over which cant be done if he still officially holds the position

  • Nothing like staying in learning says:

    @su are you against staying in learning indefinitely? Actually there’s nothing like it in the world. Please keep quiet if you have nothing intelligent to say.

  • Next Up says:

    Trump/Kotler 2024

    • Climbing the wall says:

      Next, people are going to say something about the bochurim climbing the wall of the dais at the end of the yeshiva Purim mesiba…reminds you of something…! :):):)

  • Chaim says:

    To NEXT UP. you got that wrong. It should be Kotler/Trump 2024

  • Emes Veyatziv says:

    Reb Sam,

    It’s not what you said that “came out wrong.” It’s that this new trend you thought you noticed doesn’t exist! You made a statement that’s blatantly not true. So it’s not about whether Reb Aron deserves credit or הכרת הטוב or not ,it’s about saying the אמת!

  • Former Yungerman says:

    When I was learning in Bmg I was going through aarough financial time. Oout of desperation I reached out to the office to ask for guidance. A week later I received a personal check in the mail from R Aron Kotlers personal checking account. Enclosed was also a nice note. I will never forget the achrayos he felt towards one out of a few thousand. He did not know me. He just felt if one of his guys needs help he must do what ever he can for them. I am still blown away from this story. I wish I kept his note as testimony to what achrayos and leadership is all about.

  • david says:

    we all owe him a tremendous amount of hakaras hatov, and should reinforce our belief and trust in the Vaad and what they say as they made lakewood what it is.

  • frumyid says:

    I own a second home in an out of town community. Reb Aaron has flown to the community numerous times to give advice and help with the various moisdos (shuls and schools) in that town. Most of the time there is no notice that he’s there and he gets no kavod from it. There is also a fair amount of grief that he gets because just like everywhere, there are some people in the town who disagree with whatever path is eventually chosen. He gets zero remuneration for this (in this world at least).

    I realize that Reb Aaron is leaving BMG but I am really hopeful that he continues to do what he does for the klal outside Lakewood. His impact in just the one community I know of is immeasurable.

  • Jaxonite says:

    As sad as this news is for Lakewood, I sincerely hope it will ultimately be for Klal Yisroel’s gain (and Lakewood’s too).
    Major American Jewish organizations such as Agudath Israel and the Conference of Presidents are currently in dire need for a new leader of his caliber.
    Thank you for everything R’ Aaron and Hatzlacha Rabbah on your next move!

    • david says:

      Aguda is the under the leadership of Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel who follows Daas Torah to a tee. Conference is a Zionist org, that does nothing of importance to anyone to the right of the Young Israel movement.

      • Jaxonite says:

        To refresh your memory a bit:

        The Novominsker Rov took over R’ Moshe Sherer. That position of Chairman / President hasn’t been replaced yet. R’ C.D Zwiebel is the executive VP.

        You obviously don’t understand the void Malcolm Hoenlein’s semi-retirement left for the greater Jewish community here and in E”Y.

  • Yid says:

    There are 2 Reb Aron Kotlers. Both built Lakewood, each in his own way.
    Thank you

  • Lmaan hashem says:

    I wonder how many comments were censored here! probably in the thousands. And we complain about “media censoring”

  • Don't address by last name says:

    Hi, I think you should add the word “Rabbi” to your second sentence. A man like R’ Aaron Kotler CEO of BMG should not be addressed as Kotler, it seems like the rest of your article you did address him properly.

    Goyish media addresses all people by their last name, regardless of stature.

  • Dovid Symbol says:

    I noticed the symbolism in the headline photograph: The obvious symbolism – the steps representing Reb Aaron stepping down. The rocks: BMG rocked under Reb Aarons leadership. The bricks: Has BMG hit a brick wall with Reb Aarons departure? The doors: Reb Aaron is from our dor (generation) but also from the previous dor, for indeed he basked under Reb Shneur’s light. The signs on the doors: Is Reb Aaron’s departure a sign of our times? The bushes: Reb Aaron worked tirelessly on behalf of the yeshiva despite being bushed mentally and physically from the tremendous burden. The beams: His ancestors are no doubt beaming over his tremendous devotion on behalf of BMG.

  • ezi says:

    I was contemplating career opportunities, and wanted to discuss it with someone, and I thought that R Aaron would be able to advise me. I was a regular BMG yungerman with no specific pull or connections. I simply sent him an email. His secretary called me, gave me an appointment, and R Aaron gave me time, heard me out, and gave me sound advice. I didn’t need to beg, and was treated with utmost respect! and with that R’ Aaron earned my respect! Wishing him much hatzlacha and bracha. He will be missed by many of us little guys

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