NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, who built his legacy around the power of books and the need to spread Torah knowledge, died on Friday.
Zlotowitz, the founder of ArtScroll Publications, was 73.
A Brooklyn native, Zlotowitz graduated from Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem yeshiva in downtown Manhattan. He then joined a graphics studio named ArtScroll Studios, which at the time produced items such as wedding and bar mitzvah invitations. Zlotowitz eventually paired up with Rabbi Nosson Scherman and the two began to write copy for the business.
In 1975, Scherman and Zlotowitz published an English translation and commentary on the Book of Esther that sold 20,000 copies in two months. From this endeavor, ArtScroll Publications was born.
ArtScroll and its parent company, Mesorah Publications, became one of the most renowned and prolific publishers of religious Jewish texts for the English-speaking market, producing more than 700 books by 1990. Exquisitely designed, often with tooled cover designs meant to evoke old leather volumes, ArtScroll’s prayer books, Bibles, collections of Jewish wisdom and other “seforim” cornered the Orthodox market in recent years.