Jay Schottenstein Remembers // A Partnership With Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, z”l

Most people consider you to be a partner of Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, z”l. Would you agree with that description?
Yes, without a doubt. It was a partnership that began 28 years ago with my father and was then passed down to me, and now to my children. But it wasn’t just a partnership; Meir was part of our family.

The Schottensteins have become part of everyone’s family to a certain extent. You’re in almost every Jewish home.
Meir Zlotowitz had a vision, and my father and I bought into it. Having the opportunity to help Meir and Nosson [Scherman] be the catalysts for such an explosion in learning was really a great honor. I’ve always said that I can never repay Meir for what he did for our family. To have our name associated with the Torah—there is no greater honor for a Jew than that.
Was the relationship a one-shot deal that took place all those years ago, or did you have an ongoing relationship with him?
It was a continuous relationship. Meir provided us with an opportunity to partner with him on so many great projects, like the interlinear siddur, Talmud Yerushalmi and the Mishnah series.

I spoke to Rabbi Nosson Scherman recently, and he told me that he considered the Yerushalmi series to be ArtScroll’s biggest accomplishment because it was so revolutionary.
Indeed. It gave people an opportunity to learn the Yerushalmi in a way that hadn’t been possible for over 1,000 years.

Has your participation in these projects changed the Schottenstein family in any way?
We do a lot of traveling, visiting synagogues and Chabad Houses all over the world. And wherever we go, from Hong Kong to Europe, we see the Schottenstein Gemaras. We take great pride in seeing books with our family’s name on it.

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