Kiryat Mattersdorf

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Western entrance to Kiryat Mattersdorf.

Kiryat Mattersdorf is a Haredi neighborbood in Jerusalem. It is located on the northern edge of the mountain plateau on which central Jerusalem lies. It is named after Mattersburg (formerly Mattersdorf), a town in Austria with a long Jewish history. It borders Unsdorf and Romema. The main thoroughfare is Panim Meirot Street.

A lesser known name for the neighborhood is Kiryat Sheva Kehillos,[1] in memory of the Siebengemeinden (Seven Communities) of Burgenland which were destroyed in the Holocaust, Mattersdorf being one of them.[2]


The main thoroughfare, Panim Meirot Street.

Kiryat Mattersdorf was founded in 1959 by the Mattersdorfer Rav, Rabbi Shmuel Ehrenfeld, whose ancestors had served as Rav of the Austrian town of Mattersdorf for centuries, starting with his great-great-grandfather, the Chasam Sofer, in 1798.[3] When the community was evicted from Austria during the Anschluss of 1938, the Mattersdorfer Rav re-established his yeshiva in New York. In 1959, he sent one of his sons, Rabbi Akiva Ehrenfeld, to supervise the construction and selling of apartments and public institutions in the new neighborhood of Mattersdorf.[3] Today Rabbi Akiva's son, Rabbi Yitzchok Yechiel Ehrenfeld, holds the position of Rav of Kiryat Mattersdorf.

Neveh Simcha nursing home, which serves the Haredi public of northern Jerusalem.

Among the institutions that Ehrenfeld set up were Talmud Torah Maaneh Simcha; Yeshiva Maaneh Simcha; Yeshivas Beis Shmuel (named for his father, who died in 1980); two synagogues named Heichal Shmuel, one for nusach Ashkenaz and one for nusach Sefard; and the Neveh Simcha nursing home, named after his grandfather.[4][5] Rabbi Akiva moved to Kiryat Mattersdorf in the early 1990s and served as president of all these institutions.[4] He established close ties with the government of Austria to obtain funding for several institutions, including Neveh Simcha and a kindergarten. Following an official state visit to Israel by Austrian President Thomas Klestil in 1994, which included a side tour of Kiryat Mattersdorf, Klestil hosted Ehrenfeld at an official reception at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna on January 24, 1995.[6][7]

The first apartments were ready for occupancy in May 1965.[8] The first occupants included Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg and his wife Bessie; his son Rabbi Simcha Scheinberg and his family; his daughter Rebbetzin Fruma Rochel Altusky and her family; and more than 20 students from Rabbi Chaim Scheinberg's yeshiva, Torah Ore.[8] Rabbi Akiva Ehrenfeld was the one who encouraged Rabbi Scheinberg to relocate his yeshiva to Jerusalem from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, offering attractive terms for apartments and land for the yeshiva.[9]

Resident profile[edit]

Today, most of the inhabitants of Kiryat Mattersdorf identify with the Litvish style of Haredi Judaism.[2] Many are olim from the United States and United Kingdom.

Notable rabbis who live in Kiryat Mattersdorf include Rabbis Shlomo Lorincz, Zelig Pliskin, Moshe Sacks,[2] Yaakov Eliezer Schwartzman, Menachem Mendel Taub, Mendel Weinbach, Chaim Brovender, and Uri Zohar. Rabbis Simcha Wasserman and Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg were long-time residents.[10]


The Torah Ore Yeshiva headed by Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg and the Chasan Sofer network of schools and yeshivas headed by Rabbi Akiva Ehrenfeld are the major institutions for boys and young men in the neighborhood. Girls' schools include Beis Yaakov of Mattersdorf and Vizhnitz School for Girls.


  1. ^ Google Maps, see "Mattersdorf, Jerusalem".
  2. ^ a b c "Mattersdorf neighborhood". Eiferman Properties. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Cohen, Yitzchok. The Mattersdorfer Rav. Hamodia Magazine, 28 May 2009, pp. 6-8.
  4. ^ a b "Harav Akiva Ehrenfeld, zt"l". Hamodia Israel News, 23 August 2012, p. A14.
  5. ^ "Neveh Simcha homepage". Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  6. ^ Engel, Reinhard (5 February 1995). "Jerusalem rabbi visits Austria 'to create a bridge' to Vienna". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 4 October 2012.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ Klestil, Thomas (2005). Thomas Klestil--der Verantwortung verpflichtet: Ansprachen und Vorträge 1992–2004 [Thomas Klestil Undertakes the Responsibility: Speeches and lectures, 1992–2004] (in German). Verlag Österreich. p. 315. ISBN 3704647578. 
  8. ^ a b Shain, Ruchoma (2001). All For the Boss. Feldheim Publishers. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  9. ^ Shulman, Eliezer (2008-04-16). "Rav Scheinberg's Living Legacy". Mishpacha Magazine. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  10. ^ Tatz, Akiva (1995). "Reb Simcha Speaks (chapter 3)". Ohr Somayach International. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 

Coordinates: 31°47′44.94″N 35°12′6.73″E / 31.7958167°N 35.2018694°E / 31.7958167; 35.2018694