The Heritage House
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The Heritage House is a non-profit youth hostel in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, founded in 1985 by Rabbi Meir Schuster. It offers free, subsidized lodging to unaffiliated Jews from around the world.
The Heritage House provides young Jewish adults with a wealth of information on touring, studying, intern and work opportunities in Israel, in addition to providing follow up connections; connecting them with the Jewish communities back in their home towns around the world. The Heritage House offers a warm and friendly environment, where people can explore their Jewish roots.
Rabbi Meir Schuster opened the Heritage House non-profit youth hostels in 1985 in order to give Jewish young adults the opportunity to explore Israel and their heritage in a safe and home-like environment. Heritage House was and still is the only Jewish youth hostel in the Old City of Jerusalem.
After changes in leadership, the organization split into two separate entities. The Men's house, led by Rabbi Ben Packer, moved to a location near the Hurva Synagogue. The Women's house, led by Chaya Weisberg, remained at its original location.
Apart from lodgings, the Heritage House provides a range of services designed to help guests explore Israel and Judaism, including free tours, information on educational programs, internship and volunteering opportunities.
There is a special optional program every Shabbat. One of the highlights is Jeff Seidel, director of the Jewish Student Information Center, arranges for guests to spend Shabbat meals at warm inviting families in Jerusalem. For many guests this is the first time they ever see traditional Jewish family life in action.
The High Holy days are the busiest time of the year for the Heritage House. An explanatory service is run in the Old City designed especially for beginners, although it attracts Jews from all levels of observance.
Under the leadership of Rabbi Ben Packer guest of the Jerusalem Heritage House take park in volunteer work restoring historical sites in Hebron, repairing synagogues and agricultural work at the vineyard in Kfar Tapuach and others locations in Israel.
The Heritage House is situated in the Old City of Jerusalem. It consists of two buildings, one for men and one for women, which are closely located. The buildings date back to the Crusader period, and a medieval ambiance is preserved through the stone walls and classic interior arches. Nevertheless, both buildings have modern renovations and extensions to cater to the comfort of the guests.
The Heritage House offers simple accommodations. The dormitory is open plan, with bunk beds. It provides free internet. There is also laundry service available.
Guests come from all over the world: USA, Canada, UK, France, South Africa, Argentina, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Sweden. Ages up to 30.
- Kempinski, Yoni (Sep 27, 2015). "Planting Trees Post-Shmita in the Shomron". Israel National News.
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