Heritage House was founded in 1985 by Rabbi Meir Schuster (OBM) to provide warm and comfortable accommodations for Jewish travelers in the heart of the Old City for a nominal fee. Since its inception, over 60 000 guests from across the globe have made Heritage House their home in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Matan Weisberg – Executive Director
Raised in South Africa and Israel, Matan is fluent in Hebrew, English and Zulu. After graduating high school, Matan joined the IDF’s MLRS unit for 3 years. During those years his interest in understanding Judaism was sparked. This lead to many years of serious religious and secular Jewish education. Matan’s passion for enabling young Jews to be exposed to their rich heritage propelled him to undertake continuing Rabbi Meir Schuster’s Heritage House from 2011. If you want to get on his good side, ask him an extremely tough Judaism question which will make him have to think for a couple days.
Chaya Weisberg – Co-Director
Born and raised in the USA, Chaya never ever imagined she’d live in what she then thought was Israel, a young, third world country. But fate proved otherwise. In 2000 on a what was supposed to be 8 week archaeological exploration she fell in love with Israel. Chaya studied Judaism alongside psychology and sociology, and holds a M.Sc from University of North Texas. After many years of balancing management of the women’s Heritage House (since 2004) along with maintenance of a private practice, she decided to fully dedicate herself to the Heritage House. You can find her having fun in the hostel with the guests, or having fun in the park with the 6 very cute Weisberg children. When you’re a guest, make sure to see the Weisberg twins!
Nechama Switzer – Follow Up Coordinator, Admissions & Madricha
Meet Nechama! Heritage House guests can related to Nechama, a worldwide traveller who has visited New Zealand, Hawaii, Prague, Ukraine, France, Switzerland. She puts her many talents to use as a hostel madricha, admissions coordinator for the Way More Israel program, and in connecting hostel guests to further Jewish options when they go back home. Nechama is the quintessential “Jewish mom” who loves to take care of her guests. She loves shmoozing, meeting people from all over the world, cooking, and bargain hunting. Don’t miss Thursdays in the hostel when Nechama is in the limelight: making, braiding and eating mouthwatering Challah!
Nechama has been living in Israel for over 13 years now and loves calling it her home. She has certification in Holistic Nutrition, Reflexology, and Phlebotomy! She will be your in House Nurse for all your scratches, bruises, and ailments and your psychological adviser by letting you know what number on the enneagram spectrum you fall under. Come and meet Nechama: look out for the curly auburn hair that got her the nickname Ms. Frizzle!
Madricha Talia Friedman
Talia Friedman hails from Teaneck, New Jersey. She graduated Rutgers University and was a Madricha for the Rutgers Chabad dormitory for two years. In college she was on student government, editor-in-chief of a student paper, and head of a Bikur Cholim organization. After college and before coming to Heritage House, she taught Middle School Judaic Studies at Netivot Montessori. She loves Torah, Israel and the outdoors and is excited to share her enthusiasm with the Heritage House guests.
Madricha Meredith Able
Meredith grew up in Livingston, New Jersey not knowing what exciting path was in store for her. She graduated Binghamton University with a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Law (PPL), and soon after, set out for the Holy Land! Now, after living, learning, and working in Jerusalem for over a year, Meredith made Aliyah and is grateful to have made the Heritage House her new home. From tennis to playing the saxophone, traveling, beatboxing, and hiking, Meredith loves to be active and explore the natural world around her. Eventually, she hopes to develop her career path in education, and looks forward to continuing her journey of personal growth and discovery.
Chaya Rochel Satt – Manager
Originally from New York, Chaya Rochel has made Israel her home since her first visit 12 years ago. As a black belt in martial arts, Chaya Rochel has a natural passion for discipline and seeing things run smoothly. She works with a goal to see the Heritage House run with precision and to house 1000’s of happy guests each year! Chaya Rochel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Master’s Degree in Clinical Sociology, and is certified in family and marital therapy. She brings her knowledge and experience of relationships to enable each employee to help grow the Heritage House with their unique contribution. On her “downtime” she maintains a busy psychotherapy practice and hangs out with the three cutest children in the Jewish Quarter. Hands down, what she enjoys most is the arts and crafts projects she gets to do with her kids!
Sara Berzansky – Programming Director
Welcome back….to the back office! Sara Berzansky runs the “mission control” of the Heritage House, More Israel and Way More Israel programs. Sara thrives on turning ideas into reality and making sure all the details are in place. Coordinating volunteer activities, managing the websites, developing fantastic internships and booking amazing teachers, trips and tours keep Sara “busy in the back”.
Sara hails from Ottawa, Canada and got her degree in Environmental Studies at McGill University. Trading the snow and “granola” for sunny Jerusalem, Sara has been working in Administration for Jewish educational programs for over 20 years (including being a Heritage House madricha in the 90s). Sara likes to shop, read, cook, play board games and spend time with her friends and family.