The Intafadah of 2000 saw the number of tourists who were visiting the Kotel decline to a trickle. Instead of using this slow period for some much needed rest and relaxation, Reb Meir launched a new, ambitious venture—Shorashim Heritage Centers, a place for young secular Israelis to learn about their Heritage. The first center was opened in the heart of Jerusalem’s downtown district, with subsequent centers in Herzaliya, Haifa, Modiin and Pardes Chana. Rabbi Schuster again shouldered the burden of raising all the funds and assembled a team of dynamic educators who speak the language of Israeli youth. Within ten years after opening the first center, over 50,000 young people had had their first taste of Jewish wisdom and spirituality in a warm, open, non-threatening atmosphere. To date, through Shorashim, over 300 couples have met, married and begun to build vibrant Jewish families.
Undaunted by the failures of so many before him who had attempted to create a sustainable Kiruv (outreach) organization for Israeli youth, Reb Meir – in his own inimitable fashion – nonetheless ploughed ahead with full faith, and achieved in short order what many regarded as the impossible. Indeed, today Rabbis across Israel’s religious spectrum hold Shorashim in high esteem, and it has become a leading light in the modern Israeli baal teshuva movement.