Peretz Yaakov’s Story

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My Rabbi Schuster story parallels the many others involving lost Jewish souls whom he found searching for their Jewish heritage while in Jerusalem. He is a special man who moves mountains and does so quietly.\n

In 1994, I found myself at Heritage House for Shabbos during a three week SAREL program at the Botanical Gardens on the Givat Ram Campus.  Rabbi Schuster and Rabbi Seidel arranged for my meals and lodging.  A three week volunteer program at SAREL became an almost nine month trip that included learning experiences at Aish Hatorah and Ohr Somayach arranged by Rabbi Schuster.

I recall Rabbi Schuster coming to Givat Ram during my volunteer work and encouraging me to spend time learning in Yeshiva after the program.  I also remember a memorable Shabbat meal at his home when we walked arm in arm together with another guest through the Damascus Gate on Friday night – without any fear.

He played a critical role in directing, encouraging and providing me with structure in the early stages of my teshuva to a Shomer Shabbos lifestyle. In the late 1990’s, I was living in Toronto and to my pleasant surprise, Rabbi Schuster suddenly appeared and I was able to spend some time with him.