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Moshe and Nariman House to start life afresh

Two-year-old Moshe will return to the city next year with his grandparents, who will begin afresh where his slain parents had left off.

Written by Shwetadesai | Mumbai |
December 8, 2008 2:39:21 am

Two-year-old Moshe will return to the city next year with his grandparents, who will begin afresh where his slain parents had left off. The bombed Nariman House or Chabad House will soon be rebuilt and run by Rabbi Shimon and wife Yehudit, parents of Moshe’s mother Rivka Holtzberg, who was killed along with husband Rabbi Gavriel in the 26/11 attack.

Moshe is currently in Israel with his grandparents and nanny Sandra Samuel, who rescued him from the house after the terrorists had held the family hostage .

Officials from the Israel Consulate in Mumbai said Rivka’s parents, who had arrived to take Moshe back for his parents’ funeral in Jerusalem, would soon run the Chabad house.

“They may take some time to come to Mumbai as they have to make several arrangements for their stay here. Moshe and nanny Sandra will also come and they will be in charge of the Nariman house centre,” said an official. The staff which was working at the Nariman house for the Holtzbergs will also be retained.

“We cannot let the efforts of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka go waste. They gave everything to this centre and all their love to visiting Jews who stayed at the house,” said a representative from Israel at a memorial service in a synagogue at Kalaghoda, South Mumbai.

Rabbi Holtzberg’s friend Dav Goldberg, who is running the centre in Goa, is now in the city. “We will temporarily look after the activities of Nariman House until it is rebuilt. But later Rivka’s parents will continue the work,” said Cherna, wife of Rabbi Goldberg. The couple had gone for a prayer ceremony on Sunday at the Kenesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue which was attended by a number of Indian Jews, Bene Israelis, the consul generals of Israel and USA as well as Maharashtra Governor S C Jamir, who condemned the attacks on innocent lives and vowed to fight terror.

Cherna said the couple were determined to rebuild Nariman House, even if it will be “traumatic and difficult” initially to stay in the house where their friends once lived and were brutally killed. “Everything will be the same once Nariman House is rebuilt. It will be difficult at first, but we will ensure all the activities run the way Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka would do,” she said.

The couple have not visited the bombed house. Asked if she was scared, Cherna said, “I come from Israel where bombings and terrorism is common, I cannot be scared.”

Meanwhile, the Chabad Mumbai chapter of the ultra-orthodox Jewish sect, Chabad Lubavitch, has started a fund for Moshe and Nariman House. “Moshe is now an orphan… the open home his parents built in Mumbai is now in a shambles…” reads the Chabad of Mumbai relief fund on a website.

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