Background: Holtzberg couple loved by all
Gavriel, Rivkah Holtzberg died at hands of terrorists in Mumbai, lived as emissaries at Chabad house.
Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Known for welcoming Israeli and Jewish travelers from all over the world into
their Mumbai home, young couple Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg died at the hands
of terrorists in a massive attack on the western Indian metropolis almost
exactly four years ago.
Born in Israel and raised in Brooklyn, Gavriel
Holtzberg married Rivkah, an Israeli, in 2002. After spending their first year
of marriage in Brooklyn, the couple moved to Mumbai in 2003 to become emissaries
at the Chabad house there.
This was not Gavriel’s first experience
working in eastern Asia, as he had volunteered in various Thai Chabad houses
before his marriage.
Loved by not only the Israelis who stayed with them
but also the Indian people they worked side-by-side with, the Holtzbergs were
responsible for preparing kosher meat for their entire region and were happy to
host any Jews that came their way.
While both Rivkah and Gavriel were
killed by the terrorists, their then-twoyear- old son Moishe and his nanny
Sandra Samuel survived. The couple’s first child died of Tay-Sachs disease and a
second child was hospitalized in Israel for the same disease at the time of the
murder, and died a month later. At the funeral, Rivkah’s father Rabbi Shimon
Rosenberg announced that his daughter had actually been pregnant with a fourth
child when she was killed. Moshe now lives with his grandparents in Israel.