Survivor of 2008 Mumbai massacre: I want to go back as Chabad envoy

While accompanying Indian PM, Netanyahu invited 10-year-old Moshe Holtzberg,survivor of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, to join him on an upcoming visit to India.

July 5, 2017 16:51
2 minute read.
Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Israeli youth Moshe Holtzberg 5th July 2017.

Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Israeli youth Moshe Holtzberg 5th July 2017.. (photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)


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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday with Israeli youth Moshe Holtzberg, a survivor of the November 2008 terrorist attack that killed his parents and seven others at Mumbai’s Chabad House.

His late parents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, were directors of the Jewish center. Moshe was a toddler at the time and was rescued by his nanny, who fled the building with him. Now 10-years-old, Moshe lives in Afula with his grandparents, Rabbi Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, who joined him at the event, along with his former nanny, Sandra Samuel, who came with him to Israel.

Holtzberg told the Indian prime minister that he misses India, and Modi responded that the country is open to him. Netanyahu meanwhile invited Holtzberg to accompany him on his upcoming visit to India.

Moshe was taken hostage along with his parents and several tourists by terrorists who raided the Chabad House in India’s largest city.

“We’re glad that Prime Minister Modi met with Moshe and recognized the sacrifice of his parents, an exceptional couple and our personal role models, to establish Chabad-Lubavitch in Mumbai, and their service to the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Yisroel Kozlovsky, co-director of Chabad- Lubavitch of Mumbai.

“My wife, Chaya, and I are humbled to be a part of, and to continue the holy work of Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg, and are working diligently on actualizing the dream of a Memorial Museum at Nariman [Chabad] House, that will help continue their legacy.

“We look forward to welcoming Israel’s prime minister during his visit to Mumbai with Moshe Holtzberg,” Kozlovsky added.

“It is our hope that this historic visit and meeting will create awareness of this project, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s vision for a better, more peaceful world.”

The attack on the Chabad House by an Islamist terrorist group based in Pakistan was one of a dozen attacks throughout the city from November 26 to November 29, 2008, that killed 164 people and wounded at least 308 others.

Ten gunmen arrived on the Mumbai shoreline in a dinghy on the day of the attack, before splitting into four groups and embarking on a killing spree.

They held off elite commandos for 60 hours in two luxury hotels, the Jewish center and a train station in the city.

The Mumbai attacks in 2008 brought Pakistan and India to the brink of war.

In late 2012, India secretly hanged the lone surviving member of the Pakistan-based terrorist squad responsible for the rampage.

Jerusalem Post staff and Reuters contributed to this report.

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