Background: Holtzberg couple loved by all

Gavriel, Rivkah Holtzberg died at hands of terrorists in Mumbai, lived as emissaries at Chabad house.

November 21, 2012 23:19
1 minute read.
Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg

Holtzberg couple 370. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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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.

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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.

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