Orphaned Jewish survivor of Mumbai terror, 11, visits site of attack

The 11-year-old survivor of the Mumbai Chabad House terror attacks of 2008 returns to India to dedicate a memorial in his parents’ names.

By Margot Dudkevitch, World Israel News

Ten years after his parents, Chabad emissaries Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, were murdered by terrorists, 12-year-old Moshe Holtzberg returned to the site in Mumbai, India, for the first time.

On Thursday, he will join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently on a state visit to India, at a ceremony to unveil a memorial plaque honoring his parents at Mumbai’s Chabad center. The plaque will serve as a cornerstone for the planned state-of-the-art Living Memorial that is to be erected at the site.

The memorial will include the apartment where the Holtzbergs lived as well as the floor where the murders occurred. On the top floor of the building, a reflection garden will be built in recognition of the victims of the spate of terror attacks that swept through Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

Chabad emissary in Mumbai Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky and his wife Chava are the co-directors of the Mumbai Chabad center, which currently operates out of a small home in the city. “The Living Memorial is designed to show how every individual has the ability and responsibility to make the world a better place,” Rabbi Kozlovsky said.

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Moshe was only two years old when his parents were murdered, along with six others, at the Chabad Center, which was one of the targets of 10 radical Islamists who infiltrated Mumbai and slaughtered 166 people throughout three days of terror. Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel, who protected him during the slaughter and traveled with him to Israel, where she was given citizenship in 2010. She remains in close contact with Moshe, who lives with his maternal grandparents in Afula.

“Moshe, Prime Minister Modi invited me to come to India. You will come with me to Mumba,” Netanyahu promised him during the Indian leader’s visit to Israel in July.

Moshe’s grandfather, Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg, who is accompanying the boy on his trip to India, told ANI News Agency he was pleased Moshe could visit Mumbai. “It is a special day, thank God that Moshe could come again. Mumbai is a lot safer now.”