Nine Years After Mumbai: Remembering, Rebuilding


Nine years ago this week, terrorists stormed the Nariman Chabad House in Mumbai. Members of the Islamic terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba held Chabad representatives Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg and four of their guests hostage, before brutally murdering them. Two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg was saved by his nanny. The 2008 terrorist attacks left 166 people in Mumbai dead in a four-day coordinated attack.

Chabad of Mumbai has since continued to advance the work of the Holtzbergs, and new centers like the Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg Jewish Welcome Center in the Virgin Islands, have opened around the world inspired by their memory. Chabad-Lubavitch preschools, Gan Rivka, named for Rivka Holtzberg are active in places such as Marin, CA and Rome, Italy.

In Seoul, South Korea, Chabad dedicated the Korea Jewish Library in the Holtzberg’s honor. And the Holtzberg Hospitality Home which serves students and faculty at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine was dedicated in tribute to the open hospitality at the Nariman Chabad House in Mumbai.

Today the Nariman Chabad House is once again a vibrant center for educational activities. The six-story building includes a kosher kitchen and library. Current emissaries Rabbi Yisroel and Chaya Kozlovsky feel they have big shoes to fill: “My wife, Chaya, and I are humbled to be a part of, and to continue the holy work of Rabbi Gabi and Rivka Holtzberg.” The Kozlovskys hope to open a memorial museum on the premises.

Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu will be visiting the site in January of 2018.


  • 1. Painful Memories wrote:

    I remember vividly getting up in the middle of the night, checking my computer, praying to see that they had been rescued. I later found out that everyone I knew had done the same thing. No one could sleep. Gaby and Rivky had united the entire Jewish world.

    Words fail to try to describe their funerals. Heart-wrenching is the only word that even comes close.

    What I am happy to see is the Moishele is being kept relatively secluded and seems to be living as normal a life as is possible. I’m sure I’m not the only one who, while I would like to see pictures of him more often, am happy that he appears only on very special occasions.

    No one will ever forget those days. May Hashem watch over their son and the children of all the other martyrs who perished that day.

  • 2. Bais Maasim Tovim wrote:

    The Rosenberg family dedicated a beautiful 770 look-alike in memory of their daughter and son in law HY”D. It is situated on the road from Afula and Teveria, and is a tribute all they accomplished in their short lives.

    Moshiach NOW

  • 3. Reginold wrote:

    The name of the city where this tragedy took place should only be written as Bombay and not with the name that begins “Mum…” The “M” word is the name of a Hindu moon goddess, which according to halachah is ossur to pronounce. We are very careful to to say “Simcha Angeles” and Ginger-kale, and we also change the name of the mid-winter holiday to avoid saying the name of “Oso Ha-Ish.” Why then would we say the Mum…name? The British, who fancied themselves as the successors of Israel called it Bombay and so should we.

    • 4. Milhouse wrote:

      Only idiots say “ginger kale”, but you’re right about Bombay, because it was renamed bedavka to honor the avoda zara. I refuse to use any of the new names of Indian cities on principle, because they can’t tell me what names to use, but this one in particular is not just akshonus but a real halachic concern.

      In Europe there were several towns for which Jews had different names because of this problem. Probably the most famous example is the Austrian town whose Jewish name is Tzeilem.

  • 5. Ginger-kale LOL wrote:

    Yes we are careful to call the city Bombay. Tell it to the editors of the “official” websites.


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