Chabad House in Mumbai Reopens 6 Years After Massacre

Rabbis from around Asia mark the deaths of center head Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his wife Rivka and four other people.

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Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg with a picture of Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg behind him.Credit: AP

The Chabad outreach center in Mumbai reopened on Tuesday, nearly six years after it was the scene of a massacre during a November 2008 terror attack on India's financial capital.

Some 25 rabbis from across Asia were present at the ceremony marking the reopening of the renovated center, website reported.

Also present was Rabi Nachman Holtzberg, father of the head of the center at the time of the attack, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, who was killed along with his pregnant wife Rikva. The couple had been serving the local Jewish community since 2003.

"It's a very special day for his family and friends. Everybody remembers that terrifying day and the tragedy," Holtzberg said. "The couple had spread the message of goodness, hope, tolerance and love. We need to ensure their mission to spread love continues to grow further. I would like to thank all those who stood with us."

Four other people were killed in the attack on the center, also known as Nariman House, in addition to the Holtzberg couple.

However, their son Moshe, who was two-years-old at the time, was saved by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel, and the family's handyman-cum-cook Qazi Zakir Hussain. Moshe now lives in Israel with his grandparents and is still cared for by Sandra.

In all, 164 people were killed and at least 308 wounded during the five-day killing spree by 10 militants from Pakistan. Ajmal Kasab, the only attacker who was captured alive, was executed in 2012.

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkoz L'lnyonei Chinuch, the Chabad educational arm, which helped rebuild the center, described the reopening as "a moment of tears as also of joy."

"I think this is really a message for the whole world," he said. "You can overcome challenges, even the most horrific of challenges.This project serves as a beacon of light and hope that evil will not prevail. We have not left Mumbai since the attacks."