Nariman House

The Nariman House ( Marathi : नरीमन हाउस ), renamed [1] [2] [3] as Chabad House ( Hebrew : בית חב”ד Beit Chabad ), is a five-story landmark in the Colaba area of South Mumbai , Maharashtra , India. [1] The building was home to a Chabad house , a Jewish outreach center run by Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg , who owned the building from around 2006. The center had an educational center, a synagogue, offered drug prevention services,[4] [5] [6] [7] [8] and a hostel. [9] [10] The building was attacked and six of its occupants, including Holtzberg and his wife, who were five months pregnant, were killed during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks . Their two-year-old Moshe survived the attack after being rescued by his Indian nanny,Sandra Samuel .

Chabad House

The Chabad House , located On at 5 Hormusji Street, Colaba , [11] is one of eight synagogues in Mumbai [12] and has-been Described as the epicenter of the Jewish community in the city. [13]

It is one of 4,000 such houses in 73 countries, typically run by husband-and-wife couples. [14] In 2003, this Chabad House, the first in Mumbai, was opened by Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, newly married and run by them. [14] Who are they on their way to “party hotspots” such as Goa and Rajasthan , [15] in addition to the local Jewish community and traveling Jewish businessmen. [16] The Holtzbergs also ran a synagogue and taught Torah classes, in addition to the rabbi conducting weddings for local Jewish couples. It is the Chabad headquarters for Mumbai. [16] The place was open to anyone who wanted a place to pray, eatkosher food or celebrate Jewish holidays. In a film in 2006, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg said that anyone who visited the center was welcome. [16] It was not unusual for the Rabbi and his wife to have 30 people for dinner. [16] Gavriel (born 1979, raised in Brooklyn , NY) and Rivka (born 1980 in Afula , Israel ) Holtzberg came to Mumbai in 2003 after completing a mission in Thailand. [17]

Three Holtzberg (translated from French) Holtzberg said he understood the nature of their needs. The young rabbi, who was born in Israel but grew up in Brooklyn, said that they “need relief” from the army , from work, from real life. [15] He said, “They are here to do everything they can to get them to do their hair.” . ” [15]

In addition, “Jews from all nations stopped there-primarily Israelis,” said Elijah Jacob, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s country manager for India. . “Our country director used to say it was a second home to him because of the Jews on Shabbat.” [12]

Gavriel also helped with some of the local synagogues. He helped them gather donations, do fund-raising for the T’feret Israel synagogue , in central Mumbai in Jacobs Circle , and helped build a mikvah there. Also, he was officially a shochet , making chickens available at the local Jewish community, making challah for the community, and the couple was “available for the community,” there to answer Halakhic principles of the local community. [12]

Chabad officials said they were certain the Mumbai house would be reopen, and within hours of the Holtzbergs’ deaths, young Chabad couples from around the world offered to move to Mumbai to continue their work. [14]


These are the services this Chabad House offered. [18]

  • Israeli center
  • Kitchen koshering
  • Brit milah
  • Hospital visitation
  • Prison visitation
  • Prison chaplaincy
  • Regular classes
  • Marriage preparation
  • Medical services
  • Women’s group
  • Food package distribution
  • Humanitarian aid
  • Drug prevention
  • Shabbat hospitality
  • Adult education
  • Judaica shop
  • Synagogue library
  • After school programs
  • Chevrah kadishah
  • Bar / Bat Mitzvah instruction
  • Mezuzah and Tefillin checking
  • One-on-one study
  • Kosher meal plan
  • Jewish Learning Institute
  • Mikveh
  • Free internet cafe [19]

2008 Mumbai Attack

Nariman House was seized and attacked during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks . [20] [21] At around 9:45 pm , on Wednesday, November 26th, [5] two attackers launched an attack on the center. [22] Newscasters who? ] were calling it the “final assault”.[23] The building is near the Leopold Cafe, another establishment attacked during the strike. However, a later report alleged that Nariman House was actually the main target of the series of attacks and the rest of the targets were only to amplify the effect.[24]

It was reported that six Israeli Jews were being held hostage. [20] Later, Chabad spokesman in Israel, Moni Ender, said that there were at least eight Israelis inside the house, including Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka. [23] [25] The rabbi’s two-year-old son was rescued by his nanny, [25] Sandra Samuel , who had worked for the center for the preceding five years. [26] The hostages were allegedly tortured. [27] Some of the victims had been bound. [28]

It was reported that gunmen fired indiscriminately towards those present. [20] Late on 27 November, unnamed Maharashtra government officials said that eight hostages had been released. [26] [29] [30] Later, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that the eight people seen near Chabad House were not native hostages but local Indians from a home in the same compound. [4] Early one November 28 has wide blast Was Heard at the center have continued fighting, [31] Even though other sources reporting Were que le building was under the control of Indian security forces. [4]

During the siege US Chabad official Rabbi Shemtov Levi talked with one of the attackers on Holtzberg’s cell phone. [32] The FBI and other negotiation experts helped through the process, which included five phone calls. [32] [33] Having spoken, they were unable to speak to any of the hostages, but Shemtov did say he heard the voice of a woman screaming in English, “please help immediately.” [32]

Shortly before dawn, [34] Indian security forces began an attack on Nariman House that lasted until after sundown. The operation began when 22 NSG Commandos recalled out of an Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter on the roof of the building. NSG Commandos were in position in the adjacent buildings to provide fire protection for the team if needed. Commandos entered the building from the top and two loud blasts were heard by heavy gunfire. Most of the live broadcast operation Was there have television news footage Showed troops abseiling from a helicopter into the building and soldiers on the ground in closing. [35] Initially it was reported that five hostages [36]were killed, but it was later upgraded to six deaths, [37] [38] eight by Saturday morning [38] Israelis made contact with the Israeli Foreign Ministry. [39] When the raid ended at everyone in the building was dead, [32] including the rabbi and his wife. [40] An Indian commando, Havaldar Gajendra Singh Bisht, was killed during the operation. According to ZAKA members, clarification needed ] at least one hostage, Holtzberg, could have been killed in the crossfire when the commandos moved in; this was rejected by the government authorities as stories and irresponsible comments. [41]

Some of the other hostages were killed by the attackers on the first night and the following day. [39] Rivka Holtzberg and Yocheved Orpaz had been killed many hours before Nariman House was retaken. [42]

Nasir (aka Abu Umar) and Babar Imaran. [43] [44]


The following is a list of the civilians who died: [28] [38] [39] [45]

name Age Nationality
Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg 29  Brooklyn , United States (and dual Israeli citizenship )
Rebbetzin Rivka Holtzberg 28  Afula , Israel
Bentzion Kruman 26  Bat Yam , Israel (and dual US citizenship )
Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum 37  Brooklyn , United States
Yoheved Orpaz 62  Givatayim , Israel
Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich 50  mexico


  • Chabad-Lubavitch – Merkos The Inyonei Chinuch , the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavich released a statement that reads: “Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg [ sic ] made the ultimate sacrifice” As emissaries to Mumbai, Gabi and Rivky gave up the comforts of the West in order to spread Jewish pride in a corner of the world that was a frequent stop for throngs of Israeli tourists.Their Chabad House was popular among the local community, for five years, they ran a synagogue and Torah classes, and helping people deal with drug addiction and poverty. [40]
  •  Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was a member of the Australian Jewish Community at the Yeshiva Center , Melbourne, and his wife was “devoted to their lives”. but they have lost their lives in a senseless act of hatred.

See also

  • Synagogues in India
  • Knesset Eliyahoo
  • Sarah Avraham , who with her family was close friends with the Holtzbergs, and who in the wake of the attack and the killings converted to Judaism , and immigrated to Israel.


  1. ^ Jump up to:b “The latest is Mumbai areas under attack” . CNN. November 28, 2008 . Retrieved 2008-11-28 .
  2. Jump up^ At Chabad in NY, an agonized limbo … and prayer
  3. Jump up^ The Hindu
  4. ^ Jump up to:c Horovitz, David; Matthew Wagner (27 November 2008). “10 hostages reportedly freed from Mumbai Chabad House” . The Jerusalem Post . Retrieved 2008-11-27 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:b BBC: Jewish center in Mumbai Seized
  6. Jump up^ J’lem Post: Powerful explosion reported at Chabad House in Mumbai
  7. Jump up^ Tracking the Mumbai Attacks
  8. Jump up^ Ynet reporters (27 November 2008). “Terrorists Sixteen Chabad Offices in Mumbai” . Ynet . Retrieved 2008-11-27 .
  9. Jump up^ LA Times
  10. Jump up^ Tehelka
  11. Jump up^ “Chabad of India” . Retrieved 2008-11-27 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:c JTA
  13. Jump up^ Nariman to house of cards
  14. ^ Jump up to:c New York Times
  15. ^ Jump up to:c Israelis Invade India “Dikla Kadosh” 17 May 2006
  16. ^ Jump up to:d CNN
  17. Jump up^ “Chabad: Holtzberg couple killed in Mumbai” . Ynet. November 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-28 .
  18. Jump up^ Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai – Mumbai, India. Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
  19. Jump up^ Mumbai victims’ her searches for mother
  20. ^ Jump up to:c Yediot Ahronot: Report: 6 Israelis Held hostage in Mumbai Cite error: Invalid <ref>tag; name “YNET” defined multiple times with different content (see the help page ).
  21. Jump up^ Mumbai terror kills 65
  22. Jump up^ Fear for Jewish hostages at Mumbai Chabad center
  23. ^ Jump up to:b JPost
  24. Jump up^ “Nariman House, not Taj, was the prime target on 26/11” . DNA (newspaper) . January 5, 2009 . Retrieved 2009-01-05 .
  25. ^ Jump up to:b Parents of Chabad emissary’s wife ‘praying for salvation’
  26. ^ Jump up to:b ‘I just grabbed the baby and ran,’ says Mumbai Chabad employee
  27. Jump up^ Mumbai terror attacks: And Then They Came for the Jews – Times Online
  28. ^ Jump up to:b Jewish Center Is Stormed, and 6 Hostages Die New York Times (November 28, 2008)
  29. Jump up^ Several hostages reported freed from Chabad center
  30. Jump up^ Holtzbergs toddler asking for His Mother
  31. Jump up^ Blast heard at Chabad center
  32. ^ Jump up to:d Fox News
  33. Jump up^ COL Live: Report: US Shaliach Spoke to Terrorist
  34. Jump up^ Times Online: Commandos Abseil on Jewish Center
  35. Jump up^ BBC: “Indian forces storm Jewish center”
  36. Jump up^ “Rabbi, wife among Mumbai terror deaths” . CNN. November 27, 2008 . Retrieved 2008-11-27 .
  37. Jump up^ NYT
  38. ^ Jump up to:c 2 more bodies found at Jewish Center in Mumbai
  39. ^ Jump up to:c JPost | French-language news from Israel, the Middle East & the Jewish World . (2013-08-13). Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
  40. ^ Jump up to:b Runyan, Joshua; Moti Seligson (28 November 2008). “UPDATE: Mumbai-Based Rabbi and Wife Killed in Terrorist Attacks” . . Retrieved 2008-11-28 .
  41. Jump up^ Angry State at Zaka’s Mumbai ‘meddling’
  42. Jump up^ The Globe and Mail . Toronto . Archived from the original on 3 December 2008.Missing or empty( help)Archived7 February 2009 at theWayback Machine. |title=
  43. Jump up^ The National Post, Wednesday December 10, 2008, p.A13
  44. Jump up^ Pakistan Arrests Suspected mastermind of Mumbai attacksLA Times, 10 December 2008
  45. Jump up^ Warren Kozak,Remembering the Terror in MumbaiThe Wall Street Journal

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