JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Indian nanny who spirited the son of the Mumbai Chabad house directors out of the building during a terrorist attack has begun the citizenship process in Israel.
Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai awarded Sandra Samuel temporary residential status on Sunday, the first step toward permanent citizenship.
Samuel received a work permit when she arrived in Israel a year-and-a-half ago to care for Moshe Holtzberg, then 2, who lost both of his parents in the Mumbai attacks.
Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg were killed in the Chabad House along with four visitors in the November 2008 attacks on several Mumbai sites, including luxury hotels, a train station and a popular cafe. More than 170 people were killed in the attacks.
"She risked her life in order to save Jews and we are obligated to take care of her," Yishai said, according to Ynet. "The family has impressed upon me that she is vital to the continuing rehabilitation process following the terrible disaster they have undergone."