NEW YORK (JTA) – The Chabad center in Mumbai will have its first full-time rabbi since the 2008 terrorist attacks in that Indian city.
Rabbi Chanoch and Leiky Gechtman will be the first permanently stationed emissaries at the Chabad outreach center since Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg were killed there along with four visitors in the November 2008 attacks on several Mumbai sites. More than 170 people were killed in the attacks.
The Gechtmans, Israelis in their 20s, are expected to begin their work in Mumbai this summer. They were suggested for the post by the father of Gavriel Holtzberg, Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg. The couple had spent time in Mumbai with the Holtzbergs, and Chanoch Gechtman studied rabbinic law with Gavriel Holtzberg.
"I still haven’t processed that they are not here," Chanoch Gechtman said of the Holtzbergs in a report on Chabad.org.
As for his work in India, for which he just received his visa last Friday, Gechtman told Chabad.org, "There is endless work here. There is always something going on. And more importantly, people really believe in this city.”