(JTA) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited the Mumbai Chabad House where six people were killed in a terror attack eight years ago.
Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, went up to the room which belonged to Moshe Holtzberg, the son of killed Chabad emissaries Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, who was rescued on the day of the attack by the family’s nanny, Sandra Samuel.
The president spoke of a visit paid by Moshe Holtzberg, his grandfather and nanny to the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. “When I saw Moshe,” Rivlin said, “I could not help but think ‘Am Yisrael Chai’ (the People of Israel Live). And today here too, in this Chabad House which offers a warm welcome to Jews from around the world every day without rest, I think the same thing again, the People of Israel live. The free world lives, and we will overcome terror.”
The Chabad House attack was one of several attacks on Mumbai sites over four days in November 2008 by a Pakistani Islamist group that left 166 dead and hundreds injured.
In addition to the Holtzbergs, four other Jewish visitors to the Chabad House were killed in the attack.
The facility’s synagogue and social spaces have since reopened for Torah classes, Shabbat and holiday meals and religious services. The fourth and fifth floors, the sites of the worst bloodshed during the attack, are, together with the roof deck, being turned into the first museum and memorial dedicated to the Mumbai attacks, according to Chabad.org.
Rivlin earlier on Monday laid a wreath at a memorial ceremony at the Taj Palace Hotel for the victims of the attacks. Rivlin was joined at the ceremony by Chennamanei Vidyasager Rao, governor of the Indian state of Maharashtra, as well as other senior state officials, members of the Jewish community and members of the business and academic delegation who accompanied him on his visit.