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Chabad House to dedicate wing to Mumbai victims
by by Lalita Aloor Amuthan, Home News Tribune

NEW BRUNSWICK —The Consul General of Israel in New York, Asaf Shariv, expressed grief over the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India in a brief meeting held Monday morning at the Chabad House at Rutgers University. 

The attacks destroyed a Chabad Jewish Center in Mumbai, India and killed several Jews, including the center's rabbi and his wife.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said nine people were killed in the attack on the Jewish center.

Asaf Shariv, center, the Counsul General of Israel in New York, Rabbi Yosef Carlebach, left, and his son Mendi Carlebach, right, hold a news conference at the Les Turchin Chabad House on College Avenue in New Brunswick to discuss the terrorist attacks in India.

"We know for a fact that Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivkah died because they were Jews. It wasn't a coincidence," Shariv said, noting that the terrorists were specifically looking for Americans, Britons and Israelis.

He added that it wasn't an easy week for the free world and for the people of India.

He said he has been informed that the terrorists had been working on plans for the assualt for at least six months. Besides the Jewish Center, the terrorist attacks were aimed at two luxury hotels and other spots frequented by foreigners.

"It's part of a war between extremists and moderates all around the world. The free world must understand that this is a war," Shariv said.

He added that the Israeli government is ready to send delegations to India to bring back bodies of Israelis.

Rabbi Yosef Carlebach, the director and founder of the Jewish center at Rutgers University said an attack on any Chabad House is an attack on every Chabad House.

"The attack last week was not only an attack on Chabad or the people of Israel but on every living being that believes in life, in humanity and decency."

Carlebach said that the Rutgers Chabad House has set up funds to help rebuild the Chabad of India.

He added that Rutgers Chabad will dedicate an entire new wing - the men's dormitory - which will be named in memory of Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife.

"We also mourn the other 172 people who died in India and 100 more who were wounded," he said.

Carlebach's son Rabbi Mendy and Holtzberg were classmates at Yeshiva High School in Brooklyn.

"Even after he moved to India in 2003, we kept in touch via email," Mendy said.

He said he last spoke to Holtzberg when they met at the rabbis conference in New York last year.

Mendy said Holtzberg told him of the new Chabad House that he had just purchased in Mumbai. "Gabby described it as an open house for Indians, Jews, everyone who could always come for a meal and a smile."

Mendy said when he first heard of the attacks on Wednesday, he couldn't sleep and spent the night glued to his computer screen watching the terror unfold live on Indian television. It was only on Friday that the deaths were confirmed, he said.

"It was a very long weekend for me," he said.

 
If you wish to contribute to the furtherance of Chabad activities in India, or in memory of Rabbi Gabi and Rivka Holzberg, please click here.

Or mail your contribution to Chabad of India, Chabad House, 170 College Ave., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901.

 

 

 

 


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