Chabad Centre reopens six years after Mumbai attack
Jewish outreach centre Chabad-Lubavitch, which was bloodied and brutalised in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, reopened to normal activities in its renovated avatar Tuesday.
A group of 25 Rabbis from Asia attended the reopening ceremony at the six-storey Nariman House which houses the Chabad-Lubavitch Centre in Colaba in south Mumbai.
It was one of the targets of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who created the 60-hour mayhem in Mumbai during the Nov 26-29, 2008 terror attacks, sneaking in from the Arabian Sea route.
Among the six people gunned down in Chabad Centre were Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his pregnant wife Rivka.
Rabbi Nachman, father of the slain Rabbi Holtzberg, was present during Tuesday's ceremony.
"It is a very special day, for his (Rabbi Gavriel) family and friends who remember that day's terrifying tragedy. They had spread the message of goodness, hope, love and tolerance, we must ensure their mission continues to grow further," Rabbi Nachman said, remembering his son and daughter-in-law.
The Holtzbergs' two-year-old son Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuel and their cook Qazi Zakir Hussain who lived there.
Moshe was later taken by his grandparents to Israel along with Sandra. She opted to settle there and was granted that country' citizenship.
The Chabad Centre is now headed by Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky and his wife Chaya, who are its directors.
There is a plan to set up a USD 2.5-million Jewish Museum on the fourth and fifth floors.
"This six-storey building was continuously operating under the attack. We are not moving into a new building, we are returning to our original building, and we will be continuing and expanding all the activities that took place here," Rabbi Kozlovsky said.
Rabbi Moshe Motlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch, said the reopening was "a moment of tears as also of joy".
"We shall not fight terror with guns and grenades, but by spreading love. I think this is really a message for the whole world. You can overcome challenges, even the most horrific ones," he said.
Select visitors witnessed the bullet-ridden walls of the two floors which have not been refurbished but shall be covered with glass to enable people have a sense of the monumental tragedy that stunned the world.
(Posted on 26-08-2014)