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(RNS) An Israeli rabbi and his wife were appointed to continue the work of Jewish emissaries who were killed during the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.
Rabbi Chanoch Gechtman and his wife, Leiky, will move to India’s financial capital to represent Chabad Lubavitch, an Orthodox movement that promotes an observant form of the Jewish faith.
Chabad selected the couple after Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were killed at the Nariman House in the Nov. 26, 2008 attack on Mumbai’s international and tourist sites. Their baby, Moshe, survived with his nanny.
“The young couple will build upon the great achievements of Gabi and Rivka Holtzberg, and ensure a meaningful and joyful experience for Jewish locals and visitors to the city,” said Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of the Chabad-Lubavitch Educational and Social Services Division.
Gechtman studied rabbinical law under Holtzberg for five months in
2006 in Mumbai. He helped teach the Torah to visiting backpackers, businesspeople and families at the Nariman House.
Mumbai is home to India’s largest Jewish community, made up of about 4,000 Jews. There are approximately 6,000 Jews in all of India, according to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
“There is a great need to reach out to this community made up of many, many poor families. My dream is to establish a center that will help these people in an immediate way, but also give them the tools to become self-sufficient,” Gechtman said in an interview with Chabad Lubavitch.
Chabad has made arrangements for the couple’s security in their new residence. Nariman House, where the Holtzbergs lived and died, is undergoing renovations to serve as a memorial site and visitor’s center.
— Ankita Rao
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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