What happened at Nariman House when Baby Moshe was a toddler
Only a few knew where the Chabad House (earlier known as the Nariman House) is located at Colaba Causeway, until the Lashkar-e-Taiba's fidayeen attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, happened. This made the place worldwide famous.
Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the Jewish couple who served as directors at the Nariman House, also known as the Chabad House, were killed along with six others when the place came under attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists during the November 2008 attacks.
The couple ran a cultural and outreach centre for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in the five-storey landmark building in south Mumbai's Colaba area.
The couples son Moshe Holtzberg, who was two years old then and was saved by his Indian nanny, will return to the Nariman House this week for the first time since the tragedy struck the family more than nine years ago.
What happened at Chabad House?
Moshe lived with his parents at Chabad House in Mumbai. On the fateful night of Nov 26, 2008 terrorists attacked Chabad House and killed Moshe's parents.
It was 9.45 pm and baby Moshe had just been put to sleep by his nanny Sandra Samuel, in his room located on the fifth floor. After putting the child to sleep, Samuel went to the first floor when the door pushed open and she came face to face with a gunman.
Samuel slammed the door and hid herself in a storage room, frantically trying to reach the rabbi and the others on the second floor, as she heard several gunshots go off in succession.
Samuels, then grabbed a crying Moshe and rushed out of the building. It was later confirmed by the NSG Commandos that Moshe's parents died in the attack. Following the attack, Moshe alongwith Samuels returned to Israel to live with his grandparents. Even though Samuels didn't have a passport, she was given a special visa so that she could travel to Israel with Moshe to look after him. Samuels did so without thinking twice, even though she had her own family back in India.
Nanny Sandra Samuels- the hero
The nanny- Sandra Samuels emerged as a hero after she rescued Moshe. She now lives with Moshe in Israel. She was given an honorary citizenship by the Israeli government for her act of bravery. She was also granted permanent residency in the country. After the attacks, even though Samuels didn't have a passport, she was given a special visa so that she could travel to Israel with Moshe to look after him. In many interviews she had said that she would stay with Moshe for as long as he wanted her and wished that he grows to be a strong boy.
Samuels said that that particular evening when terrorists attacked Nariman House, she was not supposed to be there. She recollects how the terrosists had attacked Chabad House and killed his parents, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka. She grabbed Moshe when she heard him screaming and ran out of the building. It was later confirmed by the NSG Commandos that Moshe's parents were dead in the attack.