Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife Rivka, 28, arrived in Mumbai six years ago as official emissaries [shluchim] of Chabad.
Gavriel, who was born in Israel and grew up in Kiryat Malachi, moved with his family to New York at the age of ten. He has dual citizenship.
Rivka, the daughter of a Chabad emissary in Afula, grew up in Israel.
Chayki Rosenberg, Rivka’s sister, described Rivka as very active and energetic.
3 blasts heard as commandos storm Mumbai Chabad House
“She is always ready to help and to cook and gives lots of classes for women at the Chabad House in Mumbai,” said Chayki.
Their only child, two year old Moshe, was rescued from the Islamic terrorists that stormed the Chabad House.
Over a year ago the two purchased a house in the Colaba area, which is frequented by tourists and is, therefore, ideal as a center from which to do Jewish outreach.
Unlike Bombay or other locations in India which are frequented by Israeli backpackers, Colaba, a business center, attracts primarily businessmen.
The Holtzbergs regularly host between 30 and 70 Jewish travelers and provide regular kosher meals, Torah classes and a place to stay.
Joshua Runyan, the news editor of the Chabad.org/news website, wrote that “Chabad-Lubavitch representatives in New York and Israel are working alongside the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the US Consulate in Mumbai and a volunteer team of local residents to ascertain the well being of the Holtzbergs and other Jews in the area.”
He added: “People are urged to say Psalms for Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma and Rivka bas Yehudis, and anyone affected by the tragedy.”