Brooklyn Rabbi, Wife Trapped in Mumbai Attacks

Couple ran center for Jewish travelers targeted by terrorists
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2008 2:04 AM CST
Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men pray at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site in Jerusalem's Old City, for the well-being of the Holtzbergs.   (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
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(Newser) – A young Jewish couple from Brooklyn were taken hostage in the Mumbai attacks and many fear the worst, the New York Times reports. Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, ran the well-known Chabad center, a popular haven for Jewish travellers. They were seized along with at least six others at the center, which was targeted by terrorists. A cook managed to escape with the pair's 2-year-old son, whose pants were soaked in blood.

Security forces stormed the center today, but the couple's fate is unknown. Friends say the move to Mumbai to run the center typified the pair's generous spirit. "He has a huge heart, always willing to help somebody in need,” a fellow rabbi said of Holtzberg. Synagogues in Brooklyn and Israel are filled with people praying for the couple.