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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Chabad Jewish house to be ready in two weeks

BANGALORE: A Chabad Bangalore Jewish centre proposed to be set up by Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivkah Holtzberg will cater to the cultural and spiritual needs of Jewish businessmen and technology professionals working in Bangalore. It'll also reach out to the larger community to spread the good word of selflessness.

Speaking to TOI over phone from California on Thursday morning, Mordechai Kirschenbaum, a childhood friend of Gavriel, said this centre, which will be ready in two weeks, will connect with members of the Jewish community living and visiting Bangalore to make them feel at home. "There aren't a whole lot of Jews in Bangalore. But some who are part of technology and call centre companies go there. We thought even if there are only a few, it's a good idea to set up the centre for them."

The underlying basis of the centre, Kirschenbaum said, was to inculcate selflessness in people. "Gavriel was selfless, reaching out to everyone in the community and ready to do anything for anyone. He and his family were an inspiration for everyone."

He added: "He has been a fantastic inspiration for me. We studied in the same school in New York. He decided to go to India. His death was the worst thing in my life. It is gut-wrenching. Hopefully, we'll filfil all his wishes when the new centre comes up in Bangalore. God willing, we'll do well."

A few members of the community have a temporary office on Brunton Road and have a blog to stay in touch. Some are meeting to pray for the departed souls on Friday evening with candle lighting, a gesture considered of high spiritual and philosophical value in Jewish culture.

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