February 18, 2009
SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) -- The father of the Chabad rabbi slain in the Mumbai terror attacks is visiting Australia.
Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg, whose son Gavriel and daughter-in-law Rivka were murdered last November, was honored Tuesday night at a gala dinner with 1,500 guests hosted by Chabad-Lubavitch in Sydney.
Holtzberg thanked the Jewish community “for your great love to me and my family in those days filled with darkness and pain.” He also recognized the Australian government's assistance.
“Participation of the government in such a faraway country is special, as it means that the wider Australian community, not just the Jewish community, stands with us in the struggle of good against evil, light over darkness,” he said.
Holtzberg was joined in Sydney by Moscow Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz, who has been appointed director of the fund to rebuild the Chabad house in Mumbai and to ensure lifetime support for the couple’s 2-year-old orphaned son, Moshe. More than $3 million will be required to rebuild the Chabad house.
Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of the opposition Liberal Party, praised Chabad and paid tribute to the young couple killed in the terror attacks.
“The best way we can remember your inspirational son and daughter-in-law is to practice and promote Yiddishkeit with even more vigor,” he said.
Turnbull added that he was still “humbled” that Chabad’s chief rabbi, Pinchus Feldman, presented him in 2007 with a U.S. dollar from the Lubavitcher rebbe.
Governor General Quentic Bryce sent a letter of support, as did Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who commended Chabad of Sydney’s assistance in the aftermath of the Victorian bush fire disaster on Feb. 7 that has killed more than 200 people.