Tears, poignant speeches and hope for peace marked the solemnity when the Chabad Lubavitch of Brighton Beach held a memorial service for the two Brooklyn outreach workers killed in the Mumbai terror attacks.
The borough’s religious and elected leaders joined with other mourners at the Sea Breeze Jewish Center, 311 Sea Breeze Avenue, to hail the memories of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who left behind a two-year-old son.
The couple was among 198 people killed by separatists in the port city during a three-day siege, beginning on Thanksgiving eve, which India blames on the Pakistani-based militant group, Laskhar-e-Taiba.
Rabbi Holtzberg, 29, and Rivka, 28, whose toddler Moishe escaped the attacks, had relocated to Mumbai five years ago to begin a Chabad outpost for Jewish travelers, where they cooked nightly kosher dinners for 30 to 40 visitors, from around the world, according to the Jersey Journal.
The Holtzbergs, who hosted backpackers, helped people with their problems and officiated at weddings, were recalled for their devoted service and gentle manner by a roster of guest speakers at the Brooklyn memorial; among them, Rep. Anthony Weiner, Councilman Domenic Recchia and Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny.
They “had a lifelong mission to serve the community, and they really did it from the bottom of their hearts,” reportedly said Hoboken Rabbi Moshe Schapiro, who grew up with Gavriel Holtzberg in Crown Heights at the Chabad Lubavitch world headquarters.