In an amicable end to the ownership dispute over Colaba’s Nariman House, the family of the late Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg has formally conceded trusteeship of the Jewish community centre to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
“We confirm that our family has removed all claims from the Charity Commission and we formally recognise the Chabad-Lubavitch movement as the proper and rightful trustees of the Chabad House,” said Rabbi Moshe Holtzberg, brother of Rabbi Gavriel who was killed along with wife Rivka in Nariman House during the terrorist attacks of November 26, 2008.
Holtzberg was in the city last week to officially settle the dispute that arose several months after 26/11.
Last year, shortly before the second anniversary of the attacks, the Chabad House was taken in possession of the Bombay high court receiver.
“Our family originally reacted emotionally to the fact that the building was taking a long time to be rebuilt, and we realised that we had made some mistakes along the way,” Holtzberg confessed in an email to the Hindustan Times.
The Holtzbergs have now also recognised the Chabad movement as the rightful fund-raisers and financers of the Nariman House rebuilding project.
Both parties have, through discussions, agreed upon a common renovation plan.
“We look forward to the rebuilt Nariman House being a truly fitting and lively tribute to Gaby and Rivky (the deceased couple), complete with synagogue, tourist services and much more,” Holtzberg said.
Gavriel and Rivka’s two-year-old son, Moshe, narrowly escaped the attacks when he was saved by his Indian maid, Sandra Samuel.
Now four, Moshe is being cared for by his grandparents in Jerusalem and by
Samuel, who was granted honorary Israeli citizenship last year.