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Nariman House makeover will leave Baby Moshe’s room as it is

Thursday, 21 October 2010 - 12:52am IST | Place: Mumbai

Parents of the victims raised $8,00,000 for the renovation of Chabad House; although November 26 deadline cannot be met, parts of the Rabbi’s residence to be opened soon.

The marking of Baby Moshe’s height on the wall of his room by his late mother, Rivka, will be the only thing that will remain unchanged as Nariman House, which saw the viciousness of the 26/11 terror attacks.    

“Every other part of the premises will be redone. That (the marking of Moshe’s height) and the drawings of alphabets and birds will be left for him to come and see,” said Rabbi Eliran Russo, the co-ordinator of the work at Nariman House from where the terror victims ran Chabad services.

Russo added that it is the parents of late Rabbi Gavriel Nocah Holtzberg and his wife Rivka who are looking after the premises. “It is the parents who have raised $8,00,000 on their own. Most of the organisations who promised contribution are still talking. The principal donor here is an American businessman, Samuel Nitka, and we are very thankful to him,” said Russo. An importer of coal from US to India, Nitka is the president of GRH Energy Group.

Russo took the DNA team and showed the progress of the work. “Parents of the deceased started the work so that the place can be handed over to its legal inheritor, Moshe, when he is back. It is supposed to be completed by November 26 but we will not be able to make it,” adds Russo. 

The place may be opened partly with the completion of work on the first two floors. “They will be completed with a dining service on the first floor and a synagogue on the second,” Russo explained. The second floor will have an education centre with free cyber service and a library.

He recollected the days when Rabbi Gavriel ran the place. “He was short of funds and built the place floor by floor since 2007. He did his own room last, precisely two months before the tragedy struck,” said Russo.

The third floor will hold the living room for the staff and students. The fourth floor will have classes for children and a memorial for the victims who lost their lives. “We will keep the bullet marks on this floor as they are,” said Russo.

The fifth floor will have a memorial of Rivka and her husband. The sixth floor will be used as an open terrace area where people can sit and relax. “It was important that we make this place more beautiful as the family finds comfort in it,” he said.

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