Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai’
Five students in Israel’s team competing in the Physics Olympiad in Mumbai won three silver and two bronze medals Thursday night.
The Israelis won 19th place out of 82 competitors, and only two Western countries – the United States and Germany – were ranked higher.
In first place was China, followed by Korea and Taiwan.Jewish Press News Briefs
In two days, a building that six years ago was soaked in blood and tears will instead be filled with light and joy, as Chabad of Mumbai’s Nariman House reopens its doors.
More than 25 Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries will attend the reopening set for Tuesday, August 26 along with other honored guests led by current co-directors, Rabbi Yisroel Kozlovsky and his wife Chaya.
The couple are continuing the work started by Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg, who together with four of their guests were murdered in cold blood by Pakistani jihadist terrorists in November 2008. Only their two year old son Moishe, saved by his Indian nanny Sandra, survived the bloodbath. Both were brought home to Israel by Rivky’s parents, Rabbi and Mrs. Shimon Rosenfeld.
Despite the devastation that followed the attack — Nariman House was only one of ten sites that were struck in a city-wide mass casualty attack by the 10-man terrorist cell — Chabad’s outreach to Jews in Mumbai continued.
“We remember what happened, but we are working for the future,” Kozlovsky told Chabad.org this week.
All of the activities that took place at Nariman House prior to the attack will continue, he said, and hopefully the program will expand further. Chabad of Mumbai was established by the Holtzbergs in 2003 to serve Israeli backpackers, international Jewish business people and the local Indian Jewish community, he pointed out.
With funding from the Rohr Family Foundation and strong mentoring from Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch — the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch — the Holtzbergs purchased Nariman House and set up their program.
Kotlarsky underlined the importance of never giving in to terror. “We didn’t pause after this great tragedy,” he said. “We regrouped immediately and continued working, never stopping. That was our response to what happened in Mumbai. We build communities… serving the Jews in Mumbai, locals and foreigners, was and continues to be our priority.”
The reopening of the Chabad center is timed to coincide with the regional conference of more than 25 Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in Asia, organized by Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor, regional director and head of Chabad of Thailand. Kantor has been deeply involved in the renewal of Nariman House, as he was involved in the development of the original Chabad center as well.Hana Levi Julian
Two religious teenagers, one a convert from India and the other born in Baltimore, have won the world championship in Thailand-style kick-boxing for their weight class.
Officially known as Muay Thai, the combat sport is known as “the art of eight weapons” because of the use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet.
One might expect that world champs in the kick-boxing sport would be huge gorillas from the Amazon, but two winners in the girls’ championships held in Thailand recently are none other than two religious girls from Israel.
One is Nili Block, who was born in Baltimore and moved with her family to Israel around 15 years ago. The other is Sarah Avraham, whose family was close friends with Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, two of the six victims of the Muslim terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008.
Having already been acquainted with the Jewish religion through their association with the Holtzbergs, they decided to convert and move to Israel after the terrorist attack.
Nili and Sarah train five times a week at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, attacking a punching bag to sharpen their skills under the supervision of a coach. Their rigorous regime paid off in Thailand, where they were crowned champions after Nile defeated her Bulgarian opponent in the flyweight class of 112-118 pounds, while Nili beat her British opponent in the 125-138-pound class.
Nili is an all-round athlete. Before flying to Thailand for the championships, she ran in the 6-mile Jerusalem Marathon in March and win first place in the women’s 16-19 age group, finishing ahead of 500 runners in her category. Later the same month, she won the 10th Amateur-Pro Muay Thai Championships in Bangkok.
“Nili is amazing − slim and tall, she’s built for this sport, and she possesses quite an array of weapons. She can devastate an opponent with her hands, knees and feet, and she has perfect technique,” said Shuki Rozensweing, an Israeli boxer who won the World Muay Thai Association and World Muay Thai Federation unified title in April 2011.
He told the Thai BigChili website, “She is a complete fighter with a high IQ for the sport…. A fight is not only won on strength. Nili won all three rounds against the Bulgarian girl, who was physically stronger, by virtue of her superior technique.”
She is in the 12th grade and has to decide this year whether to enlist in the IDF or serve in “Sherut Leumi,” national service.
The IDF would love to have her in its ranks. She says she is not sure if she wants to miss out serving as a regular soldier and suspend her boxing talents, but Shuki thinks she has a good chance to receive the IDF’s special athletic status, which would allow her to continue to train.
Besides that, let’s see what happens if an Arab terrorist starts up with her.
Nile discovered Muay Thai through her other after the family moved to Israel.
‘‘My mother was at that time a volunteer police woman attached to the Jerusalem police department and she was looking for some kind of martial arts which would be beneficial for her work,” said Nili. “I went with her as she looked for a Muay Thai training camp and I started to train with her. I stopped training for two years while going to school and resumed when I was 13.” Her father, a dentist, supports and encourages her to box.
So much for stereotyped-orthodox families.
The most thrilling moment in the Thai championships was hearing the Israel national anthem Hatikvah two times, once after Nili won her gold medal and the second time when Sarah won.
Sarah’s story is no less spectacular than Nili’s.
Her father is a doctor and was the family physician to the Holtzbergs, who ran the Chabad House in Mumbai.
Sarah was 14 years old when the family converted and then moved to Kiryat Arba, where she learns at a religious “ulpana” high school.
Hevron resident Michael Pollack spotted her talent and put her in touch with Thai boxing coach Eddie Yusopov.
Keeping in mind that Abraham and Sarah were buried in the Patriarchs’ Cave in Hevron, Pollack told the Times of Israel last year, “She draws her strength from where we live in Kiryat Arba. That gives her an inner strength that explodes in the ring.”Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
In an odd conflation of coincidences, Israeli and Indian violence have been ricocheting across the continents.
Mira Scharf, the wife of a Chabad rabbi in India and a “shlucha” (a female emissary) to New Dehli, India, returned home to Israel this month for a memorial service for the Mumbai Chabad Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka. The Holtzbergs were brutally murdered in the Mumbai massacre exactly four years ago.
While in Israel, Scharf, a pregnant mother of three, became one of the first Israeli victims of this current Hamas-Israel violence. She and two others were killed in a rocket attack in Kiryat Malachi on Thursday, November 15.
And tonight, the circle closes with the hanging death of the last surviving Indian gunman from that brutal three-day rampage on Mumbai that claimed the lives of 166 people, including Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife.
Pakistani citizen Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was hanged during the night in a secretive procedure in India, following a four year trial. Kasab was sentenced to death by the Bombay High Court last October. He was convicted on various charges, including waging war against India. His mercy petition was rejected by the President of India, on November 5.
Sentenced to death by the Bombay High Court in last October, Kasab was convicted on charges ranging from treason to waging war against India. His appeal in the Supreme Court was turned down in August.
“It is a warning for those trying to instigate terror attacks in India, as well as succour for those who have suffered due to these attacks,” said BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
As many as 166 people were killed when Lashkar-e-Taiba militants attacked different targets in India’s financial hub on Nov. 26, 2008. Over 300 people were injured in the attacks.
Kasab was filmed walking through Mumbai’s main train station carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and a knapsack on his back. During his interrogations, many of which were filmed, Kasab admitted his involvement in the murders, described his role in the massacre.
When police asked Kasab, 21 at the time, what he understood about jihad, he told them, “it [Jihad] is about killing and getting killed and becoming famous.” “Come, kill and die after a killing spree. By this one will become famous and will also make Allah proud.”
Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India are locked in violent religious hatred similar to that between the Arab Palestinians and Israel. The Pakistani government chose not to claim Kasab’s body, and consequently he was buried in India. His was the last death of the Mumbai massacre.Lori Lowenthal Marcus
On Monday morning, like many thousands of other Israeli kids, little Moshe Holtzberg, resident of the town of Migdal Haemek, about halfway between Haifa and Tiberias, went to school for the first time.
It was a happy ending and a happy beginning.
Little Moshe’s parents, Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, who was five months pregnant at the time, were murdered by Muslim terrorists during the November 2008 attack on Mumbai, India.
Their two-year-old son Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel.
That’s a lot of history for a six-year-old to carry, along with his schoolbag.
But he looks ready for the big day. He looks well groomed and cheerful and loved.
Not a small thing.
Good luck, Moshe Holtzberg, you’re doing us all proud. And a little tearful.
Go ahead, run, run, don’t be late to school.Yori Yanover
The Times of India reports that following more than three years of investigation, Indian security forces have arrested Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Hamza, alleged member of Lashker-e-Taiba (Army of the Righteous) and the Hindi instructor of 10 terrorists who executed the murderous attack in Mumbai in 2008.
The 30-year-old Ansari, aka Abu Jindal was arrested on June 21 when he arrived in India from one of the Gulf states, police said on Monday.
Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai, were killed during the attack. Through the heroic actions of his nanny, the Holtzberg’s toddler son, Moshe, managed to escape.
According to The Hindu, the Mumbai Police on Monday obtained a warrant from a local court to get custody of Ansari.
“We will ask for his custody after the Delhi Police exhaust his custody on July 5,” a Mumbai Police source said.
The suspect is accused of crimes involving the use of weapons, explosives and terrorism.
Sources say his was the mysterious voice recorded during the conversation between the terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan.
In the recording, Ansari allegedly told the terrorist team to tell the media that the “attack was a trailer and the entire movie was yet to come.”
In the intercepted tapes, Ansari was directing the terrorists to conceal their Pakistani identity and identify themselves as Hindi.
Police said Ansari’s participation was also confirmed by Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist arrested during the Mumbai attack. Kasab told an Indian court that one person by the name of Abu Jindal had tutored 10 terrorists on how to speak Hindi.
The Mumbai Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told The Hindu that “the 10 men who attacked Mumbai left Karachi in Al Hussaini (boat), after which they hijacked the Indian shipping boat. Kuber. Kasab had said in his confession that Abu Hamza was one of the four persons who had come to see them off on Al Hussaini.”
Indian security agencies say they interrogated many terrorists to get to Ansari, who had been operating from terror camps in Karachi and Kashmir.Jewish Press Staff Reporter