Moshe Holtzberg celebrates bar mitzvah

Trump sends special bar mitzvah message to Moshe Holtzberg, survivor of 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack that claimed his parents' lives.

Marcy Oster, JTA,

Moshe Holtzberg celebrates his bar mitzva
Moshe Holtzberg celebrates his bar mitzva
Haim Twito

Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents were killed in the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai when he was 2, was called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah.

Holtzberg was called to the Torah on Saturday in his home town of Afula in northern Israel, reported. A party was held on Sunday night in Kfar Chabad.

“As you make this important transition and cross a significant landmark in the journey of your life, the courage of [nanny] Sandra and prayers of the people of India will continue to bless you for a long, healthy and successful life,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote in a letter to Moshe, COLLive reported. “Your story continues to inspire everyone. It is one of miracle and hope overcoming tragedy and immeasurable loss.”

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also sent a note of congratulations: “We know that there is life amidst this tragedy. There is revival and there is hope. You come now with the love of the entire Jewish people, all citizens of Israel and very many outside Israel.”

Holtzberg also received a letter from President Donald Trump.

"Mazal tov on becoming a bar mitzvah," Trump wrote. "We join your family and friends in celebrating this joyous occasion and send our best wishes as you mark this significant milestone. May your faith continue to guide, strengthen, and comfort you throughout your life."

Letter from President Trump Haim Twito

Moshe’s parents Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg were the directors of the Nariman Chabad House when it was attacked on Nov. 26, 2008. Four other Israeli and American visitors to the house also were killed.

The Chabad House was among 12 targeted locations in coordinated attacks by Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organization based in Pakistan.

The child was dubbed “Baby Moshe” when a photo of his terrified-looking nanny running from the besieged Chabad House clutching the little boy was splashed on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

In January, 2018, Moshe returned to Mumbai, accompanying Netanyahu on a state visit.

In September, Moshe celebrated the ceremony of Hanachat Tefilin, or putting on the tefillin for the first time, during a ceremony in Stony Point, New York, and visited the grave of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson.