Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg
Gavriel and Rivka HoltzbergIsrael news photo: file

Sandra Samuel, the Indian nanny who bravely rescued Jewish toddler Moshe Holtzberg during the Mumbai massacre in 2008, has been granted the status of temporary resident and is expected to become an Israeli citizen. Minister of the Interior Eli Yishai confirmed Samuel's impending status change.

"This is a necessary, humanitarian decision,” Yishai said. “She risked her life to save Jews, and we have the obligation to care for her [in turn].” In addition, he said, Moshe's family believes Sandra's continued presence is beneficial for his emotional health.

Moshe was two years old when terrorists burst into the Nariman House in Mumbai, where his parents Gavriel and Rivka worked as Chabad emmisaries. Terrorists murdered the young couple and four guests, but missed Moshe.

Sandra, who had managed to escape to a different floor of the building, returned for the toddler and found him standing next to his parents' bodies. She managed to whisk him out of the building.

A total of over 170 people were murdered in the Mumbai attacks.

The news that Samuel will be allowed to stay in Israel permanently came shortly after Moshe's extended family suffered another blow. A fire broke out last week at the Galperin home in Kiryat Malachi and five-year-old Eliezer Galperin, Gavriel and Rivka's nephew, was critically injured.

Eliezer, known as “Leizer,” remains in critical condition with burns to nearly 90% of his body. He has been flown to Cincinnati for treatment at Shriner's Hospital. The public has been asked to pray for his recovery; his Hebrew name is Chaim Eliezer Lipman ben [son of] Devorah Leah.