Sandra Samuels, the brave Indian nanny who saved Israeli child Moshe Holtzberg during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, feels Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to meet her along with the boy during his visit here indicates that the government cares for the victims. Sandra, who was awarded an honourary citizenship by the Government of Israel so that she could live in the country and be with Moshe, continues to share a unique bonding with the boy, who is now 10-year-old.
Moshe was barely two years old when his parents Rivka and Gavriel Holtzberg, serving as emissaries of Chabad in Mumbai, were killed along with six others by LeT terrorists at the Nariman House, also popularly known as Chabad House. “I could not believe it when Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg (Moshe’s grandfather) told me that we have been invited to meet PM Modi. It’s a huge honour and comes as a pleasant surprise. I am deeply touched. Its a clear indication that the Indian government cares for the victims of 26/11 terror attack,” she told PTI.
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“He means much more than two of my own sons. Moshe is the reason I am here in Israel. I work in Jerusalem but rush over the weekend to be with him. We also talk quite often during the week. I cannot really describe our relationship,” says the nanny. Sandra’s heart wrenching picture holding Moshe close to her chest immediately after escaping the terror attack site is still imprinted on everybody’s mind.
Her two sons, Martin and Jackson, 34 and 26 respectively, live in Mumbai. “I went to India once a year during the first four years of my stay in Israel. In the last few years, I could not managed to go (to India) every year,” Sandra, who works with ALEH organisation that deals with young boys with special needs in Jerusalem, says.
The nanny has been all praises for Israelis who she says have “treated her with a lot of respect” and especially the Rosenberg family, Moshe’s grandparents, who she says “have looked after her as one of their own”. “However, it is Moshe who means the world to me,” she emphasises. “I go to see him every Saturday evening and spend Sundays playing with him and taking him out for ice cream and pizzas. I wait the whole week for his warm hug,” she adds. Modi is travelling to Israel on July 4.