While his parents Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and mother Rivka were killed in the unfortunate Mumbai attacks, Moshe survived after his nanny Sandra Samuels' heroic attempt that rescued him along with cook Zakir Hussain during the siege of the Chabad House in 2008.
For Moshe Holtzberg, also known as Baby Moshe, his nanny Sandra Samuels was a godsend on that horrific night of 26 November 2008. While his parents Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and mother Rivka were killed in the unfortunate Mumbai attacks, Moshe survived after his nanny Sandra Samuels’ heroic attempt that rescued him along with cook Zakir Hussain during the siege of the Chabad House. Samuel currently works for disabled children at the Aleh Jerusalem Center.
In an Indian Express report, Sandra Samuels, who accompanied Moshe on his first ever trip to Mumbai following the attacks, said that she has plans to return to India when Baby Moshe is all grown up. “I will take care of Moshe boy till he is 16 or 18. Then perhaps I may return to India,” said the 54-year-old nanny who also visited the Chabad House for the first time since 26/11. “I will be with Moshe for as long as he needs me,” Samuel added. He has learnt a little English but speaks in Hebrew mostly. “We only spend weekends together. He does not know much about the Indian way of living.” Every Saturday, she takes a bus to meet Moshe in Afula where he stays with Rabbi Shimon Rosengberg, his maternal grandfather.
Samuels worked at the Chabad House from 2003 to 2008. “The Nariman House I saw this time has changed. It was not like this before, entry of people was free and easy. There are a lot of memories attached with this place,” she was quoted as saying by IE. However, she was unhappy with the way 11-year-old Moshe was chased by Journalists in this special visit. “He (Moshe) is already so shy. He has been upset that the media has followed him everywhere, even till Mahalaxmi where we went to see the Dhobi Ghat. The trip was meant to be a personal one for the boy, especially since he was visiting the house where his parents died,” said Samuel.
On that fateful night of 26/11, Sandra somehow managed to hide in a room even when others were gunned down. As soon as she saw an opportunity, she came out of the room where she was hiding and found Moshe crying between the bodies of his parents. She left India and has been living in Israel since then. In 2010, Samuels was granted an honorary citizenship of Israel. Meanwhile, Moshe met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday as they paid homage to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.