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Crown Heights Mourns Loss of Brooklyn Rabbi

Friday, November 28, 2008

An Orthodox Jewish community in Crown Heights is mourning the deaths of a young Brooklyn rabbi and his wife in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, saying it's a big loss. Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of educational services for the Chabad Lubavitch Movement, says he spoke regularly with Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, and helped oversee his work.

KOTLARSKY: He was always cheerful, he greeted everyone pleasantly and the reports that we've always heard from around the world was one of a real mensch. We will miss him very dearly he was a very, very special person, him and his wife.

REPORTER: The group says the missionary couple had two sons, a toddler who turns two tomorrow, and who was rescued from the center by his nanny, and an older son who was not with the Holtzbergs in Mumbai. The Holtzbergs were found, along with five others, after Indian commandos stormed the community center. Chabad Lubavitch says one of the five, Leibish Teitlebaum, was also from Brooklyn.

Police commissioner Ray Kelly says the NYPD has beefed up patrols around synagogues, Jewish centers, and big hotels as a result of the attacks in Mumbai.

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