Champaign memorial for Mumbai attack victims set Thursday

Champaign memorial for Mumbai attack victims set Thursday

A memorial service will be held in Champaign later this week to remember victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.

The service is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, 509 S. Fourth St., C.

University of Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman is expected to be among those delivering remarks.

The Mumbai Chabad, a Jewish outreach center, was one of several places around the Indian city where terrorists struck last week.

Among those killed there were Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivkah Holtzberg.

Rabbi Holtzberg "was a very special person. This came as a great shock to all of us," said Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel, who runs the Chabad center in Champaign.

Tiechtel grew up with Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg in Brooklyn. The two lived a few blocks from each other and often walked to and from school together.

"He had the same personality in sixth grade. He was happy and he was focused on doing the right thing," Tiechtel said. "He had a strong personality. He didn't let challenges get in the way. He was a person with positive attitude," he said.

Funeral services for the Holtzbergs are planned for today in Israel.

"He was always positive. That's what drives us forward and what drives Chabad forward," Tiechtel said. "Our general message and attitude has been to respond by adding goodness and kindness to the world," he said.

Chabad's Web site,, has links and information on where people can donate money to a relief fund for the Holtzberg's two children and rebuilding the Mumbai Chabad and where they can reflect and talk about their mitzvah resolutions.

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