Israel welcomes heroic Mumbai nanny

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2010
Moshe has been cared for by Sandra Samuel since the attack

Moshe has been cared for by Sandra Samuel since the attack

The Indian woman who saved a Jewish child during the Mumbai terror attacks nearly two years ago is set to become an Israeli citizen within a year.

Israel’s interior Minister Eli Yishai has offered Sandra Samuel temporary residential status, the first step towards permanent citizenship. He called it a necessary “humanitarian move” to help Ms Samuel stay in Israel.

Ms Samuel was a nanny for Israeli-born Rabbi Gavriel Holztberg and his wife Rivka when Islamist terrorists attacked the Mumbai Chabad centre in 2008 in a murderous rampage.

The rabbi and his pregnant wife were killed in the two-day long attack but their infant son Moshe survived, thanks to Ms Samuel finding a route out of the besieged house.

Soon after the attack Ms Samuel went to Israel with Moshe and the Holtzberg family requested that she should be able to remain there to continue to care for him.

Mr Yishai said: “She risked her life in order to save Jews and we are obligated to take care of her.

"She is vital to the continuing rehabilitation process, following the terrible disaster they have undergone."

More than 170 people were killed in the attacks at sites across the city, including four Israelis and Jews from America and Mexico.

The Holtzbergs were murdered just days before Moshe’s second birthday.

Last updated: 10:29am, July 12 2010