Santa Barbara’s Jewish community is holding a memorial service Wednesday evening for the victims of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and is asking the community at large to share in the solidarity gathering.

Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife, Rivka, 28, emissaries of the Hasidic movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, were tortured and murdered along with their guests in the Chabad House in Mumbai last week. The couple’s 2-year-old son survived after his nanny escaped with him 10 hours after the hostage incident started. The military-style Muslim terrorist operation also singled out two luxury hotels, the train station and a restaurant frequented by foreigners. At least 173 people were killed in the attacks.

The Chabad House run by the Holtzbergs is part of a network of Lubavitch centers in 73 countries operated by more than 4,000 husband-and-wife couples. The facilities serve as the nerve centers of all educational and outreach activities of a Jewish community.

Wednesday’s service is organized by Chabad of Santa Barbara, Chabad at UCSB, the Community Shul of Montecito and Santa Barbara, Congregation B’nai B’rith, the Santa Barbara Anti-Defamation League, Santa Barbara Hillel, the Santa Barbara Jewish Federation and Young Israel of Santa Barbara.

Rabbi Zalmy Kudan of Chabad of Santa Barbara said the service will “eternalize the Chabad victims’ holy work” and help to continue spreading light and goodness in the world.

The service begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Chabad of Santa Barbara, 6047 Stow Canyon Road. Click here to RSVP or e-mail

Those with personal stories about the Holtzbergs or Chabad of Mumbai are asked to share them by e-mailing

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Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at, and follow him on Instagram: @bill.macfadyen. The opinions expressed are his own.