Jerusalem: Indian nanny Sandra Samuels, who
risked her life to save a two-year-old Israeli toddler Moshe
Holtzberg from the clutches of death during the 2008 Mumbai
terror attacks, was today conferred with an honorary
citizenship by Israeli government for her bravery.
At an emotional ceremony at the Interior Ministry here, a
visibly moved Samuel, who arrived in Israel after the Mumbai
attacks to take care of the two year old Moshe Holtzberg whose
parents had died in the attack, said, "I hope I will honour
the citizenship and love Israel. I would give my life, heart
and soul for Israel."
"I`ve been given love by all of Israel and I hope I will
learn to love the country as much as I love Gabi and Rivki,"
Samuel said using the nicknames for Moshe`s parents, Gavriel
Samuel, 45, a widow and a mother of two sons, was working
for Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, since their
arrival here in 2003 and took care of Moshe since his birth.
On November 26, 2008, two terrorists entered the narrow
lane where the Jewish centre -- Chabad House, also known as
Nariman House, is situated in Colaba in south Mumbai, and the
building turned in into a war-zone for the next three days.
Hearing the cries of baby Moshe, Sandra wrapped him in her
arms and rescued him in a dramatic fashion along with
handyman-cum-cook Qazi Zakir Hussain alias Jackie.
Israel`s Interior Minister Ellie Yishai described
the life saving experience a truly "heart wrenching moment
which still echoed in our hearts" offering Moshe a gift and
"This is an important and moving moment and we should
continue assisting Moishi and the family. Sandra the nanny has
taken Moishi at the hardest of times. It was a true
heart-wrenching moment which echoed in our hearts. We want all
the best for Moishi after the horrible experience he
had," Yishai said.
Moshe`s grandfather, Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg described
Sandra a "righteous woman among nations", thanking Yishai for
granting honorary citizenship to her.
"Sandra Samuel stepped into the fire and abyss and did
not think of herself," Rosenberg said adding, "She saved
Moishi from the fire and we as Jews must thank and respect
her. It is also closure for Rivki and Gabi. I thank Minister
Yishai for finding a special time to honour Sandra, a
righteous woman among the nations."
Several people in Israel had approached the top political
leadership requesting to confer honourary citizenship on
Sandra to enable her to live in Israel as a mark of gratitude
for her courage in saving a Jewish boy.