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Chabad of Uptown and personal diary updates! Please comment on our posts, we would love to hear from you!

Memorial Service - Mumbai Tragedy


Pained and shaken. The heart of the world is devastated by the senseless terror attacks at the Chabad House in Mumbai, India. Rabbi Gabi and Rivka Holtzberg selflessly gave of themselves to serve hundreds and were slain mercilessly as they were serving!

A memorial service will be held for Rabbi & Mrs. Holtzberg and all terror victims of the Mumbai attacks on Monday night. The community is invited to attend this moment of reflection and remembrance.


Monday, December 1, 2008 • 7:30 pm

At Chabad Lubavitch Center, 10900 Fondren Rd, Houston, TX, 77096.


Memorial Prayers
Words of Comfort & Inspiration
Special Video Presentation 

Due to security measures, no bags nor purses or any kind will be allowed. 

Chabad of Houston
Chabad Outreach of Houston
Chabad of Texas Medical Center
Chabad of Uptown
Chabad of Sugar Land
Chabad of West Houston
Chabad of College Station

Mumbai Memorial - Light Shabbat Candles 5:05 pm

Our hearts are shattered at the news from Mumbai where our brother and sister, Rabbi Gabi and Rivka Holtzberg, were among those murdered in the terrorist attack on the Chabad House there. And tonight their little son Moshe'le will mark his second birthday...

We have no words, we have no answers. We don't begin to understand Hashem's ways, nor are we expected to. Only Hashem Himself can restore the light of Moshe'le's life, and comfort him and the rest of this aching world.

We only know that until He does that, we must continue their life's work. They deserve no less.

We will continue to try and emulate Gabi and Rivka, to seek out our brothers and sisters in every corner of the globe with love and commitment, to give every one of them the opportunity to ignite the flame of their souls until that day when, in a world filled with THAT reflected light and warmth, G-d Himself will wipe the tears from every face.

It's almost Shabbos. Candle lighting time tonight is 5:05 pm. In a world that has become so much darker, can we try to bring in some light? If you know someone who hasn't put Tefilin on today and would like to, contact Rabbi Chaim this afternoon - we'll help you.

Families gather when they're hurting - perhaps we can comfort one another. The Four Houston area Chabad centers will have special Shabbos services. Chabad of Uptown's services tonight begin at 6:30 pm tonight and at 10:00 tomorrow, Shabbat morning, at Chabad of Uptown, 1800 S. Post Oak Blvd. The community is invited to join us.

We have more on our main Chabad website join us there (before or after Shabbat) at

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Hostage Crisis at Chabad House in Mumbai! Urgent prayer request!

Dear Friends,

At this moment my colleague, Rabbi Gabi Holtzberg and his wife Rivkah (my wife Chanie's first cousin's sister), the Chabad emissaries in Mumbai, are hostages in their Chabad House with others staying with them in the horrific terrorist attacks on the city.

Their infant son has been released with the nanny and cook, however (unconfirmed) reports indicate that the Rabbi and his wife are "unconscious, but alive". Hundreds of commandos surround the house and it seems that a full-scale assault is imminent.

I'm BEGGING of you: while everything must be done - and IS being done - by the forces to rescue the hostages, we know that it is within the hands of each of us to storm the Heavens and pray to G-d that this situation and all other terrible current circumstances in Mumbai are resolved peacefully and immediately.

PLEASE say a prayer for Gavriel Noach Ben Freida Bluma and Rivkah Bas Yehudis (Rabbi & Rebbitzin Holtzberg) and all other affected by this horror. If you don't have a book of Tehilim with you, you can click here. It is recommended that you say chapters 20 and 120-134 which are known as the Shir Hamaalot chapters.

Don't stop with a prayer; please take it one step further and remember that a small act of "light" in one part of the world can dispel darkness wherever it may be. Do a mitzvah:

a) Give charity in their merit

b) Men: Put on Tefillin today; if you already did, see to it that someone who hasn't yet, should.

c) Women: Resolve to light candles tomorrow evening; if you already do, see to it that someone who hasn't yet, should.

May G-d bring peace to our pained and darkened world!

May we only share good news,

Rabbi Chaim

P.S. You can check for the latest known updates.


Update: Search for Foreigners Mounts After Terrorists Strike Mumbai
Much of the gunfire in one of India’s worst terrorist attacks occurred near the Chabad-Lubavitch center run by Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.

UPDATE: Jewish Child Safe in Hostage Crisis at Mumbai Chabad House
Three people, including the son of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, walked out of Nariman House, home to Mumbai, India’s Chabad-Lubavitch center. The fate of the parents are unknown, but it is believed they are still inside.



gooble @ uptown shabbat?

Dear Friend,

So, I've returned from a weekend of inspiration - heartwarming and uplifting.

kinus group pic 5769 2008.jpg

Here is how it all went down. From 9am to 5pm among the many, many great workshops provided, I crammed in workshops on pastoral counseling, fundraising, RLUIPA zoning laws, laws of Minyan prayer, Eruv and some others. This was all among the main dinners and lunch sessions, the amazing group picture (see me at the red arrow? :)) and many other moments that filled my day and heart.

My section of the group pic

But, you see, that is just the day.

Some blog grabbed this pic of me, a friend fwded it on to meThen there is 9 pm to 5 am. There is where the real inspiration comes in. Sitting at farbrengens on Thursday night, all Shabbos and Sunday night with classmates and friends from New Jersey, Sweden, Finland, Israel, Oslo, California, Florida, Wyoming, Colorado, Canada, and so many more places, singing, sharing words of Torah and l'chaims, of course filled with some humor is the highlight of my trip...

However, above everything else stands "The Banquet". Where more than 4,000 Shluchim, their family members, friends and supporters gathered at Manhattan’s Pier 94 (the very same Pier the Rebbe landed for his arrival to America) for the concluding banquet. Uplifting and invigorating speeches, amazing presentations by the Shluchim children representing close to 400 shluchim's kids who had their own simultaneous conference. Multimedia and video presentations and dancing with over 4000 people is just an event that blows you away.... You can watch Israel Ambassador Yehudah Avner's amazing message at

This Gobble Shabbat we will gobble down some Turkey over Shabbat dinner.... Will you please join us?

Friday, November 28

  • Candle Lighting @ 5:05 pm
  • Kabbalat Shabbat Service @ 6:30 pm followed by Gobble Shabbat Dinner - RSVP

Shabbat, November 29

  • Kabbala, 9:00 am
  • Shacharit Morning Service 10:00 am followed by kiddush lunch
  • Mincha @ 5:10 pm followed by informal Torah Study
  • Maariv & Havdalla @ 6:01 pm

We will kick off our CANorah Campaign, donation will be accepted at Chabad of Uptown next week! We are proud to have the Houston Food Bank co-sponsor our event.

See you Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Join me with a LIVE FEED from the Shluchim Conference

Dear Uptown Friends,

Just a reminder, there will not be Thursday classes this week. The JLI Tuesday & Thursday classes are on schedule for next week.

I will be in New York for the International Gathering of Chabad Shluchim (emissaries). It's a Wednesday - Monday conference that include many workshops, on a wide variety of topics that face Chabad outreach Rabbi's all across the world. From counseling to programming, from dealing with practical rabbinic's to fundraising. Nearly 3000 Chabad rabbis (see picture at right) get together for a long weekend of education and inspiration.

For me, it is an opportunity to get refreshed and invigorated and get a chance to see friends who I have not seen often in many years, and share the success and frustrations unique to a Chabad Rabbi's life.

You can join the conference via a live feed from the closing Banquet at Pier 92, in New York City, NY on Sunday, November 23 at 5:30 pm on our website at

One of the main highlights of my trip will include a visit Rebbe's resting place in prayer. If you provide me with your Hebrew name and mother's Hebrew name, I can include you in my prayers as well.

If you don't know either Hebrew names, then English will do as well. If you have something in particular you would like me to pray for, please mention it as well. I can be reached (or text) on my cell phone on 713-419-3960 or by replying to this email.

Thanks and may all your requests be fulfilled for good in a revealed manner!

Rabbi Chaim

In other news....

  • Our renovations at the new Uptown property on Bettis is well underway! Donate here.
  • Chanie's grandmother, Bluma Galperin, o.b.m, passed away at the age of 97 in Kiryat Malachi, Israel. The new Chabad of Uptown kitchen will be called Bubby Bluma's kitchen in her memory.
  • We will be taking a family trip to New York for two weddings of Devorah Leah Lazaroff and Chaya Mushka Rosenfeld (Rabbi Chaim's sister and niece) from Dec. 7-17.
  • Details on many Chanukah events are being ironed out. Of note:
    Chanukah on Ice at the Galleria on Sun., Dec. 21
    Uptown Chanukah CANorah Building Project to feed the needy on Sun., Dec. 28

yes, it is uptown week


So in case you need the reminder. This Shabbos is Uptown Shabbos. Where will you be?

Friday, Nov. 14:
Candle Lighting at 5:09 pm
Services at 6:30 pm followed by dinner - RSVP

Saturday, Nov. 15:
Chassidus / Kabbala - Prepare for prayer at 9:00 am
Shacharis at 10:00 am followed by Kiddush lunch.
Mincha at 5:15 pm followed by informal Torah study
Maariv & Havdalla at 6:04 pm

Note these dates:
Sunday, Nov. 16:
* 2:00 pm: Film: Match & Marry at the JCC Book & Arts Fair - Rabbi Chaim & Chanie will field questions and speak after the film
* 3:00 pm: YOOD: Power Rock Trio at Chabad Rice Univ. Half price tickets $5/10 (instead of $10/20) if you buy online in advance... So why are you waiting?

Tuesday, Nov. 18: 7:30-9:00 pm JLI Soul Maps: Kabbala to Navigate your Inner World - Not too late to join!

Thursday, Nov. 20: there will not be a JLI Torah Study class for lunch or evening as Rabbi Chaim will be in NYC for the Annual International Conference of Shluchim. Our next Torah Studies Parsha class will be Thurs., Nov. 27.

November 28-29: Uptown Shabbaton
December 12-13: Uptown Shabbaton
Sunday, Dec. 21 - Chanukah on Ice @ The Galleria - 7-9 pm
December 26-27:
Chanukah Shabbat
Sun., Dec. 28: Car Menorah Parade 5 pm & Final Chanukah Candle Ceremony at Uptown 6pm
January 9-10: Uptown Shabbaton
January 23-24: Uptown Shabbaton

See you Shabbat!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Memorial Service Daniel Kadmon / Mazel Tov Ohanas!

Dear Friends,

  • Please join us at Chabad of Uptown for a memorial service in memory of Daniel Kadmon, o.b.m., whose untimely passing was only a few weeks before Rosh Hashana - the week of the Hurricane. A Mincha memorial service will be held this Sunday, November 9 at 4:00pm with you, the community, family and friends at the shul, 1800 S. Post Oak. Donate in his memory.
  • However we also have joyous news.... Chabad of Uptown extends a hearty Mazel Tov to Eidan & Sarit Ohana upon the birth of a baby girl! You may send them a mazel tov here!May we only share simchos! Donate in their honor.
  • Tonight, Chabad Hebrew School will be having a Shabbat dinner at the school on Fondren. As directors of the school, we will be leading that Shabbat experience. We look forward to seeing y'all this Sunday, and next Shabbat (Nov. 14-15) for yet another wonderful Uptown Shabbaton!
  • YOOD is coming to town! This BBQ and rock concert was originally scheduled the week of the hurricane, they are now really coming! Next Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Texas Medical Center and Rice University. Click here for advance tickets at half price!
  • Once again, Rabbi Faitel Lewin, a sofer from Brooklyn, N.Y., will be available to check mezuzos and tefillin from midday Tuesday, Nov. 25 12:30 pm, through 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 27. In order to accommodate all those who need items checked, please post a comment on the Chabad Center blog, as well as the number of mezuzos and pairs of tefillin to be checked. You may leave your items that morning (Nov. 25) in the shul (at 10900 Fondren) marked clearly with your name and cell #. According to halacha, mezuzos and tefillin should be checked twice every seven years. Some have the custom to inspect them annually.

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

P.S. Renovations on the future site for Chabad of Uptown is well underway! Please join the effort by visting and indicate that it is for the building campaign.

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