They call themselves the roving rabbis, and travel the four of corners of the world helping millions of Jews by offering their services at synagogues, conducting Torah classes, and so on. They are associated with the Chabad Trust, which has centres in over 50 countries.
Their aim is help and bond with the Jewish diaspora. “Most of us have worked in strife-torn areas and gone through some of the worst crises,” said Rabbi Shloime Coleman from the UK.
Shloime and his friend Rabbi Yisroel Karasik from New York have been working in Mumbai for the last two months helping out members of the community. “The city is very vibrant and the people here are warm and helpful. I fully sympathise with the victims of the Taj, Oberoi and CST attacks,” said Rabbi Coleman.
“As part of our training, we have to help the underprivileged of that country and even impart education,” says Rabbi Coleman who was previously posted in Croatia.
The roving rabbis stay in touch with each other through a blog online. “We get to know about others by reading their blogs. Many of us work in far off places and a group like this in cyberspace is a big boon for us,” said Rabbi Karasik.
And while the Chabad Trust is active in Mumbai, Nariman House is sorely missed. “It catered to Israelis who were on their way to Goa and Rajasthan. The place was open to anyone who wanted a place to pray, eat kosher food or celebrate Jewish holidays,” said Orna Sagiv, Israel’s Consul General in Mumbai.
Condemning the 26/11 attack, Rabbi Coleman said: “It’s not just Jews, but Hindus, Muslims and Christians who also died in the attack. We need to fight this form of terrorism by standing united. This act of terror has only strengthened the bond between the Jews and the members of Indian community.”