The storming of Chabad House in Mumbai by Islamist gunmen one year ago left six people dead and a deep scar in the psyche of the movement. Among the victims were Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his pregnant wife, Rivki, 28. "Their holy space was violated in the most brutal, evil fashion," said Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz, director of a relief fund set up after the attacks by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement to which the Holtzbergs belonged.
"Nariman House, Chabad House has become the symbol for the entire world of the stark contrast between good and evil in the world," Berkowitz told AFP in an interview.
The five-storey apartment complex of Chabad House, tucked away down a narrow lane in the bustling Colaba Market area of south Mumbai, served as an education centre, synagogue and hostel.
It was one of a number of high-profile targets selected by 10 heavily-armed extremists who stunned the city with a multi-pronged attack on November 26, 2008 that killed 166 people and injured more than 300.
The Holtzbergs' son Moshe, now aged three, escaped the carnage. He was plucked to safety by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuels. Both now live in Israel with the toddler's grandparents.
Local faith leaders last week joined members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish organization at the bullet-scarred centre to light candles in remembrance of the "six holy souls" who lost their lives.
Another memorial service is planned on the first anniversary of the attacks, with the Holtzbergs' parents, Israel's ambassador to India and top Chabad leaders scheduled to attend, Berkowitz said.
"It's a way for us to show Mumbai that we are rebuilding and we are going forward and the world should know that we will not let this happen again," Berkowitz said.
Chabad House, known locally by its former name Nariman House, remains closed, and the organization has moved to another location that has been kept secret on security grounds.
Rabbinical students have been coming to the city on rotation pending the appointment of a permanent successor to Holtzberg, who held dual Israel-US citizenship.
Berkowitz described the last 12 months as "very painful" but said the attack had won the Chabad-Lubavitch movement widespread support and raised awareness outside the Jewish community of their social and humanitarian work across the globe.
More than 12,000 people have pledged to do good works via the, which also said that many Jewish couples had named their new-born babies after the Holtzbergs.
This was their way of responding to the attacks "with light and goodness", the site said.
"People like the Holtzbergs really represented the values of what Chabad does all over the world. That's complete selflessness and service to their fellows," Berkowitz said.
Nearly one million dollars has been donated to help Moshe, who on Wednesday celebrated his third birthday and attended his Halakah ceremony -- a Jewish tradition in which a child's hair is cut for the first time.
The money will support Moshe as he grows up, Berkowitz said, adding: "We are now focusing on the other orphan, Chabad House."
Berkowitz said he wants to raise 2.5 million dollars more to ensure the future of their operation in Mumbai.
He described the Chabad movement as "an army without assault weapons" and said there was "no doubt" that Holtzberg himself would have wanted to rebuild the centre, making it "stronger and better than it was before".
"That's what we are committed to do, but it's not only for ourselves. It's for the whole of Mumbai, for the world to show that terror will not prevail and goodness will prevail in the world," he added.