Students aim to ‘Revive Mumbai’

Group hopes to help city rebuild from terror attacks, and establish a memorial scholarship at Brandeis

Following a pair of campus events commemorating last month’s terrorist attacks on Mumbai, a group of Brandeis students has created an online forum to streamline efforts to help the city recover.

“Revive Mumbai” aims to promote social harmony, support the families of those adversely affected by the attacks, assist in the reconstruction of targeted buildings such as Mumbai’s Chabad house, and establish a scholarship for underprivileged scholars from south Asia.

“We propose that Brandeis University work with its members and well-wishers to establish a Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg Peace Scholarship for economically challenged south Asians who wish to pursue their higher education at Brandeis,” said “Revive Mumbai” member, and Mumbai native, Naman Pugalia ’09. Rabbi Gavriel and his wife, Rivka, were both killed in the attack on the Chabad house. “I firmly believe that the Rabbi’s death should be commemorated in ways that exemplify our commitment to uproot terrorism with Gandhian principles, especially limitless compassion," Pugalia continued. "Symbolically, this scholarship will cement Brandeis’ reputation as a beacon of social justice.”

While Brandeis students are leading the initiative, it is by no means limited to the Brandeis campus. Group members are urging citizens from across the world to join them. They have set up a blog for those interested in tracking their progress; people who want to donate to the proposed scholarship should contact Naman Pugalia at

Pugalia will return home to Mumbai over the winter semester break. While there, he plans to visit the local Chabad house and other impacted areas to find out more about rebuilding efforts. He will be sending in reports to BrandeisNOW so the campus community can get a first-hand look at how the city is recovering from the terror attacks.

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