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Jul 31, 2002 | 22nd of Av, 5762 | כ״ב באב תשס״ב
July 31, 2002 – Benjamin Blutstein, 25 of Susquehanna Township Pennsylvania was one of nine people killed when a bomb exploded in the Frank Sinatra cafeteria on the Hebrew University Mt. Scopus campus.
Shortly after 13:30 while about 100 people were eating lunch, a bomb exploded in the Frank Sinatra cafeteria on the Hebrew University Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem. The explosive device was apparently planted inside the cafeteria which was gutted by the explosion. Nine people were killed and 85 were injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
Benjamin Blustein was president of Dickinson University’s Hillel organization from 1998-1999 where he received a B.A. in Judaism and religion. He came to Israel for a two-year study program at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem to become a teacher of Jewish studies and was attending a Hebrew language ulpan at the university. On the day after he was killed in the cafeteria bombing he was to haved flown home to visit his family in Pennsylvania before returning for the next academic year.
Ben’s father Dr. Richard Blutstein, (a pediatrician) described his son as having a keen interest in religion and music. “He had some eclectic tastes,” he said. “He was sort of on a spiritual journey and he was very serious about his music.” His friends described him as a complex figure – someone who put a lot of effort into his studies and had managed to become proficient in Hebrew in a short time while at the same time spending evenings playing in clubs as a disc jockey under the alias Benny the B with a Jewish hip-hop band he put together.
Benjamin Blustein was buried in his parents’ home town of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
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