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Jul 31, 2002 | 22nd of Av, 5762 | כ״ב באב תשס״ב
July 31, 2002 – Marla Bennett, 24 of San Diego, California was one of nine people killed 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.
Marla Bennett completed her B.A. in Political Science at Berkeley University in California in 2000. She was in the second year of a three-year master’s program in Judaic Studies at the Hebrew University and Pardes Institute had been at the university to take a final exam in her sole Hebrew University class of the semester (Hebrew language) when she was killed.
Marla knew that every day she stayed in Jerusalem the simple choice of whether to turn left or right each morning could make the difference between life or death. “This question may seem inconsequential, but the events of the past few months in Israel have led me to believe that each small decision I make, by which route to walk to school, whether or not to go out to dinner, may have life-threatening consequences” Bennett wrote in a May 10 column in a newspaper in her hometown of San Diego. “My friends and family in San Diego are right when they call and ask me to come home, it is dangerous here” she wrote. “I appreciate their concern. But there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be right now. “I have a front-row seat for the history of the Jewish people. I am a part of the struggle for Israel’s survival.”
Family spokesman Norman Greene said: “Marla was incredibly bright, top of her class. She was extremely outgoing, bubbling young lady, very seriously involved in investigating her Judaism. She was interested in human beings, and finding a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
Marla was planning to marry her boyfriend Michael and they were to have flown back to the States this month to meet his parents.
Marla Bennett was buried in San Diego where her parents Michael and Linda live.
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