Cafeteria Named for Sinatra

The devastating bomb attack Wednesday at Hebrew University ripped through a building dedicated to one of the all-time greats of American popular music.

The Frank Sinatra International Student Center housed a cafeteria where Arabs and Jews mingled. The bomb blew apart the eating place, killing seven people and wounding more than 85. Three of those killed were American.

Sinatra was at the 1978 dedication of the building on the grounds of the university, which caters to 23,000 students, of whom about 4,600 are Arabs and 1,500 are from abroad.

The university was considered a rare enclave of tolerance after almost two years of Mideast fighting. Leaders of the violent Islamic Hamas praised the bombing attack, but there was no official claim of responsibility.

Money for the Sinatra building was raised by members of the Friends of Hebrew University from the west coast of the United States, many of whom had connections in the entertainment industry, said Jerry Barasch, a now-retired spokesman for the university. "They requested it be named for Sinatra," Barasch said. Sinatra died in 1998 at age 82.

Another building in Israel bears the singer's name -- the Frank Sinatra Youth Center in Nazareth, an Israeli Arab city.