Ohio Student Has Near Miss In Jerusalem Blast

CLEVELAND (AP) - A college student from Ohio narrowly avoided Wednesday's deadly bomb blast in Jerusalem.

Jennifer Kaufman, 20, of the Cleveland suburb Shaker Heights, arrived in Jerusalem on Monday, eager to learn Hebrew and art history at Hebrew University.

Kaufman and other American students had been eating lunch in the Frank Sinatra International Student Center.

They left the cafeteria, Kaufman said, and walked several hundred yards to a nearby building to sign up for computer services. Less than 10 minutes later, a bomb detonated in the cafeteria, killing seven people -- five of them Americans.

The bombing shattered upper-floor windows and bloodied several people in the computer-services building, Kaufman told The Plain Dealer.She immediately called her parents, Suzanne and Arnold.

The phone rang at 6:44 a.m. in the Kaufman home.

"She said there was an explosion and that she was OK," her mother said.

Her daughter said she feared an American chaperone who had accompanied her and other college students on the flight from New York to Jerusalem might be among those killed. The chaperone had remained in the cafeteria after the students left.

Kaufman, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, said she was shaken but hopeful that her school would not make her return to the United States.

"It's important that I stay here," Kaufman said. "Mentally, I tried to prepare myself for this kind of thing."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)