Wedding Party Planned for Jerusalem Bombing Site

Rena Maslansky and David Lewis, a Jerusalem couple who are engaged to be married, plan to hold one of their "sheva brachot" celebrations (parties held during the week following the wedding) at the site of Tuesday's terror attack in Jerusalem.

The party at the site of the Hillel Cafe bombing is intended as a sign of "continuity" following the death of Naava Applebaum in the attack. Applebaum was having a father-daughter outing at the cafe on the night before her wedding and both she and her father, a renowned Jerusalem physician, were killed in the blast.

The sheva brachot celebration will be broadcast live to Jewish communities around the world via video conferencing technology, with members of these communities participating.

Both Maslansky and Lewis are originally from the United States. He came to Israel 17 years ago, while she immigrated to Israel just last year. Maslansky works for the Jewish Agency's "Smart Room" unit that broadcasts educational programs and events to Diaspora communities.

The couple plan to marry on the eve of the Sukkot holiday, with the sheva brachot held during the ensuing hol hamoed period.

This fits in well with the Jerusalem Municipality's plans to turn Emek Refaim Street, where the Hillel Cafe is located, into a pedestrian mall during the Sukkot holiday week, explains Eitan Eliram, the director of the Smart Room.

"The plan is for the seven blessings [in Hebrew, "sheva brachot"] at the party to be recited by representatives of seven different Jewish communities throughout the world," Eliram says.

Representatives of the Jewish community in Melbourne, Australia and Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine have already agreed to participate in the sheva brachot celebration via the video conference link, he adds.