A Hero’s Welcome

The Toulouse students toured the Galilee and the Golan Heights, visited high-tech companies in Haifa and learned about different study options in Israel. Chairperson of the Jewish agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky, who attended the event, said that “The arrival in Israel of these high school students is a massive demonstration of solidarity, which reflects the warm and special relationship between French Jewry and the State of Israel”.

The Israel Experience team only learned moments before his arrival that Schalit indeed would actually be attending the event. As Schalit entered the hall, the room erupted in cheers, song and dance. Schalit’s capture always formed an integral part of the annual event owing in large part to his roots as a French dual citizen. His visit at the event was his story come full circle.

This is the message that Gilad had to share: “I am very excited to be here with you. Thank you for all that you did for me. For over a year I have been a free man, and I still get excited by the warmth and love that you give me. I wish you much success in life and I hope to see you here again in Israel. I hope you decide to make Aliyah.”

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