Western Wall ceremony in Halimi's memory

On Wednesday evening almost one thousand people gathered at the Western Wall for a prayer service in memory of Ilan Halimi. The service was organized by Sabine Attias at the request of the Halimi family, who wanted a memorial ceremony for their son to take place at the Kotel. "Ilan Halimi had been in the process of making aliyah," said Attias, who is Communications Director at Amutat Lev Avi, an organization that helps French Jews make aliyah and find work. Halimi had been involved with Amutat Lev Avi for three months prior to his death. Attias spoke to the crowd that had gathered in Ilan's memory in the Cardo, which is located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, next to the Arab market. She spoke as a friend of the Halimi family, whom she was close with. After her, Yosef Zarka spoke about his cousin, who was killed at the Park Hotel bombing in Netanya. His family's tragedy inspired him to found an organization that helps those wounded in terror attacks. Rabbis Bochka, Ben-Eliezer, and David made brief speeches. They also recited psalms and said Kaddish, after which the crowd walked to the Western Wall to recite ma'ariv (evening prayers). "The French Jews that live in Israel - some came out of Zionist ideals, and some came because they feel that there is a bad atmosphere in France for the Jews, that there is nothing left there," Attias said. "When French Jews here hear about what's going on in France, of course they see that they've done the right thing."