Anita - it must have been so interesting to talk with the person from Tel Aviv! When I was in high school about half of our immediate group of friends were Jewish and one was from Israel. As soon as high school was over he was going back home to join the army. It was very interesting to the rest of us given how "scary" things were in Israel at the time (and I suppose still are) that he was going to go right into the thick of it. He felt very strongly about it.
I never felt excluded or odd about being a non-Jewish person amongst them. They had their things they did on weekends and I had mine. I was always very interested in their religion.