Israel in the Gardens returns to Yerba Buena on Sunday

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Geared for all ages, the festival will feature interactive shows including puppets, stories and magic, as well as hands-on, educational programs highlighting Israeli antiques, the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient tile mosaics.

Guests will discover the country's many contributions to science, health, art and history. Participants will also have the opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops with genuine artifacts unearthed from ancient Israel, as well as interactive exhibits detailing the positive influences Israel has had on the world.

This year, organizers will be sending the message "We share a song, we share a hope for peace" back to Israel as participants are encouraged to bring a new or used CD to the festival. Contributors will be able to send the music to Israeli soldiers and children, along with personalized notes that can be made at the park.

With more than 7,000 people expected to attend, the event will celebrate peace, with a strong emphasis on the culture and people of Israel. It also serves to support the Israeli economy by bringing artists and merchants from overseas. Guests can buy a variety of Judaica and crafts, thus directly contributing to Israel's economy. Israeli cuisine will accompany all of the festivities.

The event is organized by the San Francisco Israel Center and the Jewish Community Relations Council. It is sponsored by the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, the Consulate General of Israel and the Israel Ministry of Tourism, and is made possible by the support of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and other local Jewish organizations.