Come celebrate at Israel in the Gardens

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For 60, Israel is looking quite spry these days. The economy is booming. Tourism is way up. And though security threats and internal divisions remain, Israel deserves all the plaudits pouring in on this milestone anniversary.

Now it’s the Bay Area’s turn to throw a birthday party for Israel.

The annual Israel in the Gardens daylong bash is coming up on Sunday, June 1. All we can say is: Run, don’t walk, to Yerba Buena Gardens this Sunday.

All the usual spectacle will be back: World-class entertainment, delicious food, fine Israeli goods for sale, engaging activities for all ages — young children, teens and adults.

Also, as always, representatives from key Bay Area Jewish communal agencies, synagogues and federations will be on hand, meeting and shmoozing with the people they serve.

As for the entertainment, this year organizers landed some big names, including the internationally acclaimed Idan Raichel Project and singer Neshama Carlebach.

Raichel blends Ethiopian, Arab and other ethnic strains with a solid rock base. Carlebach, daughter of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, has carried on her father’s tradition, singing sacred Jewish music in a popular idiom.

By now an Israel in the Gardens tradition, the ever-popular fashion show will feature clothing by up-and-coming Israeli designers. Nearly 60 models include leading figures in the local Jewish community strutting their stuff down the runway.

Across the way at the Metreon, look for Israeli films, children’s posters and a first-ever cake auction fundraiser.

But the most important part of the line-up at Israel in the Gardens is you.

We don’t need to remind our readers that those who would harm Israel never rest. Their propaganda offensive never ceases. For them, the destruction of Israel remains an obsession, and unfortunately they have too many allies around the world.

But every year, on this day, the Bay Area Jewish community has an opportunity to turn out in huge numbers — around 20,000 on average — to wave the Israeli flag, to sing, dance and shout out our love of Israel.

Every year we have this chance to stand up to the Israel bashers, the doubters and naysayers, and show our unwavering support for the Jewish state.

Every year we can make this very joyous, very public stand.

But it only works if you are there to be counted. So please set aside Sunday, June 1, and come to the Gardens. The falafel tastes great, the weather is always perfect and you couldn’t have a better time anywhere else.

We’ll see you there. Please stop by the j. booth and say “Shalom.”