During the first Israel Experience, organizers expected between 200 and 300 people for the Augusta Jewish Community Center's cultural event.
More than 1,200 showed up.
"We are really stocked up with food this year," Leah Ronen, the center's executive director, said about some of the plans to expand this year's event, which is scheduled for Sunday between 1 and 4 p.m.
Featuring Israeli music, dancing, food and exhibits, the event will be held at the center, located at 898 Weinberger Way off Furys Ferry Road near Riverside Middle School.
"We wanted to share with the community, the experience - what Israel looks like, what goes on there, what we eat in Israel," Ronen said.
The Israel Experience event is being held close to Israel's Independence Day, which commemorates the county's formation in 1948, but was delayed slightly because Israel's Memorial Day fell on that Sunday.
"This year the Sunday (April 25) in Israel was the memorial for the soldiers, and we felt it was inappropriate to hold it," Ronen said. "We do hope in the future to hold it closer to the actual Independence Day."
A number of area groups and museums also will participate at the event, including a Biblical petting zoo provided by Canterbury Trails Equestrian Center, the Feathered Friends Forever Rescue/Refuge Inc. and the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History.
"All of those outside agencies are researching about Israel, so they can come to the event with something about Israel," Ronen said. "The JCC in the past year, we're reaching out to the outside community for them to get to know us and us to get to know them, and this a great day to do that."
There also will be a replica of the Western Wall for people to sign and leave messages, children's activities and cultural displays.
While food will be sold, admission and children's activities are free and open to the public.
For more information, call the center at call 228-3636.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.