High Holidays Hack: Celebrating Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the Bay Area

When we think of the New Year’s holiday, we think of celebration, personal reflection, and resolutions. It is a time when we set personal goals and incite change in one’s behavior. These are all traditions we annually look forward to and practice for our well-being.

Likewise, Jewish folks celebrate their New Year’s holidays, Rosh Hashanah in a similar fashion but during a different time of the year.

Featured Photo: Courtesy of Wise Sons

The Basics

The evening of September 25th marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Jewish New Year. It is one of Judaism’s holiest days of the year and ends on the 27th. During Rosh Hashanah, one will celebrate by attending synagogue services and enjoying a traditional Jewish meal, i.e., brisket, kugel, roasted chicken, and matzo ball soup.

Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the “Days of Awe” or “Days of Repentance.”  These 10 significant days from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur are meant for meaningful reflection, introspection, and practicing forgiveness. 

Yom Kippur commences on October 4th and ends on the 5th. For observant Jews, 25 hours of fasting begins before sunset on the evening before and ends after nightfall on Yom Kippur. Most of Yom Kippur is spent in a synagogue, in prayer. After services come to an end, people gather to break the fast with a traditional meal such as bagels, lox, and a deli tray — that’s where Wise Sons, Boichik Bagels and Schlok’s really shine!) 

Together Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the “High Holidays.”

Bay Area Synagogues

Photo: Courtesy of Congregation Sherith Israel

Whether you are visiting, new to the area or looking for a change, here are a few Synagogues to consider.

San Francisco

Congregation Beth Sholom is a Conservative synagogue, founded in 1921, in SF’s Richmond District. The permanent location was established in 1934 on the corner of 14th Avenue and Clement Street. The congregation is currently led by Amanda Rusell, who is devoted to creating a warm, friendly and welcoming environment at Beth Sholom.

301 14th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118, (415) 221-8736

Congregation Sherith Israel is a Reform Jewish Congregation in SF’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. Founded in 1904 and it is one of the oldest synagogues in the United States. It was established during California’s Gold Rush period and reflects the ambitions of early Jewish settlers to San Francisco.  

2266 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115, (415) 346-1720

North Bay

Kol Shofar is a Conservative synagogue in Tiburon California, founded in 1962. The congregation is led by Rabbis Susan Leider and Paul Steinberg, both of whom were ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. 

215 Blackfield Dr, Belvedere Tiburon, CA, (415) 388-1818 

Rodef Shalom is a Reform Jewish Congregation, founded in 1946, at Mission and Forbes Street in San Rafael, and then moved to their current location,  on the Lonee C. Hoytt Jewish Campus in San Rafael, California in 1956. 

170 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael, CA (415) 479-3441

East Bay

Congregation B’nai Shalom is a Conservative synagogue in Walnut Creek California, founded in the 1960’s. The congregation is Contra Costa County’s only Conservative congregation and its mission is rooted in tradition. 

74 Eckley Lane Walnut Creek, CA 94596, (925) 934-9446

Temple Sinai is a Reform Jewish Congregation in Oakland, founded in 1875. It is the oldest Jewish congregation in the East Bay region. The congregation is located on 28th and Webster streets.

2808 Summit St, Oakland, CA, (510) 451-3263

South Bay

Congregation Beth David is a Conservative synagogue right outside of San Jose in Saratoga, CA. Founded in 1963, the congregation has held services all over the South Bay. Its permanent location was established in 1975 and has been an important part of the South Bay Jewish community since. 

19700 Prospect Rd, Saratoga, CA, (708) 257-3333

Congregation Emeth is a Reform Jewish Congregation located in Morgan Hill, CA. It is the only Reform Jewish Congregation between San Jose and Salinas. Congregation Emeth is a synagogue for those seeking a meaningful Jewish connection in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, south San Jose, and the surrounding communities.

17835 Monterey Rd, Morgan Hill, CA, (408) 778-8200

Bay Area Rosh Hashanah Offerings

Photo: Courtesy of Wise Sons

San Francisco

GROCERY STORES

Throughout the Bay Area you can find Kosher sections in Whole Foods and Mollie Stones as well as many Lucky’s stores.

Whole Foods this store has a Kosher section

788 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94107

690 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117

3950 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

3251 20th Ave Ste 340, San Francisco, CA 94132

Mollie Stone’s Supermarket this store has a Kosher section

2435 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

635 Portola Dr, San Francisco, CA 94127

4201 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Lucky’s  — this store has a Kosher section

1750 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117

1515 Sloat Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94132

RESTAURANTS

Photo: Courtesy of One Market

One Market/ Mark and Mike’s NY Style Deli 

1 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94105

A popular FiDi hot spot for decades, One Market also offers some pretty fabulous kosher deli offerings via Mark ‘n Mike’s NY Style Deli. This year’s offerings includeMark’s matzo ball soup, smoked brisket, fresh corn polenta with pomegranate-glazed carrots, semifreddi challah, and honey apple cake, $59, per person. Orders taken September 27 thru October 1. 

 

Canela Bistro & Wine Bar

2272 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Chef Mat Schuster’s Jewish heritage shines this time of year, at this traditionally Spanish tapas eatery. This year, Canela’s is offering a 4 Course Dinner, Sunday, September 25th and Tuesday September 27th. Including, Course 1:  Challacado Toast, Toasted Challah with Labneh, Sliced Avocado, Pickled Radish and Honeyed Dates, Everything Sprinkle. Course 2: Choice of Pear and Almond Gazpacho or Seasonal Salad with Honey Vinaigrette. Course 3: Seared Wild Fish Filet, Braised Greens, Indian Summer Tomatoes and Corn, Herb Aioli, Saffron Broth. Course 4: Apple Crumble with Oats, Caramel Sauce and Honey Ice Cream. Optional Course 5, $27 Braised Lamb Riblettes with Seasonal Veggies, Mashed Potatoes and Tempranillo Wine Reduction. Order online for pick-up this Thursday to Sunday.

 

Schlok’s Bagels & Lox

1263 Fell Street San Francisco, CA 94117

When referring to the ‘hottest thing since sliced bread” in the world of bagels, you’re probably talking about Schlok’s in San Francisco. Friends, James and Zack started making east coast style bagels as weekend pop-up in September 2020 and by April 2021 signed their first lease on Fell Street in San Francisco. They offer full catering, with a 48+ hours notice, through ezCater, including bulk bagels, schmears, lox and veggie platters, and bulk coffee (hot and iced). 

East Bay

GROCERY STORES

Oakland Kosher Foods 

3419 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

Established in 1962, Oakland Kosher Foods is known throughout Northern California for its vast supermarket, high quality deli, mouth watering restaurant food, and one of a kind delicious catering. Oakland Kosher Foods has decades of experience and strives for high quality customer service to satisfy all your kosher food needs.

Whole Foods this store has a Kosher section

230 Bay Pl, Oakland, CA 94612

5110 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

3000 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

1025 Gilman St, Berkeley, CA 94710

RESTAURANTS

Photo: Courtesy of Boichik Bagels Facebook

Saul’s 

1475 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709

The Berkeley deli has a special menu for the high holidays, which includes things like their excellent matzo balls, gefilte fish, apple raisin kugel, brisket, and apple and honey cakes. 

Boichik Bagels 

3170 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

At Boichik Bagels, patrons line up for vegan, kosher, New York-style bagels with organic elements at this buzzy shop. For Rosh Hasanah and Yom Kippur, a catering menu is available.

South Bay

GROCERY STORES

Pars Kosher Market and Deli

3978 S Bascom Ave, San Jose, CA 95124

Pars is a high-quality kosher market carrying a variety of meats, bread, canned and packaged goods. The market features a deli with a wide selection of sandwiches and hot meals available for take-out. 

Lucky’s  — this store has a Kosher section

2175 Grant Rd, Los Altos, CA 94024 

Mollie Stone’s Supermarket this store has a Kosher section

164 S. California St. Palo Alto, CA

RESTAURANTS

Photo: Courtesy of Christian Marin

Wise Sons 

1711 W El Camino Real Mountain View, CA 94040

369 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

1640 S Bascom Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

The Bay Area’s most recognizable Jewish deli covers all the savory and sweet bases with a Rosh Hashanah menu that offers roasted brisket and chicken, carrots, and potatoes, as well as challah, chopped chicken liver, matzo balls, and potato latkes.

Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels 

477 S California Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94306

Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels offers homemade delicacies, such as kugel and knishes to rugelach and Black & White cookies using only fresh ingredients and traditional recipes. Izzy’s menu consists of dairy and pareve items shipped directly from specialty purveyors across North America. All with kosher certification of the VAAD of Northern California.

North Bay

RESTAURANTS

Floodwater 

152 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Floodwater is a bar-driven restaurant designed to allure the community with our enticing social atmosphere, uniquely balanced cocktails, and elegantly approachable Californian menu. On the evening of October 5th, the chef will be serving Yom Kippur dinner. The dinner service will include a frisee salad, braised creekstone brisket with pot roasted potatoes, and panna cotta. Vegetarian and dairy-free options are available upon request.

GROCERY STORES

Whole Foods — this store has a Kosher section

731 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941

414 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Mollie Stone’s Supermarket  this store has a Kosher section

100 Harbor Dr, Sausalito, CA 94965

Scotty’s Market — this store has a Kosher section

620 Manuel T Freitas Pkwy, San Rafael, CA 94903

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

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