Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

To usher in Hebrew Year 5776, the two-day Jewish New Year observance of Rosh Hashanah begins on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, and ends on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. High Holy Days are extremely busy times for members of temple attending services, but non-members can find a few services open to the community without paid tickets. Rosh Hashanah custom means no work is permitted; therefore, many places will be closed from Sunday late afternoon through Monday.

Temple Emanu-El
2 Lake St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 751-2535

Since 1850, this oldest congregation west of the Mississippi is also one of the largest. Near the Presidio’s Arguello Gate, the 1925 handsome landmark building designed primarily by Arthur Brown, Jr. (War Memorial Opera House and Stanford’s Hoover Library) bears more than a passing resemblance to Istanbul’s domed Hagia Sophia. On Monday, Sept. 14, three community services are held: for families with children under five at 10:00 a.m.; for those with children up to age 12 at 2:30 p.m.; and a teen-led service at 3:30 p.m. Afterwards, take a nature walk in the Presidio.

Baker Beach
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 561-4323

Members and clergy of Temple Emanu-El are joined by the community at large for the annual Tashlich ceremony on Monday, Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. Those present throw breadcrumbs into the water, representing “a symbolic casting away of the transgressions of the past year,” explains the temple’s description. It’s a casual event as voices are raised in words of personal reflection, as well as song in this inspiring setting. The organizers remind everyone to dress warmly and to remember the breadcrumbs.

Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco (Credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 655-7800

Located downtown near Yerba Buena Gardens, the CJM has been a part of the community for three decades. Stop in for exhibits about two music legends lost in 2011: Amy Winehouse and Warren Hellman. Designed for pre-schoolers and their families, Super Fun Sunday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. is a 90-minute session. There’s bee hive art making in the studio, story time and songs with Alison Faith Levy’s Big Time Tot Rock Band.  Afterwards, take the kids for a couple of spins on the antique carousel at the Children’s Creativity Museum across the street.

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
736 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 655-7887

Management says their matzo ball soup is probably not as good as your mother’s, but then again, they could be wrong. Right inside the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman make everything in-house, shop for produce locally and serve hormone and antibiotic-free beef and free-range poultry. Pastrami is smoked over real wood, so perhaps you’ve waited too long for your next great Reuben sandwich with a side of pickles and potato salad. Come hungry and do your meal justice or they’ll echo the Jewish mother mantra, “Eat something, you look skinny.”

Haas-Lilienthal House
2007 Franklin St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 441-3000

Survivor of the 1906 Great Earthquake and Fire, the 1886 Queen Anne-style Haas-Lilienthal House is San Francisco’s only Victorian house museum offering docent tours year-round. Step into a time capsule to imagine lifestyles of the prominent San Francisco Jewish families who contributed to shaping our city. The elaborate residence, now operated by SF Heritage, was built for wholesale grocer William Haas, a great-nephew of Levi Strauss. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as a City Landmark and selected as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Visit on Sunday, Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with house tours during those hours.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on Examiner.com.