Camp Tawonga's 2018 annual Rosh Hashanah service in the park
Camp Tawonga's 2018 annual Rosh Hashanah service in the park

Free and low-cost High Holiday services, 2019/5780

Don’t belong to a synagogue? Don’t have a place to go for the High Holidays? Welcome to our annual list of free and low-cost Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services open to the public.

Everything listed here is $40 and under. Some synagogues offer free services for students or new attendees, some offer a sliding scale, some have child care, and some have dinners and meals along with services. Almost all welcome donations, and many say they won’t turn anyone away for lack of funds. But reservations are required by almost all (no drop-ins).

Many Bay Area Chabads offer services at no cost; check Chabad.org for details and registration.

Another option is to attend a tashlich ceremony, the ritual of casting away one’s transgressions, which takes place outdoors and is free and open to the public.

For a full list of synagogues in the Greater Bay Area, check out J.’s Resource Guide at tinyurl.com/jresourceguide.

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown Sunday, Sept. 29, and Yom Kippur at sundown Tuesday, Oct. 8. If you don’t see your free or low-cost listing here, send it to events@jweekly.com. Shanah tovah!


San Francisco

Chabad of San Francisco—Free. 7 p.m. Sept. 29 (dinner follows; RSVP required); 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30. The Mint, 88 Fifth St. 9:30 a.m. Oct. 1. 496 Natoma St. 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 9:30 a.m. Oct. 9. Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St. Reservations requested. (415) 668-6178 or chabadsf.org

Congregation B’nai Emunah—Free. Family service in the preschool 10:15 a.m. Sept. 30; family service in the sanctuary 3 p.m. Oct 9. Conservative. 3595 Taraval St. (415) 664-7373 or bnaiemunahsf.org/celebrate/high-holydays

Congregation Emanu-El—Free family services. 5 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 30; 5 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Oct. 9. Reform. 2 Lake St. (415) 751-2535 or emanuelsf.org/hhd

Congregation Ner Tamid—Free for students and first-time guests. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 9 a.m. Sept. 30; 9 a.m. Oct. 1; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 9 a.m. Oct. 9. Conservative. 1250 Quintara St. (415) 661-3383 or nertamidsf.org

Congregation Sha’ar Zahav—Free. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30; 9:30 a.m. Oct. 1; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8, 9:30 a.m. Oct. 9. Also, two free services for families with preschoolers through third-graders: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30 and 9:30 a.m. Oct. 9. Reform. Sept. 30 services at 290 Dolores St., others at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. (415) 861-6932 or shaarzahav.org/high-holidays-2019

Keneset HaLev—Sliding scale up to $40, walk-ins welcome. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Independent/post-denominational. County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, near Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way. (415) 339-7485 or kenesethalev.org

Or Shalom Jewish Community—Free family services. 6 p.m. Sept. 29; 9 a.m. Sept. 30; 6 p.m. Oct. 8; 9 a.m. Oct. 9. All services free to students 18-25 with school ID. Reconstructionist. First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. (415) 469-5542 or orshalom.org/high-holy-days


East Bay

Aquarian Minyan—Free for first-time visitors. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29. All services free for current students with ID. 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30; 10 a.m. Oct. 1. Hillside Community Church, 1422 Navellier St., El Cerrito. 6 p.m. Oct. 8; 9:30 a.m. Oct. 9. Rudramandir, 830 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. Renewal. (818) 746-6174 or aquarianminyan.com/HHRegister

Berkeley Community—Free. 7 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 7 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Cross-denominational. JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. (510) 917-5314 or highholydayservices.org

Chabad of Alameda—Free, some services require registration. 6 p.m. Sept. 29; 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30; 9:30 a.m. Oct. 1; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 9:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Oct. 9. For location, call or register. (510) 640-2590 or jewishalameda.com/services

Chabad of Contra Costa. Free. 6:45 p.m. Sept. 29 (dinner follows; RSVP required); 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sept. 30; 9:30 a.m. Oct. 1; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Oct. 9. Rosh Hashanah services at 1671 Newell Ave., Walnut Creek. Yom Kippur services at Clarion Hotel, 1050 Burnett Ave., Concord. (925) 937-4101 or lynn@JewishContraCosta.com

Chabad of the Tri-Valley—Free. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m., 6 p.m. Sept. 30; 10 a.m., 6 p.m. Oct. 1; 6:15 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 6:15 p.m. Oct 9. $20 break-fast. 3370 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton. (925) 846-0700 or jewishtrivalley.com

Chochmat HaLev—Pay-what-you-can option, $18 minimum requested. Under 13 free with paid adult. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 10 a.m. Oct. 1; 6:15 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. Oct. 9. Renewal. One at 2215 Prince St., Berkeley, others at First Presbyterian Church, 2407 Dana St., Berkeley. (510) 704-9687 or chochmat.org/high-holy-days-2

Congregation Beth El—Free. Check to see which services are for tots, teens or families. 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Sept. 30; 10:15 a.m. Oct. 1; 10:30 a.m, 1 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m. Oct. 9. Reform. 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. (510) 848-3988 or bethelberkeley.org/highholydays

Congregation B’nai Shalom—Free family services. 9 a.m. Sept. 30; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Conservative. 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. (925) 934-9446 or bshalom.org

Congregation B’nai Tikvah—Free. For families with kids 5 and under. 9 a.m. Sept. 30; 9 a.m. Oct. 9. Reform. St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 399 Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. (925) 933-5397 or tikvah.org

Congregation B’nai Torah—Free. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Reform. 50 Sand Creek Road, Suite 150, Brentwood. (925) 754-2545 or bnaitoraheastbay.org

Jewish Gateways—Family services for $25. 9 a.m. Sept. 30; 9 a.m. Oct. 9. Interfaith/nondenominational. Held in and around a big white tent at JCC East Bay, but not affiliated with center. 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. (510) 545-9977 or jewishgateways.org

Minyan Dafna—Free. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30. Short services followed by dinner. Traditional egalitarian. Location TBA. minyandafna.org/#holidays

Reutlinger Community—Senior care and living facility. Free. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 9 a.m. Sept. 30; 9 a.m. Oct. 1; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 9 a.m. Oct. 9. Nondenominational. 4000 Camino Tassajara, Danville. (925) 648-2800 or nasalati@rcjl.org

Temple Israel—Free for college students with ID. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 10:30 a.m. Oct. 1; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Reform. 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda. (510) 522-9355 or templeisraelalameda.org/high-holy-days

Tri-Valley Cultural Jews—$20; free for kids under 13. 7 p.m. Sept. 29; 7 p.m. Oct. 8. Humanistic/secular. At Bothwell Arts Center, 2466 Eighth St., Livermore. (925) 485-1049 or eventbrite.com


North Bay

Camp Tawonga—Sliding scale includes $18, $36 and higher. In partnership with Kesher Marin and PJ Library. 3 p.m. Sept. 29. McNears Beach County Park, 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael. (415) 543-2267 or tawonga.org/events

Chabad of Napa Valley—Free. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29 (dinner follows; RSVP required); 10 a.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1; 6:25 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Napa Valley, 101 Gateway Road East, Napa. (707) 492-5993 or jewishnapavalley.com

Chabad of Novato—Free. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 10 a.m. Oct. 1; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Sites in Novato vary: 7430 Redwood Blvd., Suite D; City Hall, 901 Sherman Ave.; Homeward Bound, 1385 N. Hamilton Pkwy. (415) 878-6770 or jewishnovato.com

Chabad of Solano County—Free. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 10 a.m. Oct. 1; 6:15 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. 730 E. Main St., Vacaville. (707) 592-5300 or jewishsolano.com


Peninsula and South Bay

Chabad MidPen—Free. 6:15 p.m. Sept. 29 (dinner follows; RSVP required); 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 9:30 a.m. Oct. 9. At Courtyard Marriott, 600 Bair Island Road, Redwood City. (650) 232-0995 or ellapotash@gmail.com.

Chabad North Peninsula—Free. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 11:15 a.m. Sept 30; 11:15 a.m. Oct. 1; 6:15 p.m. Oct. 8; 9 a.m. Oct. 9. Locations in San Mateo and Foster City given with RSVP. (650) 667-9556 or chabadnp.com/highholidays

Coastside Jewish Community—Free for ages 18-26 as part of Synagogue Connect. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 9 a.m. (family service), 10:30 a.m. Sept. 30; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 9 a.m. (family service), 10:30 a.m. Oct. 9. Independent. United Methodist Church, 777 Miramontes St., Half Moon Bay. (650) 479-5252 or coastsidejewishcommunity.org

Congregation Beth Am—Free family services. 1:30 p.m. Sept. 30; 1:30 .pm. Oct. 9. Redemption Bay Area, 105 Nortech Parkway, San Jose. These and all other services (not listed) are free for full-time students and military, and $36 for under 36. Reform. (650) 493-4661 or betham.org/hhd2019

Congregation Beth David—Donation-based tickets. 6 and 8 p.m. Sept. 29; 8:30 a.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1; 6 p.m. Oct. 8; 9 a.m. Oct. 9. 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga. (408) 257-3333 or beth-david.org/hhd-5780

Congregation Beth Jacob—All services free for college students, military personnel and prospective members; Erev Rosh Hashanah and Rosh Hashanah Day 2 free to all. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 9 a.m. Sept. 30; 9 a.m. Oct. 1; 5 p.m. Oct. 8; 9 a.m. Oct. 9. 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City. (650) 366-8481 or bethjacobrwc.org/worship/high-holy-days

Congregation Kol Emeth—$36 for nonmember young adults and Kesher families attending for the first time. See website for schedule. Conservative egalitarian. 2525 Charleston Road, Suite 204, Mountain View. (650) 948-7498 or kolemeth.org

Congregation Shir Hadash—Free family services. 3:30 p.m. Sept. 30; 3:30 p.m. Oct. 9. Reform. 20 Cherry Blossom Lane, Los Gatos. (408) 358-1751 or shirhadash.org

Congregation Sinai—Free for new South Bay residents, college students and members of the military. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 8:30 a.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1; 6 p.m. Oct. 8; 8:30 a.m. Oct. 9. Conservative. 1532 Willowbrae Ave., San Jose. (408) 264-8542 or sinai-sj.org/holidays-at-sinai

Jewish Baby Network—Free for families with newborns through age 3. Co-sponsored by three nearby synagogues, PJCC and PJ Library. 10:30 a.m. Sept. 29. Nondenominational. Briones Park, 609 Maybell Ave., Palo Alto. (650) 275-2215 or jewishbabynetwork.org/peninsula/events/rosh-hashanah-celebration-2019/

Keddem Congregation—Free, RSVP requested. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30; 7 p.m. Oct. 8; 9:15 a.m. Oct. 9. Reconstructionist. Kehillah Jewish High School, 3900 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. (650) 494-6400 or keddem.org/#HHD

Los Altos Chabad—Free. 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Address given with registration. (650) 241-8770 or jewishlosaltos.com

Peninsula Sinai Congregation—Free. 6 p.m. Sept. 29; 9 a.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1; 6 p.m. Oct. 8; 9 a.m. Oct. 9. Conservative. 499 Boothbay Ave., Foster City. RSVP required. (650) 349-2816 or peninsulasinai.org/high-holy-days

Temple Emanu-El—Free for first-time attendees. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8; 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Children’s services (preschool-K) 9 a.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 9. Reform. Heritage Theatre, 1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell. (408) 292-0939 or templesanjose.org/highholydays


Beyond the Bay Area

Temple Beth El—Free, but reservations required. 8 p.m. Sept. 29; 10 a.m. Sept. 30; 10 a.m. Oct. 1; 8 p.m. Oct. 8, 10 a.m. Oct. 9. 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos. (831) 479-3444 or tbeaptos.org/high-holidays.html