Grand reopening

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photo/larry rosenberg

After a six-month seismic retrofit project, Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco officially reopened its sanctuary March 25 with a celebratory Shabbat service titled

“Hardly Strictly Shabbat.” More than 900 people showed up to take in the renovated building, replete with a host of improvements and bereft of the scaffolding that had been a mainstay for nearly seven years. The bluegrass-themed service featured music by Cantor Rita Glassman and the Wronglers, whose banjo player is Warren Hellman, founder of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. Craig Etlin, chair of the synagogue’s buildings and grounds committee, said more seismic work remains, but noted that Sherith Israel has “much to be proud of for having completed this initial phase.”