Readers Choice 2014: Time to roll out the red carpet

We have a winner!

Or, more precisely, we have 204 winners in this year’s Reader’s Choice Awards, J.’s annual salute to your favorites in the Bay Area Jewish community — and a little beyond.

It’s an impressive slate of winners in a record-breaking number of subcategories (53), many of them new and now officially filed under “Why didn’t we think of that sooner?”

The newbies include art gallery, department store, movie theater, florist, vinyl/music store, interfaith program, furniture store and tile/stone purveyor.

Some winners are perennials, such as the two Debs: Debbie Herzfeld and Deborah Lopez have been chosen as San Francisco’s favorite real estate agents for consecutive years. South Bay kosher catering company Too Caterers took home the prize again in its category, as did Shangri-La in San Francisco for kosher restaurant.

Others are first-time winners, including Berkeley’s Monterey Market and San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Market for specialty/gourmet market; Oakland’s Rosenblum Cellars for winery and Beauty’s Bagel Shop for bakery/bagels; and Palo Alto’s Carmel Stone for tile/stone purveyor. (Lesson learned: If you sell Jerusalem stone imported from Israel, the Jewish community will take notice.)

Then there are the multiple award winners. Like Beyoncé clutching an armful of Grammys, Congregations Emanu-El and B’nai Emunah in San Francisco and Beth Am in Los Altos Hills swept their categories, with Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont winning three out of four.

If only we had a red carpet.

But Readers’ Choice is not just a numbers game. It’s a reflection of our Jewish community’s engagement with Bay Area life in all its glory. We have the good life at our fingertips, and we take full advantage of it.

A special shout-out goes to our Kohn summer interns, Rachel Feder and Rebecca Stadtner, for their diligent work on this project. We couldn’t have done it without them.

So check out our winners. Sample their savories, sip their wines, try on their couture, nip that tuck, take a Torah study class and redo your kitchen in imported Jerusalem stone.

We’re one big happy family. Readers’ Choice just makes it official.

Readers’ Choice 2014: Synagogue Life

Readers’ Choice 2014: Community

Readers’ Choice 2014: Culture

Readers’ Choice 2014: Seniors

Readers’ Choice 2014: Have a Nosh

Readers’ Choice 2014: Time to Celebrate

Readers’ Choice 2014: Shop Till You Drop

Readers’ Choice 2014: Health, Beauty & Fitness

Readers’ Choice 2014: Business & Professional

Readers’ Choice 2014: House & Home