Emperor Norton to get his Jewish due

Following up on its successful history walk at two Colma cemeteries last November, Congregation Emanu-El is returning to Home of Peace to lay a plaque for a 19th-century Jewish eccentric.

Emperor Norton, a beloved character in San Francisco in the mid-1800s who was born Joshua Abraham Norton, attended services every Saturday at Emanu-El but was never given a Jewish funeral or burial. In 1979, the mock Court of Historical Review determined Norton should have had a Jewish burial.

The ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3 will include the screening of a Norton documentary and a talk by Joseph Amster, who leads walking tours of the city dressed as the emperor, who wore a brassy military uniform and decorated hat.

There will be refreshments and an Emperor Norton hat contest. The event is free, but RSVP is requested to [email protected]. Home of Peace Cemetery is located at 1299 El Camino Real in Colma. For information, call (415) 750-7545.