Jews throughout Santa Barbara will be celebrating the holiest day of the year in a newly renovated synagogue, which will unveil its redesign at 8 p.m. Wednesday in observance of Yom Kippur and at 10 a.m. Thursday at 1000 San Antonio Creek Road, where it has operated for almost 40 years.

The 81-year-old Congregation B’nai B’rith, Santa Barbara’s largest synagogue, has undergone an $1.8 million renovation, marking the first time in the temple’s history that major work has been conducted.

A small group of congregants led by Judi Koper worked on the redesign with designer Dawn Ziemer of Kruger, Bensen, Zeimer Architects. Ziemer is the daughter of Don Ziemer, the temple’s original architect.  Frank Schipper Construction managed the construction.

Renovations include an overhaul of the temple’s Girsh-Hochman Sanctuary with an improved electrical and sound system, new carpet, fresh paint, ambient lighting, inlaid tile embellishments and a replacement of the pews with plush, comfortable seating.

In addition, the small chapel has been redesigned with built-ins and colorful new walls. One of the major focal points of the redesign is the original artwork created by locally-based and internationally-recognized Judaic artist Laurie Gross-Schaefer. Gross-Schaefer created a metal and stone sculpture for the lobby as well as a design that is etched in the glass of the new front doors.

The timing couldn’t be better for the temple. Yom Kippur is a time for renewal, reflection and repentance.

Jennifer Goddard is a public relations representative.