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Congregants talk outside the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, which reopened Wednesday for the High Holy Days with Rosh Hashana services after a complex, nearly two-year restoration. Rabbi Steve Leder officiated at the service.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Members of the congregation sing during the close of the first service as the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles reopens after a nearly two-year restoration.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Rabbi Steve Leder gives his wife, Betsy Leder, a kiss in his office before the first service.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Rabbis stand before the Torah after it was placed in the ark during services at the newly renovated Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Every piece of stained glass was removed and cleaned during the complex restoration of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

A worker removes the last bit of scaffolding in front of the newly installed rose window at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, which is undergoing a major restoration.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Scaffolding covers the exterior as restoration work continues on the landmark sanctuary in 2012.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The congregation at Wilshire Boulevard Temple worships on the first night of Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 28, 2011.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Rabbi Steven Z. Leder, left, and architect Brenda Levin head into the vesitbule of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, where the Warner Bros. murals are seen on the sanctuary's walls.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The art glass decorative windows are bowed and will be restored to their original beauty.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

A light fixture in the hallway casts a shadow of the Star of David.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Judson Studios in Highland Park restored the rose window from Wilshire Boulevard Temple. It is installed in pieces that are then wired together.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The center of one of the 12 medallions that make up the newly restored rose window at Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Workers drill holes in the balcony underneath where the rose window will be placed.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Workers apply waterproof strips to wood beams on the copper dome at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. A leaking roof had caused water damage at the sanctuary.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Rabbi Steven Z. Leder peers up into the dome as the restoration continues at Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Conservators Suzanne Morris, left, and Adam Romcio photograph and inspect a mural by artist Hugo Ballin, one in a series that depicts the timeline of Jewish history.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The inside of the temple is a maze of scaffolding, allowing workers to reach areas that are high up.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Amy Higgins with KC Restoration holds a paint sample next to original paint to find the proper color match.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Exterior repairs snake around the outside of the temple. Philanthropist Erika Glazer, who came of age at the grand sanctuary, has pledged $30 million over the next 15 years toward its ongoing restoration and redevelopment.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The scaffolding has come down and the newly restored dome is exposed inside Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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Restoring Wilshire Boulevard Temple

For Los Angeles’ oldest Jewish congregation, this week’s High Holy Days marked the official unveiling of the long-overdue renovation of their storied Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Koreatown and the beginning of an ambitious new mission.

Between 2014 and 2020, plans call for renovating the existing nursery school and adding an elementary school, parking structure and extensive social services — all part of a $140-million effort to engage generations of younger Jews and to help meet the low-income neighborhood’s needs.

This series of photographs shows the temple as it is today and the renovation work as it progressed over the previous several months.

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