Installation of Senior Cantor Emma Lutz


Installation of Senior Cantor, Emma Lutz
Friday, March 25 at 6:15 p.m. | In-person and Online
Since joining Stephen Wise Temple & Schools in 2016, Cantor Emma Lutz has made a significant mark on the Wise community. She has guided our Wise School students, mentored our youth, shared moments of joy and sorrow with our families, and brought beautiful, soulful music into our Sanctuary.

On Friday, March 25, we will officially install Emma as our senior cantor. As part of a special Shabbat evening, we will host incredible cantors, rabbis, and musicians from around the country—as well as young singers from our Wise community—all gathering on our beautiful hilltop campus to celebrate Cantor Emma Lutz with joyous song. 

We hope to see you here in person for this this momentous occasion, which will be followed by a celebratory reception on Nahmias Plaza. The service will also be streamed online.

​​​​​​​We look forward to being together for a special evening of song, as we mark this meaningful milestone in our community.


When I was a little girl, my grandmother shared with me the story of how she became the first bat mitzvah on the West Coast. In May of 1939, when so much of the world was shifting and even crumbling around her (a bit like today), she stood on the bima at Temple Sinai in Long Beach and proudly led her congregation in prayer. Later on, when she was installed as president of her Hadassah chapter in 1998, she was honored in a special ceremony on the bima at Stephen Wise Temple for those two great accomplishments achieved some sixty years apart.It is no accident that I also ended up on this bima. As you well know, the hard work, commitment, and generosity of those in our family and extended family so often lays the groundwork for our own stories.Please join us for a special Shabbat service & celebration on Nahmias Plaza at 6:15 p.m. on March 25 when I am officially installed as Senior Cantor of Stephen Wise Temple & Schools. The service will, of course, be accompanied by great and prayerful music, lifted up by the voices of our youth and so many cherished cantors and colleagues from around the country. And yet, it is the presence of our community–your presence–that will make the evening truly sacred.


Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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