After months of searching for the ideal candidate to spearhead their Religious School and Lifelong Learning program, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills is proud to announce the newest addition to its team – former Aerospace Engineer, Rabbi Adam Lutz.
For three years, Adam worked as an aerospace engineer focusing on Navy planes on Coronado Island. One perfect spring day he climbed into the cockpit of an F-18 fighter jet and contemplated his “imminent flight towards the rabbinate” – a journey to pursue a passion that embodied emotional, spiritual, and intellectual wholeness. While he enjoyed working on these Navy planes, Adam felt a hindering disconnect in his daily experiences and sought to connect with something deeper, meaningful, and enriching. Suddenly, the gentle salty breeze of the Pacific Ocean and the tarmac’s strong scent of sulfur and jet fuel became distant memories of a reminiscent past.
Today, Rabbi Lutz connects his love of technology and design with his love for Jewish education. His goal as Religious School and Lifelong Learning Director is to help students discover their identities by using Judaism as a tool for self-exploration. Rabbi Lutz’s expertise and progressive approach to problem-solving and technology, meet the needs of the 21st Century, offering human-centered and holistic methods as meaningful alternatives to classroom learning.
“As a rabbi I believe it is my obligation to lead with the heart, to reach out with compassion and empathy, and to help others do the same.” – Rabbi Adam Lutz
Judaism has always played a significant role in Adam’s life. He considers his synagogue youth group and Camp Alonim, in Simi Valley, a home that provided him with a safe, strong, and joyful foundation to begin exploring his Jewish identity.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and working for the Navy, Rabbi Lutz felt his true calling was in the Jewish community. Rabbi Lutz’s comprehensive Jewish professional education at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, Los Angeles, and Jerusalem, earned him a Master’s degree in Hebrew Letters (2015), Rabbinical Ordination (2016), Master’s in Jewish Education (May, 2017), and a Graduate Certificate in Jewish Non-Profit Management (August, 2017).
During his tenure at Hebrew Union College, Adam was invited to join two prestigious fellowships – The Bonnie and Daniel Tisch Fellowship, which focused on developing innovative synagogue leaders for the 21st century, and the Be Wise Fellowship for Jewish Entrepreneurial Endeavors, in which he developed the technical infrastructure for “ProjectZug,” an online educational platform which connects Jews in one-to-one conversations across the world. Following the success of “ProjectZug,” Adam launched “KabbalatTorah,” an online community of Jewish practice and learning – a project still evolving.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Rabbi Lutz’s deep love of Judaism and Jewish Education was instilled in him by his parents, a teacher and a rabbi. Debbie, his mother, is a teacher of deaf and hard-of-hearing children, and his dad, Barry, is the Senior Rabbi at Temple Ahavat Shalom in Northridge, California. Further enriching his Jewish life, Adam met his wife, Emma, a cantor at Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles, during their first week of rabbinical and cantorial school in Jerusalem.
Adam recently moved back to Los Angeles. His extensive training in education and knowledge on all the latest up-and-coming technologies will breathe new life into the existing education program, and help transform traditional Jewish values – making them contemporary and meaningful to students today.
“I believe the mission of the Jewish people is to
bring about a world that is whole by being
compassionate to ourselves
and having empathy for others…”
– Rabbi Adam Lutz
His journey from aerospace to religion is a lesson in embracing your own identity and reconnecting to what is truly important in life.
Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills is a major Reform temple in the heart of Los Angeles that values Jewish education and lifelong learning.