Meet Nathan Lam, Temple of the Arts’ Newest Cantor

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In the Jewish faith, music plays an essential role.

Across denominations and synagogues of all types and sizes, music brings the Jewish people together. It is how prayers are heard and how Jewish people are connected. It is sacred in the truest sense of the word.

In synagogue leadership, deciding who is responsible for bringing that music to their services is a significant choice. At Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills, famed Los Angeles cantor Nathan Lam made that decision a bit easier.

Joining Temple of the Arts in 2022, Nathan is a celebrated and experienced cantor who has served the Los Angeles Jewish community for over forty-five years.

Backed by decades of music education and Jewish studies, Nathan Lam has already made a significant impact on the services at Temple of the Arts and has big plans for how their faith can be shared with Jewish people around the world.

Keep reading to get to know this new cantor, and see more from the Temple of the Arts on their YouTube page today.

Who Is Nathan Lam?

Nathan Lam is many things. As a successful musician and recording artist, he has appeared in television shows alongside his weekly cantor duties at Friday night services. One consistent threat across each of his endeavors is a deep appreciation for the arts and a belief in their transformative power.

Faith and Family

For Nathan, family and faith are intricately intertwined.

Born in Boyle Heights and raised in the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles native attended temple in North Hollywood as a boy. His parents were Polish and Bessarabian immigrants who instilled a powerful sense of reverence, Jewish culture, and Zionism in Nathan from an early age.

From attending temple every week with his family to leading a congregation in prayer many years later, family is still an important touchstone for Nathan Lam.

He’s been married to his wife Donna Lam, the Vice President of Weiss Family Investments and Property Management Company, for over fifty-two years. Both Donna and Nathan are actively involved in Jewish philanthropies in both the United States and Israel. They have two children, Michael and Jenna, who have given them five grandchildren: Lyle, Olivia, and Emma, and Max and Emmet.

Passing on the tradition of faith and a love of music is one of Nathan’s proudest accomplishments.

Over Forty-Five Years of Cantorial Experience

Nathan’s belief in the power of music has been central to his experience as a cantor for decades.

He has honed his musical craft and became known for his ability to bring ancient text into the modern age.

If you listen to any of Nathan’s extensive discography, you’ll recognize modern musical sensibilities and relatable melodies. If you didn’t know Hebrew, you may not even recognize it as a form of prayer — but regardless of your religious denomination, the music is spiritually uplifting and prayerful.

Nathan believes that when people are uplifted in song, they can be healed by faith. He earned his Cantorial Certification from Hebrew Union College, is Commissioned by the Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Theological Seminary as Hazzan/Minister, and is a Fellow and Doctor of Music, Honoris Causa of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

In addition to his music, Nathan is also extremely skilled at leading the congregation through traditional verse. His striking voice is powerful, nuanced, and enriched by the generations of Jewish cantors that came before him.

He has produced eleven studio albums featuring both original music and original compositions, collaborating with the famed Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.

A Leader in the Entertainment Industry

Outside of temple, Nathan is a successful name within the entertainment industry.

In addition to appearances he’s made on television in shows like ABC’s Castle, Amazon’s Transparent, and the Lifetime reality show Kosher Soul" Nathan is a producer in his own right. His 2010 documentary, 100 Voices-a Journey Home, followed a large group of cantors who traveled to Poland to perform, reconnecting with a culture that was nearly eradicated during the Holocaust.

The documentary was praised by the Los Angeles Times, saying, “It’s hard to imagine a more profound expression of the healing power of music.”

Nathan has also cemented his position in secular popular music. He’s been a voice coach for a number of notable musicians, from Rod Stewart to Ringo Starr to Belinda Carlisle and Lionel Richie. Around LA, he’s known as a voice coach to the stars, helping many Hollywood legends unlock their vocal range and tone.

These diverse experiences and expertise all inform Nathan’s work at temple, his life’s passion.

Nathan’s New Beginning With the Temple of the Arts

In 2022, Nathan Lam entered a new chapter as the Temple of the Arts’s Hazzan-Cantor.

What Is the Temple of the Arts?

For the last thirty years, the Temple of the Arts has been a pillar of Jewish life in Beverly Hills.

Situated on Wilshire Boulevard in the historic art-deco Saban Theatre, the Temple of the Arts focuses its prayer life and faith work around the healing power of music, drama, and film. In addition to its regular services, it also hosts a number of performances, film screenings, and public speakers focused on connecting people from all walks of life to Jewish teachings.

Led by Rabbi David Baron, the temple works to “harness creativity to explore the past, present, and future of Jewish life.” Congregants are regularly treated to thoughtful and empowering creative work, which Nathan now helms.

You can experience the Temple of the Arts’s services for yourself in person or by subscribing to their YouTube channel.

Nathan Lam’s New Role

Nathan Lam is joining the team at Temple of the Arts encouraged by a close friend of both Rabbi Baron and Cantor Lam. Already close with Rabbi Baron and in full agreement with the temple’s belief in the power of art, he readily agreed.

His role as cantor is an important one.

Nathan officiates at both worship services and life cycle events. If you already attend the Temple of the Arts, you know the quality of the music you’ll experience there.

In addition to serving as cantor, Nathan is also the new head of the temple’s Music and Cultural Center, which aims to create programming that delivers the Jewish message and music to people all around the United States and the world. Audiences will find music, film, and educational programs for adults globally.

He’s uniquely focused on bringing the incredible music they’re creating within the temple walls to more people. Digital expansion is something of a passion.

In an interview with Beverly Press Park Labrea News, Lam said, “I think the Temple of the Arts offers the perfect opportunity to expand into that area, where we have enough material to put out there on the internet, or to put out there on our YouTube [page] and Facebook, or through Jewish Live Television Network, a lot of different ways of presenting stuff so people can hear Jewish music.”

Nathan Lam’s Circular Journey

Nathan Lam’s journey towards cantorial work starts and ends at the temple. It is the place where his music is heard, his voice is carried, and the powerful work of prayer does its work.

For someone who believes in music so much, his new role at the Temple of the Arts seems only natural. In music, there is community, connection, and introspection. Whether it’s through his family life, his many years as a cantor, or the plans he’s creating for the future, music’s ability to help heal, inspire, and form connections always plays an important part.

As he begins to settle into his new role, he’s already beginning to make a mark on the temple’s wide and diverse congregation.

If you are interested in seeing Nathan Lam, Rabbi Baron, and the rest of the leadership team at work, you can stream services from Temple of the Arts on their YouTube page.

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