Warmly welcomed by our Congregation Cantor Hutchings joined the synagogue in 2014.
A national award-winning educator, Cantor Jessica Hutchings has spent almost a decade conveying the beauty of Jewish music to children and adults in Southern California as well as Las Vegas. Cantor Hutchings did her undergraduate work at California State University, Long Beach’s Bob Cole Conservatory from which she received a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis in Vocal Performance and a concentration in Opera. She then continued her studies at the American Jewish University’s Fingerhut School of Education, receiving a Bachelor’s in Literature in Hebrew Letters as well as a Master’s of Arts in Education. In May 2014, Ms. Hutchings was ordained as a Chazzan/Cantor and received a second Master’s in Jewish Sacred Music from the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA.
Cantor Hutchings has worked as a Hebrew and post-B’nai Mitzvah teacher at Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), a Cantorial Soloist at Valley Outreach Synagogue (Las Vegas, NV), a B’nai Mitzvah coordinator at Temple Shalom of the South Bay (Hermosa Beach, CA) and as the Youth Director (grades 3-12) of Congregation Tikvat Jacob (Manhattan Beach, CA). A long-time educator and Guest Cantor at Temple Israel (Long Beach, CA), she also was a Guest Instructor there teaching an Adult Education class entitled “Contemporary Jewish Music.” Between 2010-2014, Cantor Hutchings served as the Cantorial Soloist and Director of Music Programming and Education at Temple Menorah (Redondo Beach, CA). In addition to co-leading all Shabbat and holiday services as well as the B’nai Mitzvah, Cantor Hutchings established and directed the Kol Hakavod youth choir, established Jews Next Dor, a young adults social chavurah for singles and couples ages 21-36, an adult choir and band, and worked with the Director of Education to develop and implement music curriculum. Cantor Hutchings’ renown as a superlative Jewish educator received national validation in 2009, when she won the national Grinspoon-Steinhardt Excellence in Jewish Education Award for being an “Exceptional Teacher, Mentor and Leader.” That same year, she also received the Smotrich Family Foundation Educator Award. Cantor Hutchings has performed in a number of major concerts all over the world, from Carnegie Hall in NYC to historic venues in Europe, of both Jewish and secular music. And she also proudly sung the National Anthem at a Los Angeles Dodgers game as well as at two games of the Los Angeles Kings.
In July of 2014, Jessica, her husband Jeremy, and their two dogs: Matzah Ball and Latke, moved back to Las Vegas so that she could begin her tenure as the first ever ordained Cantor at Congregation Ner Tamid, Las Vegas, her childhood synagogue.