Rabbi Benjamin Adler

Contact Rabbi Adler rabbiadler@adathisraelnj.org

Rabbi Benjamin Adler, currently the spiritual leader of Adath Israel Congregation in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, is passionate about being present and guiding individuals and families through the sweetness, sorrows, challenges, and opportunities of Jewish life. Drawing on the ancient wisdom of the tradition and the progressive values of modern Judaism, he has spent years building and sustaining warm, committed, and caring communities that support each member as they find their own unique spiritual path.

A graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City where he earned a master’s degree in Jewish Philosophy, Rabbi Adler also studied at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, he graduated cum laude from Columbia University with a BA in History.

Before entering rabbinical school, he worked for Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City and spent time working in the digital media world. Rabbi Adler has served congregations in Rockaway, New Jersey, Pittsfield, Massachusetts and Greenport, New York.

He has served as vice president of the New Jersey Rabbinical Assembly, on the board of trustees of the Hebrew Academy of Morris County, and on the Religious Pluralism committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey. Rabbi Adler co-founded the Rockaway Interfaith Community, participates in the New Jersey Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee, and helped plan a conference that trained Conservative rabbis in the skills of community organizing.

When he is not teaching, preaching, and leading his congregation, Rabbi Adler can probably be found following the San Antonio Spurs, reading, watching a good movie or TV show, out on the water in his stand-up paddleboard, or on the slopes in the winter. He is married to Lisa Adler, a fellow Jewish communal professional, and they have three children: Ronen, Jonah, and Miya.

Photo credit: Johanna Resnick Rosen

Content updates by: hanina

RSS Click on the title of the articles below to read on Rabbi Adler’s website

  • Strap In October 18, 2018
    When I teach b’nai mitzvah students about tefillin, the black leather boxes and straps that we wear during weekday morning services, I use the analogy of a sports uniform. Just as your favorite teams wear their colors to distinguish themselves and show pride, the tefillin serve a similar purpose to unite the Jewish people in […]
  • Cookie Wars October 11, 2018
    My son Jonah is often my “assistant rabbi” in the synagogue, helping out during services and at other times. A few months ago he pointed out that the delicious homemade brownies at our Friday evening oneg looked like they were made with Oreos. “Aren’t those dairy since Oreos are dairy,” he asked. Our policy for […]
  • Two Hold on to Their Truth October 4, 2018
    My class, Ripped from the Headlines where we discuss current issues from a Jewish perspective, resumed today and we spoke about the major news story of the moment: the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. While we talked about the political implications of the nomination, my main focus was on the question […]
  • Conservation of Holiness September 28, 2018
    If physics has the law of the conservation of energy, then Judaism has the law of the conservation of holiness. We believe that once something is imbued with kedusha, sacredness, it remains there. For example, any item that is used for a holy purpose must be disposed of respectfully, even if the object is worn […]
  • Too Soon September 20, 2018
    On Kol Nidrei I spoke about two disgraced former radio hosts who had published essays recently describing their life after being accused of sexual misconduct. Both pieces seemed to lack full contrition and downplayed the behavior that got them fired. Together they represent examples of how not to apologize. The controversy continued into Yom Kippur […]
  • Vital Center September 13, 2018
    This year on both days of Rosh Hashanah I spoke about the need for us to balance our responsibilities to ourselves and our duties to others. On the first day I addressed the issue of intermarriage, that as a community we need boundaries that define who we are but which are open enough to allow […]
  • Finding Meaning and Joy September 6, 2018
    In a few days we will gather as a community for High Holy Day services. I often wonder what it is that brings everyone together on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to sit in services for hours on those three days. Our longest, most intellectually challenging services for some reason draw the biggest crowds. Far […]
  • Jews in Space August 30, 2018
    One of my favorite genres in any medium is science fiction. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved to delve into the invented histories and adventures of far off worlds and the distant future. These stories capture my imagination because they challenge me to think about what it means to be human. Right […]
  • From Uganda to New Jersey August 23, 2018
    Last week Adath partnered with the Flemington Jewish Community Center to host Yonatan Katz Lukato, a young Jewish man from Uganda. He sang some songs with us and shared the history and current challenges of the Abayudaya, the name of his community which means “People of Judah”. The Abayudaya have an interesting history that goes […]
  • A Bridgeable Divide August 16, 2018
    The Conservative movement in Israel has struggled for decades to gain recognition and support for our brand of Judaism. The strategy has been to educate Israelis about an open, egalitarian, but traditional version of Judaism while also fighting in the political sphere for acceptance. A recent opinion piece by two secular Israelis has thrown this […]