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

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

  • Plan B April 2, 2020
    The Jewish calendar waits for no one and no thing. Coronavirus or no, we will be gathering around our tables next week to celebrate our freedom as a people on Passover. But this holiday will feel different for so many. Pesach, the most celebrated home ritual in Jewish life, will be observed this year at […]
  • Rewriting the Rules March 26, 2020
    So much is happening each and every day in this crazy coronavirus world, there are important news stories you probably have missed, so I am using this week’s Shabbat message to highlight some headlines that may not have reached your screen. In Israel, the COVID-19 crisis has been compounded by political and constitutional anarchy. The […]
  • Brave New World March 19, 2020
    Former mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel once said “you never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” In an emergency, rules and norms go out the window as we try to get by in a new […]
  • Keep Your Distance March 12, 2020
    Last week I wrote about how the coronavirus has affected Jewish and synagogue life. Communities, including Adath, are avoiding handshakes, hugs, and ritual kissing that has become an integral part of our tradition. In just the span of a week, however, our response has accelerated. Programs, classes and other events are being cancelled outright. As […]
  • The Best Medicine March 6, 2020
    Synagogues are meant to be places of refuge and spiritual renewal, but in the age of the coronavirus, they have the potential to become centers of transmission for the disease. Many people today are rethinking gathering in large groups and cancelling conferences and other events. So how should a religious community respond to the possibility […]
  • A Place of the Forgotten February 27, 2020
    When I spent a year studying in Jerusalem during rabbinical school, the tractate of Talmud we covered was Avodah Zarah, which deals with how Jews are to interact with idol worship. One of the passages we learned addressed how to dispose of anything that was used in, or associated with, pagan worship. Jews are not […]
  • Art at its Limits February 20, 2020
    What is art? The simplest answer to that question is anything that we decide to call art, but there are limits, which are constantly being pushed and challenged. Andy Warhol painted cans of Campbell soup, the most basic of American commodities, when the art world was used to more exalted subjects. Before him Marcel Duchamp […]
  • Hold on to Hope February 13, 2020
    With each new update on the coronavirus in China, we get a little more fearful that this could be the big one, a major outbreak that overwhelms our globalized world. Governments impose travel restrictions and quarantines, but is it possible to effectively contain the virus in our highly connected world? Are we simply at the mercy of […]
  • A Giant’s Shadow February 7, 2020
    This week the Jewish community lost a giant of the film industry and one of my favorite actors, Kirk Douglas. While he was known around the world for his performances on screen and the dimple on his chin, he was appreciated in the Jewish community for the commitment he made to his faith later in […]
  • Half Measures January 30, 2020
    The latest American proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians was released this week. Its 181 pages are full of detail which the authors hope will eliminate the problem of vagueness in past frameworks. Diplomatic ambiguity is often considered a positive because it allows both sides to see an agreement in a ways that […]