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

  • On the Page, in Our Mouths May 16, 2019
    As a rabbi, I am biased toward texts over other forms of religious expression, such as meditation, mystical experiences or visual arts. As a rabbi trained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, I am biased toward a particular type of text: those produced by the ancient and medieval sages on law and lore. Unfortunately, this focus […]
  • Begin with Shame, Conclude with Praise May 9, 2019
    The two weeks after Passover in Israel are a carefully crafted national narrative. About four days after celebrating the freedom of the Exodus from Egypt in the distant past, the nation commemorates the depths of the Holocaust with Yom Hashoah. A week later, Israelis remember the fallen in war and terrorism on Memorial Day, Yom […]
  • A Dark Path May 2, 2019
    Today is Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for victims of the Holocaust. In Israel a siren rings throughout the country for a moment of silence. Here in America we add special prayers to our services and hold programs and vigils. This year the day has special resonance in the wake of the horrific attack […]
  • Circumvention April 25, 2019
    Every year at Passover time, Jews clean their homes, remove all bread products, and get ready for a week of matzah. In our family we begin shortly after Purim with the so-called “Great Chametz Eat-Down”, which involves avoiding buying any new pasta, pretzels, etc. so that by the time Passover comes we have very little […]
  • Table Talk April 18, 2019
    There is a lot of pressure at Passover time. If you are hosting a Seder there is the pressure to buy the necessary products, organize the house and make sure everything is just right for your guests. If you are a guest there is the pressure to find a place to go and fit in […]
  • Beautiful Failure April 11, 2019
    The last few weeks I have been preoccupied with Israel’s attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon, becoming the fourth country, and first commercial operation, to do so. Everything went smoothly from launch to Earth orbit to lunar capture and orbit, but unfortunately the small probe called Beresheet couldn’t quite stick the landing. While […]
  • Make it Your Own April 5, 2019
    Most American Jews are aware that the Passover Seder is one of the most observed rituals in our community. According to the 2000-01 National Jewish Population Survey, 79% of American Jews attend a Seder. But have you stopped to ask why? One theory was raised by sociologists of the American Jewish community, Marshal Sklare and […]
  • Chai Life April 4, 2019
    How much should the government get involved in the lives and choices of the people? This is a perpetual question of politics. Many agree that government should protect its people and provide basic services, but what about regulating morality and ethics? The libertarian side argues that individuals should be free from interference, even if that […]
  • The Next Find March 28, 2019
    Last Sunday Adath hosted a fascinating discussion of The Last Watchman of Old Cairo, by Michael David Lukas, which was this year’s selection for One Book One Jewish Community. Princeton University scholar Dr. Brendan Goldman gave a presentation about the Cairo Geniza which provided important background and context to the novel. Thank you to the […]
  • Power to Destroy and Save March 21, 2019
    The world was shocked, but not surprised, by the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last week. Once again, violence invaded the sacred space of a place of worship. It is a story we have sadly told over and over the last few years. Religious violence is not new. The Bible refers […]