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

  • Getting it from Both Sides December 13, 2018
    Having just finished Hanukkah, a holiday focused on our connection as Jews to the larger culture, I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be an American Jew and how non-Jews perceive us. I believe that in America, Jews have found the most comfortable and successful home outside of Israel in […]
  • The True Meaning of Hanukkah December 6, 2018
    For close to 150 years, Christians have struggled with the true meaning of Christmas. As the Victorians in England began to shift the emphasis of the holiday from a focus on the religious aspects of Jesus to one centered on Santa, gift giving and a tree, many felt that important theological themes of the day […]
  • To Attend or Not? November 29, 2018
    Recently, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), the worldwide network of Conservative rabbis, made a decision that was not really a decision. The group clarified a standard of rabbinic practice for its members which states that they are not allowed to officiate at an interfaith wedding but they may attend one. For decades the perceived policy of […]
  • Drive out the Darkness November 21, 2018
    I am blessed to have a lot to be thankful for this year. We recently celebrated the bar mitzvah of our son Jonah with many family and friends and a great community. I want to thank everyone at Adath for help making the bar mitzvah so special. A family simcha really helps to put things […]
  • Historic Irony November 15, 2018
    The first civilian settlers of the city of San Antonio, where I was born and raised, came to the area in 1731 from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. Legend has it that some of these families were actually crypto-Jews, that is Spanish Catholics whose ancestors had converted to Christianity but who secretly […]
  • The Waste of War November 8, 2018
    This Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The end of the fighting at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” became the inspiration for Veterans Day, replacing the name Armistice Day, which honors all who served in the armed forces. World War I […]
  • From Darkness Into Light November 1, 2018
    Out of communal tragedy we strive for hope. The murder of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh has hit our community hard. How do we respond to such an evil act of violence? Obviously not even a week after the attack we are still trying to sort out our feelings. It is important to […]
  • Fake Finds October 25, 2018
    In our era of polarized politics, stories and reports that don’t conform to preconceived ideological positions are often given the label “fake news”. It is much easier to dismiss an argument completely than to investigate it. After bombs were sent to prominent Democrats this week, one attendee outside a political debate held a sign that […]
  • 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 […]