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

  • Strangers to Friends January 20, 2022
    When I was growing up in Texas, we would enter Shabbat services at my synagogue by just opening the unlocked door to get in, and that was pretty much the same way people entered when I became a rabbi and got my first job. In fact, it is essentially the same way people would come […]
  • The Voice January 13, 2022
    Modesty, known as tzniut in Hebrew, has always been a central part of Jewish tradition. The rabbis of the Talmud felt that respectful attire and appearance were important values, especially in the context of prayer. One should not lead services in ripped or torn clothes or pray in situations where people might not be fully […]
  • What is a Legacy? January 6, 2022
    As we commemorate the one-year anniversary of the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, we have to ask, what is the legacy of that day? How will it be remembered and taught in years to come? The answers to these questions are obviously contested and will differ depending on ones politics. The answers […]
  • The Code of Life December 30, 2021
    COVID-19 has forced us to face the limits of science. While we may think that research, data, and experiments should give us definitive answers, the best we can hope for, especially only 2 years after the discovery of a novel virus, are probabilities and educated guesses. Following the science means asking good questions, not expecting […]
  • God in the Net December 23, 2021
    I recently came upon a disturbing statistic. In 2020, for the first time ever, a majority of Americans do not belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque. From 1937 to 2000, the percentage of people who belonged to a religious institution hovered around 70%, but the number today stands at only 47%. For the rabbi […]
  • Schmear Shortage December 16, 2021
    When you are a rabbi, people like to ask you questions. Sometimes the questions are asked in the search for information, and sometimes they are asked to stump me or to point out contradictions. Someone once asked why, if we can’t mix milk and meat or milk and chicken, we can mix milk and fish. […]
  • Final Indignity December 10, 2021
    What does a country owe its citizens, or former citizens? It’s a tricky question but one that we think about all the time when do our taxes or sign up for benefits. An easy answer is that nations owe their citizens whatever the law demands. Kindness, consideration, and empathy don’t usually factor into the equation. […]
  • Sacrificial Light December 2, 2021
    Hanukkah is an unusual holiday for a number of reasons. One, like Purim, it is not mentioned in the Torah, but unlike the former, it is not even mentioned in the Bible at all. Two, its rituals are shrouded in a bit of mystery. The miracle of the oil, which is the origin of our […]
  • Grand Old Flag November 26, 2021
    Recently, our sanctuary was used for a performance by an outside organization. Whenever this occurs, we have to move all of the furniture off of the bima, the raised platform. Because all of this movement can cause some logistical challenges, I was asked if we needed to put the US and Israeli flags back for […]
  • The Impossible Dream November 18, 2021
    In Billy Crystal’s 1992 movie, Mr. Saturday Night, the up-and-coming comic Buddy Young is trying to entice a young woman, who will one day become his wife, to get dinner with him. “These sandwiches are amazing,” he tells her. “Roast pork, yet they’re kosher. I don’t know how they do it!” Buddy may have been […]