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

  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]