Rabbi Benjamin Adler

Contact Rabbi Adler rabbiadler@adathisraelnj.org

Rabbi Benjamin Adler, has been the spiritual leader of Adath Israel Congregation for the last eight years, since arriving in July 2014. He 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

  • Accommodations vs. Rights January 26, 2023
    Ask any observant adult Jew what calendar year is the best and they will tell you: any year (such as 2023) where the first day of Rosh Hashanah is a Saturday. Why? Because in that case, they will only have to miss one day, Yom Kippur, during the Hebrew month of Tishrei, and thereby avoid […]
  • Our Heritage January 19, 2023
    Who owns our cultural heritage? Is it the person who created a particular work of art or the person who bought it? What if the artist is no longer alive? What if the piece is considered an essential part of the place it originated? Is it then owned by the nation? What if the piece […]
  • Imitation of Life January 13, 2023
    Life imitates art, the old saw goes. Writers and other creators draw on their experiences or events they find in the world, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to find fiction eerily similar to real life. Art has always imitated life; that is why we find it so compelling.  I just finished watching the television […]
  • Decidedly Mixed January 5, 2023
    Earlier today, the Catholic world laid to rest Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope to resign in 600 years. His legacy was decidedly mixed. As a conservative theologian, he was embraced by traditionalists as he disappointed those who wanted to liberalize the church. At the same time, he continued his predecessor’s warm relations with Jews […]
  • Giving and Receiving December 22, 2022
    Holidays have always been a time of celebration, which means that they are also potential opportunities for indulgence. Sometimes joy and revelry can lead to gluttonous excess. Jewish tradition has always looked for ways to keep the spirit of holidays balanced between personal enjoyment and spiritual holiness. One of the best examples is Purim, when […]
  • Great Finds December 15, 2022
    It’s been a few years since the Hallmark Channel sparked controversy with its lineup of Christmas movies that did not reflect the diversity of the American experience. The films were criticized for being too white, too straight, and too Christian. Since then, the channel, and various competitors, have slowly moved to rectify the problem. This […]
  • AI Did Not Write This Post (Mostly) December 8, 2022
    In 1950, the computer scientist Alan Turing developed a test to determine whether a machine could think. A person would converse with a computer through text only. If the person could not tell whether they were speaking to a real person or a computer, the machine would pass the test and therefore be considered intelligent. […]
  • Singular Position December 1, 2022
    When Jewish leaders in America talk about the future of our community, the subjects are usually declining birthrates coupled with increasing rates of intermarriage. The challenges created by these two trends are a shrinking number of people who are interested in creating, sustaining, and participating in Jewish life. Now it seems that we need to […]
  • World Wide November 22, 2022
    As the World Cup of soccer kicks off this week, I have been thinking about the nature of a global sporting event. In America, we have all kinds of “world” championships that are nothing of the sort. The winner of the final tournaments in the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL can, at best, claim the […]
  • Start Talking in Yiddish November 17, 2022
    There is a rich tradition of non-Jewish New Yorkers making use of the Yiddish language. In a city with such a large Ashkenazi population, it was inevitable that surrounding neighbors would adopt the mamaloshen (the mother tongue) of the Jews of Eastern Europe. Working together in sweatshops and small stores, Yiddish slang and colorful curses […]