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

  • Behind Our Walls September 29, 2022
    Synagogues hold mysteries behind their walls. In my first pulpit as a rabbi, our congregation was undergoing some renovations to make our building more accessible and aesthetically pleasing. One aspect of the project was to beautify a side of the structure that had been the main entrance, but which eventually provided access to the kitchen. […]
  • Unexpected Gift September 22, 2022
    In the tradition of the Jews from Arab and Muslim countries, called Edot HaMizrach, a piyyut (liturgical poem) is added to the evening service of Rosh Hashanah, called Achot Ketanah (Little Sister). The refrain that ends each stanza of the poem reads “The year and its curses is complete” until the last one when the […]
  • Defender of Faith September 15, 2022
    The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the ascension of King Charles III in the United Kingdom has reminded us that democracies need not adhere to the strict separation of church and state that we are accustomed to here in America. The British monarch, in addition to hereditary titles, is also styled the “Defender of […]
  • Royal Treatment September 8, 2022
    The last British monarch to define an era was King Edward VII, who died in 1910. His short stay on the throne was marked by a certain kind of late imperial style of high fashion and aristocratic dominance. For some reason, no member of the royal family since his time has become synonymous with the […]
  • By Choice or By Birth September 1, 2022
    Jewish communities in various places and times have been shaped by the historical circumstances of their existence. The ancient community of Babylonia was influenced by the context of the Zoroastrian and later Muslim empire in which it was situated. Our community in America owes its character to the Protestant democracy where we reside. The societies […]
  • Rabbinic Robots August 18, 2022
    Can a robot replace your job? The answer might depend on what career you have chosen. Factory workers have already had to contend with automatization, and the customer service industry makes extensive use of computerized methods of delivering support. As a rabbi, I am not too worried that one day I will be rendered obsolete […]
  • Sing Along August 11, 2022
    Friday is Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av in the Jewish calendar, which is called by the Talmud one of the most joyous days in all of Israel. Most Jews today don’t even know it exists since there are no rituals or prayers associated with it, but in ancient times it was a day when […]
  • Drip Drip August 4, 2022
    Here in in the Mercer and Bucks County area, we have been experiencing a particularly dry summer with exceedingly hot temperatures, resulting in the leaves of my poplar trees dropping as if it were October. One small side benefit has been that I have not had to mow my lawn quite as much as I […]
  • Difficult Position July 28, 2022
    Before 1948, when the State of Israel declared independence, a shadow Jewish government-in-waiting existed in the British Mandate of Palestine. There was a military organization, the Haganah, whose mission was to protect the Jewish community. There was also a political organization in the Jewish Agency with a hierarchy and leadership who could negotiate with the […]
  • Game Changer July 21, 2022
    Sometimes, what you thought was long ago settled can become an issue again. In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protected same-sex marriage. Since that time, states have adjusted their procedures for obtaining marriage licenses and thousands of couples have gotten married under the new rules. The recent court decision overturning a right […]