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

  • Tell Me What You Eat July 11, 2019
    What makes a food Jewish? The easy answer is any dish that Jews cook, or really, any food that Jews like to eat. Of course, if that is the definition then Chinese cuisine would be a subset of Jewish food. The reality is that it is hard to define what makes a particular food Jewish. […]
  • We are the Jewish People July 3, 2019
    Each year when my kids go to camp I follow their activities through various communications platforms. Their camp, Camp Ramah in New England, posts pictures each day, has a blog with short updates on various activities and keeps everyone up to date on multiple social media channels. Unlike my parents who had to wait for […]
  • Who’s Your Rabbi? June 27, 2019
    Recently I have been re-watching the TV show The Wire, which many, including me, consider the greatest of all time. For those who are not familiar with it, The Wire is nominally a police procedural, following the drug trade in Baltimore, Maryland, but it is so much more than that, delving deep into the bureaucracy […]
  • National Atonement June 20, 2019
    The House of Representatives this week began hearings on the question of reparations for slavery in the United States. The issue, which has been discussed many times since the Civil War ended, has somehow become part of the 2020 presidential debate. Many of the Democratic candidates support some form of compensation to descendents of former […]
  • Sabbath Pie June 13, 2019
    I have a confession to make: sometimes I get sick of challah on Shabbat. While I love a delicious loaf of freshly baked egg bread, week after week it can get monotonous. According to tradition, we have two loaves of bread at our Shabbat evening and afternoon meals, but there is no requirement that it […]
  • Order of the Day June 6, 2019
    The past comes alive when a personal story intersects the historical narrative. My grandfather, Martin Epstein, was at D-Day, whose 75th anniversary is today. As an army engineer, he wasn’t part of the first waves, but probably came ashore hours after the initial assault. Unfortunately, my grandfather died when I was a year old so […]
  • Do Over May 30, 2019
    Despite the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the Israeli election last month by getting the most votes for his party (although tied with another party) and having the pledge of 65 Knesset members (out of 120) to recommend him for leadership, he has failed to form a governing coalition and new elections are […]
  • Jewish Fantasy May 24, 2019
    A few years ago I began a sermon by referring to the TV show Game of Thrones, which just wrapped up its successful run this week. That Shabbat was an auf-ruf, the marital blessing for a couple before their wedding, and the groom happened to be reading the novels on which the show is based. […]
  • On the Page, in Our Mouths May 16, 2019
    As a rabbi, I am biased toward texts over other forms of religious expression, such as meditation, mystical experiences or visual arts. As a rabbi trained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, I am biased toward a particular type of text: those produced by the ancient and medieval sages on law and lore. Unfortunately, this focus […]
  • Begin with Shame, Conclude with Praise May 9, 2019
    The two weeks after Passover in Israel are a carefully crafted national narrative. About four days after celebrating the freedom of the Exodus from Egypt in the distant past, the nation commemorates the depths of the Holocaust with Yom Hashoah. A week later, Israelis remember the fallen in war and terrorism on Memorial Day, Yom […]