Rabbi Yitzchok Adler

Beth David Synagogue, West Hartford, CT

Jul 5, 2006

Rabbi Yitzchok Adler has been the spiritual leader of Beth David Synagogue since 1995. He and his wife Leslie came to West Hartford from Jacksonville, Florida, where he served as the Orthodox rabbi for eleven years.

Rabbi Adler studied at the Yeshiva of the South in Memphis, receiving his rabbinical ordination in 1977. In 1976, he graduated from Memphis State University with a degree in Political Science. Prior to assuming the position in Jacksonville, he was a rabbi in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and he served on the rabbinic staff of B'nai Brith Jacob Synagogue in Savannah, Georgia. While in Savannah, he received national commendation by the Orthodox Union for his success in the field of youth work.

Since becoming the rabbi at Beth David, Rabbi Adler has created innovative programming that has helped attract new families, and has helped secure the successful merger of Teferes Israel Synagogue with Beth David.

In 1988, Rabbi Adler was elected to the Executive Board of the Rabbinical Council of America, and served in that capacity for a three year term and in 1994 he was elected to another two terms. In 1989, he was appointed to be the founding chairman of the Rabbinical Council's Southeast Regional Beth Din, a position he held until his relocation to Connecticut. In 1990, Rabbi Adler was appointed to serve on Jacksonville’s Community Relations Commission and the nomination was approved unanimously by the City Council. Rabbi Adler was an adjunct pastoral counselor for Jacksonville's Mental Health Resource Center.

The Rabbi serves the West Hartford community as its mohel and he also is involved in community education. He is a founding board member of the Hebrew High School of New England, and he serves on the faculty of Yachad. Rabbi Adler also sits on various other boards. In addition to being the past president of the Greater Hartford Rabbinic Fellowship, he sits on the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation Hartford Hillel Foundation. He also, serves as the Rabbinic Administrator of the Hartford Kashrut Commission, and is proud of having unified community kashruth standards. He has a particular interest in interdenominational dialogue within the Jewish community.

When asked what he most enjoys in the Rabbinate, Rabbi Adler replied, "The most important aspect of rabbinic service is the privilege of sharing in the lives of the Jewish community. The people we serve might not always agree with us, but we must always be available accessible to all people. The best of rabbis is the merger of Moses and Aaron – to lead with the courage of faith and to love all people unconditionally.”

Rabbi Adler and his wife, Leslie, who hail from Atlanta and New Orleans respectively, are the proud parents of Ariela, Talya and Hillel. They also view congregatational families as extensions of their own.