As a volunteer organization, we rely on your participation, ideas, and experience.

Find out more about the workings behind the scenes by caring members and consider participating on one of these committees or their subcommittees or task forces. If you’d like to speak with the chairs of any of these committees, and possibly attend a meeting to get a sense of where you might best utilize your interests, experience, time and energy, speak with Maggie Determann, Assistant to the Leaders for Membership Development.

The more you put into the Society, the more you get out of it.

If you’re considering joining one of the committees and would like to sit in on a meeting, contact the committee chair (via the membership directory) to arrange a visit.

Programming Committees

Communications Committee
Chair: Elinore Kaplan

We work on the public presentation of Ethical NYC—communication within and beyond — with the aim of creating greater awareness of the Society among members, potential members, and the public through clear and consistent messaging, branding and publicizing of our programs, events, members, aims, and accomplishments. This includes coordinating communication in the areas of public relations, advertising, print, audio/video, social media, and the website, as well as between and among Ethical committees and staff.

Ethical Action Committee
Co-Chairs: Janet Rose and Steve Serling
Our purpose is to engage members and others in actions that will help to eradicate injustice in our city, state, country and world — with the aim of making the world a safe, secure place where every person everywhere is treated with decency and fairness. We coordinate our efforts with other Societies around the country, and network with neighborhood groups that share our concerns. We enlighten others and ourselves through book discussions, films, seminars, workshops, and lectures. And we participate in direct political action, whether it’s joining groups and marching regarding specific causes, or lobbying City Hall, Albany, or Washington to get needed legislation passed.

Society Awards
Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross Public Service Award
Ethical Humanist Award
Community Service Award

Affiliated Groups
Amnesty International NYC
League of Women Voters NYC

Environmental Stewardship Committee
Co-Chairs: Monica Weiss and Vince Brancato

We gather and share information about environmental issues with members and the general public through a variety of formats (Platforms, interviews, films, educational events) promote actions to help bring human activity into harmony with the need to protect the Earth’s natural systems (sustainable practices and policies); and work with NYSEC and in partnership with other individuals and organizations to carry out this mission.

Affiliated Groups
Climate Reality Project-NYC
Food & Water Watch NYC
NYC Grassroots Alliance

Ethical Enrichment Committee
Chair: Janet Rose
We seek to create a wide range of offerings focusing on the mind and spirit. All programs are intended to reflect the philosophy of Ethical Culture. We sponsor programs leading to personal growth and development throughout all of life within the context of a caring and committed community.

Ethical Adventures Subcommittee
We are responsible for organizing outings for members and guests, such as walks, hikes, bike rides, museum visits, and more.

Ethics and the Theater Subcommittee
Chair: Pat Debrovner

We offer our members and guests a stimulating theater experience and, by engaging them in our post-play reading discussions, the opportunity to gain greater insight into the ethical and moral behavior of the characters in our plays. We hope that the Ethics and the Theater experiences can help our participants to build ethical relationships in their personal lives.

Membership Committee
Co-Chairs: Scotty Embree and Liz Singer

We are dedicated to increasing the Ethical NYC membership through member recruitment: bringing in new members of all ages, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, etc.; and member retention: strengthening the Ethical “community fiber” so that members are motivated to stay on and participate in the Ethical activities. This includes an emphasis on hospitality — helping to make newcomers, new members, and event attendees feel welcome at Ethical, and motivating them to want to learn more about us.

Caring Subcommittee
Chairs: Beth Everett and Bob Berger

We keep in touch with members who are homebound or in need of visits and calls to share our concern.

Fund Development Subcommittee
Chair: Sue Bremer

We’re responsible for Member fund-raising development through a variety of revenue sources , including the annual pledge drive, capital project drives, and other fundraising events, endowments, bequests, and donations.

Sunday Programs Committee
Chair: Monica Weiss
We organize and monitor all Society activities that take place on Sundays. This begins with early-morning activities, includes social hour and lunch, and afternoon programs. We select outside speakers, coordinate music and choose shared charities for the platform meetings, plan the flow of the platform, and organize greeters and presiders; also coordinating with the leaders in planning intergenerational festivals and celebrations.

Youth and Family Programs Committee
We help organize Young Ethical Explorers, the Society’s Humanist Sunday school, along with our Teen Leadership and parenting programs.

Administrative Committees

Audit Committee
This committee is responsible for overseeing the Society programs authorized by the Board of Directors, with primary focus on financial accountability and responsible finacial management. It works closely with the Society’s accountants to insure meaningfulness, accuracy, and usefulness of financial records; reviewing the Society’s security procedures, risk management, insurance coverage, and other aspects of the Society’s fiduciary activities referred to by the Board.

Building Committee
Co-Chairs: Bill Baker and Howard Rose

This committee has primary responsibility for maintaining our building in a safe, secure, economically sound, and environmentally appropriate manner for the benefit of Society members, rental clients, and the many guests who attend events in the Meetinghouse. The committee reviews and authorizes routine maintenance and emergency repair expenses and initiates projects intended to improve the appearance and functionality of the building, with particular attention to improvements that will increase rental revenues, which are essential to our ability to function as a Society.

Archives Subcommittee
Chair: L Miller

This subcommittee is responsible for the preservation and cataloguing of Society history.

Bylaws and Policies Committee
Co-Chairs: Elinore Kaplan
This committee receives and reviews amendments to the bylaws proposed by members. It may propose amendments of its own. The committee shall act in advisory capacity to the Trustees and members and oversee the basic policies and operations of the Society to assure that the objectives of the Society are being fulfilled. It shall evaluate the bylaws and propose changes to the Trustees.

Finance Committee
Chair: Joe Fashing

The finance committee works with the Treasurer and Executive Director to develop the annual budget. It is concerned with the management of income and spending, and handles overall supervision and setting of fiscal policy.

Endowment Subcommittee
Chair: Tom Weishaar
This subcommittee seeks and accepts applications for funds from the Society’s endowments. It makes prudent recommendations for their investment and ensures that endowments are properly used.

Personnel Committee
Co-Chairs: L Miller and Bill Baker
This Committee oversees human resource and board support functions of our staff.

Rentals Committee
Chair: Jim Farer

This committee seeks ways to maximize the value and return on space rentals as well as to safeguard the property. 

Trustee Nominating Committee
Chair: Elinore Kaplan
This committee shall be active throughout its term to identify and develop qualified individuals for Trustees as well as identify candidates for other leadership positions in the Society.  This committee is appointed anew every year. It consists of five members of the Society: two from the board—one, the chair, appointed by the President and three from the general membership.

Social Service Board (SSB)

United Social Services, Inc./Social Service Board is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization affiliated with the New York Society for Ethical Culture. We leverage our resources to provide direct services to marginalized and underserved people in New York City. We build listening relationships to develop responsive programs that alleviate the symptoms of systemic injustice to promote a more compassionate city.

Partner Organizations:
Black Psychiatrists of Greater New York and Associates
Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP)
Radical Age Movement

2019 Board of Directors:
Henryka Komanska, Ph.D., Chair
Meg Chapman, Vice Chair
Sue Bremer, Treasurer
Leslie Doyle, Secretary
Bob Berger
Alice Fisher
Robert Gangi
Sarah Karpati
Marlene E. Williamson
Elizabeth Singer, ex-officio, President, NYSEC
Richard Van Deusen, ex-officio, Treasurer, NYSEC
Dr. Richard Koral, Leader Advisor