Ethical Outlook Newsletter

Ethical Outlook Update – May 15, 2020

By May 15, 2020 May 17th, 2020 No Comments


May’s mid-month Ethical Outlook Newsletter is online! Read below to see what the Society and our members have been doing to stay connected while apart.

Contents


Reader’s Contest | At Home | Look Who’s Talking About Ethical | Absentee Ballot for the Primary | Leader’s Desk | The Places We Go | For the Kids (Parents, Too) | Young Ethical Explorers | Sharing & Caring | Mental Health Support | Contact-Tracing Jobs | AEU Activism at a Distance Salon | Our Ethical Family


Reader’s Contest

What contribution can you make to Ethical Outlook?

  • A personal essay (share a memory, an opinion about what’s going on now, a wish or prediction about the future, thoughts about ethics in the time of Covid, memories of times at and with the Ethical Culture Society…)
  • Photographs (with captions), drawings, recipes, activities, resources
  • Your “Ethical Family” News

Send your entry to Elinore Kaplan, Editor, at ethicaloutlook@gmail.com Deadline for receipt: May 23. Winners to be published.

Please Tell Us Your Stories!

How are you coping? Are others – family (including your Ethical Culture family), friends, neighbors, and even strangers — being particularly helpful to you?

How are you helping others to cope? Are you finding ways to be helpful to others — family (including your Ethical Culture family), friends, neighbors, and even strangers?

 

Is it something you/they heard, did, said, sent, gave, or received? What has helped to make a difference?


At Home (a.k.a. Living in Limbo)

“I never knew being at home could be so exhausting!” —Anonymous

What We’re Watching

THE ACTOR’S STUDIO

James Lipton interviews actors and actresses.

NATIONAL THEATER

Check their website; they stream a different excellent play from their archives every week. https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home

BEST OF BROADWAY

Subscribers have access to hundreds of Broadway plays—dramas, comedies, musicals—from the archives. It’s $8.99/month, with a 7-day free trial. https://www.broadwayhd.com

PARKS IN BLOOM

Tune in to NYC Parks at Home for Wednesday evening virtual walks through our city parks to watch spring and summer unfold. Besides live park tours, they’re also providing meditation, fitness, art classes, and fun activities for kids. For a Central Park exclusive, take their Wednesday afternoon walk (4:15): https://www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/parks-at-home and https://twitter.com/CentralParkNYC.

DANCE AT JACOB’S PILLOW

This beloved now 88-year old institution, host to dance groups of all genres –modern, tap, ballet, and more—which many of us visit as part of the Berkshire’s summer delights, is showing videos of past performances. https://www.jacobspillow.org/virtual-pillow/

Armchair Travel: Music, Museums, and More!

Never made it to the Louvre? Here’s your opportunity:

A one-stop gets all is Google’s Arts & Culture.

In most cases you can just Google the museum by name and get to their collections online. This works with most of the museums in NYC, including the American Museum of Folk Art, the Museum of Art and Design, the Frick and the Morgan, Cooper-Hewitt and New York Historical Society, among others.

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION (Reruns)

These are on YouTube, each for one week.

What We’re Listening To

CONCERTS AT KAUFMAN

#OnlineEncores from Kaufman Music Center

COPING WITH COVID ANXIETY

Emotions are difficult to cope with ordinarily, but during this global pandemic those emotions—fear, boredom, grief, confusion—are heightened, and we’re challenged to cope with them. Susan David, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, offer us strategies—a support system, toolkit, and an understanding voice during a time of great uncertainty.

Checking In with Susan David.    

HOW WE’RE SOCIALIZING

(Recommended by Momentum)

  • Meeting up with friends has been put on pause, but catching up can still happen! The House Party App is a great way to see your pals and play fun games (even grandparents can do it!). Download on iOS, Android, MacOS, and
  • Time flies when you’re playing Jackbox Games. Get a group of friends on Zoom to play these “online board games,” including Quiplash, Push the Button, Joke Boat, and so much more. With video conferencing integration, this is a great, fun, and distanced way to connect with others. Individual games and party packs are available for purchase
  • Miss going to trivia nights? A bar in Brooklyn is taking their trivia nights online! Every Wednesday at 8pm Boilermaker hosts itstrivia night through Twitch. You submit answers through a Google Form. It’s a lot of fun and also doubles as a fundraiser for the bar staff who are no longer able to work.

What Else We’re Doing

Taking Snapshots

A splendid peacock at St. John’s Cathedral — David Vassar

Cooking

Fennel Salad (Ellen McBride)

Ingredients

  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • ½ C asiago, shredded or shaved
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • juice of one lemon
  • bunch of arugula
  • ½ C olive oil

Instructions

  • Finely slice fennel (julienne if you can).
  • Rinse beans and mix them with most of the fennel.
  • Add some olive oil and lemon juice and let it all marinate.
  • Toss in asiago cheese, a handful of arugula, and the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Serve over more arugula. Add some fronds of fennel. 

Fried Zucchini (Elinore Kaplan)

Insert zucchini photo

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis, thinly sliced (1/4”)
  • ½ C grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 C Panko or breadcrumbs
  • ½ C flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ C olive or vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat
  • Combine the Panko and Parmesan cheese
  • Dip the zucchini slices first in flour, then in the eggs, and then in the Panko/Parmesan mix, pressing to coat them
  • Put the zucchini rounds in the heated oil and cook about a minute on each side until golden and crispy
  • Remove and drain the slices on a paper towel
  • Serve immediately

NEXT ISSUE: Send us your recipes for “snack comfort foods” or anything else you’ve been cooking/baking.

Carol is Cross-Stitching

We’ve been following the progress of Carol’ Portlock’s cross-stitching project for 7 weeks now.  She explained early on, “I am trying to depict the beauty of the natural world emerging in spite of the pandemic.” Here, in week 8, Carol says, “The reservoir is slow to fill. The tent hospital will be dismantled but will stay in this rendering. The memory of spring will fade, but not that of  The Covid Spring!”

Deep Attention — Thoughtful Action

In the The Art of Noticing, writer Rob Walker says that the crucial skill to any creative process is “Taking the extra time to give attention to details, to colors, to textures and to movement.” He calls this skill “deep attention.” So much of our lives are on a time schedule that we don’t develop that skill. Some of us do work on it, though, because its benefits are vast.

Mindfulness develops the skill of deep attention. We discipline ourselves to stop, slow down our thought, and focus on things we don’t otherwise give any attention, such as our breathing. The process is deeper than that, though. We slowly follow the threads of our thoughts, getting in touch with some we would have otherwise skipped past. We “listen” to our bodies, feel the sensation of the air itself upon us. And we hear the sounds that we also don’t usually have an awareness of — the leaves rustling, the pad of feet on the ground, the chirping of a bird.

Ethical Leader Dr. Richard Koral contributed an excerpt from Walker’s book for an Ethical Inspiration on April 30th. These are some suggestions that you may find quite appealing — if you want to notice and pay attention.

  • Observe—really look at—a familiar scene outside your window and find three new things.
  • Tuneinto everyday objects that could be art – railings, door handles, a shoe’s crease.
  • Sketcha room that you just left.

And here are a couple more, having to do with memories.

  • Picture, in as fine a detail as you can, the faces of those you knew — childhood friends and relatives.
  • Linger on the objects in your home — that artwork, that piece of furniture, the paperweight, those items on shelves and tabletops. When did you get them? Did you purchase that one in an antique store upstate? Was that one a gift from a friend? Is that from your parents’ home? What was going on in your life when you acquired each item?
  • Look at your photos. Pause over some to fully recall when they were taken and what memory accompany that one captured moment.

This last exercise, one of contemplation, can lead to action. With their children in mind, one couple is going through all their albums, discarding photos that no longer carry meaning, and writing memories to accompany the photos. It will be a gift to their children, chockfull of stories about their childhood and their family. Another friend is sharing photos from her past with friends and family. With each, she’s sending just a sentence or two about the occasion.

Please send us your suggestions and contributions.  


Look Who’s Talking About Ethical Culture

“We have a place in our Sunday meeting where people can share major joys and concerns in their lives. When we’ve done that in person, people come forward, put a flower in a vase and share, and then go back and sit down.” —Jone Johnson Lewis, Leader, Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture

“People have been sharing their experiences with one another and discussed coping mechanisms on how to handle the ongoing quarantine. A lot of the members are an older population and they may be dealing with additional stress from the isolation and social distancing.” –Richard Koral, Leader, Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island

“The values of humanism are found in many ways in many traditional religions.” –James Croft, Ethical Society of St. Louis


The New York State Primary is On!

Absentee Voting in the New York State Primary (June 23)

Governor Cuomo released an executive order that allows all New Yorkers to vote absentee in upcoming elections, even if they do not meet the usual criteria.

The Board of Elections (BOE) began sending absentee ballot applications the week of May 11 — with prepaid postage for their return. All registered voters in New York will receive a paper application to fill out and return by mail. The BOE will then mail you your ballot. If you are worried you have not received your ballot yet, call the Board of Elections directly at 1-866-VOTE-NYC (1-866-868-3692). You can also go online to apply for an absentee ballot here  or here: www.NYCAbsentee.com.

Select the “temporary illness or physical disability” reason when completing your application. Print out the application, sign and date it, and snail-mail it to:

New York County Board of Elections
200 Varick Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10014

You may also print it, fill it out, and scan it to an email: voterreg@boe.nyc.ny.us or fax it to: 646-638-2046 .
The last day to postmark your absentee ballot application or apply online is June 16, and the last day to apply for an absentee ballot in person is June 22.

Completed ballots must be postmarked by June 22 or returned in person by Election Day, June 23.

ARE YOU OUT OF TOWN? Absentee ballots are always available for registered voters who are traveling or unavailable on Election Day. When you apply for an absentee ballot, you will be able to provide the appropriate mailing address for your absentee ballot. Your voter registration in Manhattan will not change, no matter where you request an absentee ballot be mailed.

For Board of Election information in other counties, visit this website: https://www.elections.ny.gov/countyboards.html

NOTE: You may be receiving two ballots, one for the national primary and one for the state primary.


Leader’s Desk: Can Lessons Ever Be Learned and Wisdom Ever Attained?

By Leader Dr. Richard Koral

One of the mysteries in life that always confounded me was that mistakes happen. That people screw up. That there are misjudgments and oversights and that even the best-laid plans go awry. The question is whether lessons can be learned and if wisdom can ever, really, be attained.

The human race emerged in nature with one truly revolutionary attribute that was only hinted at in the highest forms of life that preceded it. Humans have the capacity to share knowledge and experience. Not only can people share information across a group, but also across generations. People can pass their hard-earned wisdom and experience as cultural tropes and skills. What is even more extraordinary is that about 8,000 years ago people created systems of writing which enabled them to preserve their knowledge in a form accessible to others who don’t even know them or live in their same space and time.

So, why do people keep forgetting lessons of the past and continue making mistakes when the answers are all written down?  By now, we should have logged and catalogued every remedy, every process and procedure, every precaution and every cure. Of course, as science progresses, we replace old pages with new pages and keep the book of knowledge up-to-date, as it were.  It’s all there.

A big government like that of the USA, with lots of money and a rich heritage of advanced science and research, should have every expectable eventuality pretty well figured out and planned for. Not that every possible happenstance can be anticipated, naturally, but we can reasonably anticipate a whole range of accidents and occurrences that might confront our world

So why do we seem to keep making such bush-league errors of judgment in responding to big challenges? Clearly, Covid19, Katrina, and Sandy have been outsized challenges at the very edge of our experience, but they were well within the range of expectation.

Some people say that inefficiency and chaos are simply the natural traits and charms of a rough and tumble capitalistic, free market democracy. America will never be the precise, greased gear system that an authoritarian centralized system is purported to be and, moreover, those systems always seem to fail under strain, too. Their structural corruption leaves them rotten at the core.

But what must we do to enable the smart and informed folks to be heard at the level of decision making? Clearly, they were not being heard in January and February when the coronavirus stalked the world. And clearly, they are not being heard at the EPA, where climate policy needs to be made.

Donald Trump ushered in an era of antagonism against knowledge and expertise and in favor of gut-based, fact-free, error-prone, corruption-friendly decision making.  Wikipedia defines anti-intellectualism as being epitomized by people who present themselves as champions of “common folk.” Those who are populists are vying against political and academic elites; they tend to see educated people as a status class that is detached from the concerns of ordinary people. Town/gown hostility is not new. But America’s habit of electing officials — from presidents to senators to school boards — with anti-science biases is causing real damage.   Every child taught creationism in biology class equals a person who condones the President’s anti-science agenda. Every year the country defers the change needed to slow global warming makes extreme weather events unavoidable.

Can’t science be humanized, idealized and made heroic to those in the outer hustings of the electorate? Maybe we need less shaming and more science fashionistas.  Maybe we need less Sam Harris and more Neil deGrasse Tyson. Less Kardashian and more Natalie Portman. Hedy Lamarr, where are you?


The Places We’ll Go

By Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM

Often it takes something major to wake us up
as we struggle to maintain an illusion of control.

In life, most of us want things to go to the places we have envisioned ourselves going. We have plans and visions…that we want to see through to completion. We want to be happy, successful, and healthy, all of which are perfectly natural and perfectly human. So, when life takes us to places we didn’t consciously want to go, we feel as if something has gone wrong, we must have made a mistake somewhere along the line, or any number of other disheartening possibilities. This is just life’s way of taking us to a place we need to go for reasons that go deeper than our own ability to reason…

Often it takes something major to wake us up, to shake us loose from our ego’s grip as it struggles to maintain an illusion of control. It is loss of control more than anything else that humbles us and enables us to see the big picture…. To soften and lighten us as we release our resistance to what is…

We can take our inspiration from any fairy tale that finds its central character lost in a dark wood, frightened and alone. We know that the journey through the wood provides its own kind of beauty and richness. On the other side, we will emerge transformed, lighter and brighter, braver and more confident for having moved through that darkness.

Excerpted from DailyOM.


For The Kids — and Parents Too

LET’S LEARN (K-2)

WNET Group in partnership with the NYC Department of Education is featuring lessons covering foundational reading skills, literacy, math, social studies, and science. Episodes air on weekdays at 11am on channel Thirteen and will continue through the end of the school year. They are also available to livestream at thirteen.org/live.

SPLASH!

Young children never seem to tire of playing with and in water. And water is so harmless and easily cleaned up. Fill the sink and let them float, fill, and spill non-breakable toys and kitchen items. Fill the tub and add others for more wet fun.

READY…SET…ACTION!

Become a movie producer! It’s easy if you’ve got a smartphone. The kids will have to create the story and dialogue—original or otherwise—sets and costumes. And then video the whole production. Share it with others via email.

SOMETHING’S COOKIN’

Young and older kids can be involved in food prep. Roll those meatballs. Shuck that corn. Beat those eggs. They can be involved in the menu planning as well.

Podcasts

EAR SNACKS

Young children voice their opinions on a range of subjects—music, science, art and culture—to the catchy music and songs of Andrew and Polly (they created music for Sesame Street, among others). It’s a fun, sometimes silly, often thoughtful, family-friendly podcast. http://andrewandpolly.com/earsnacks

SHORT & CURLY

These episodes of the Australian podcast teach children about ethics, making philosophy accessible to youngsters. There’s even a “pause” button listeners hit at key moments to think and discuss. A number of episodes are related to the current crisis. http://andrewandpolly.com/earsnacks

SPYSCAPE

This museum, which has very engaging and intriguing interactive experiences, has launched True Spies, a podcast series hosted by Hayley Atwell. Each episode focuses on a different real-life spy who was behind a historic operation. What did they have to do and what skills did they need to do it? And, what would the listener have done in their place?  (Probably good for 10 and older.)

Video Games

Animal Crossing: New Horizons — Build a society on an island full of cute animals. It’s fun for the whole family. Being immersed in this idyllic, underpopulated, animated island pushes away thoughts about what’s going on in our real world for a while.

Online

FAMILY FUN AT THE GARDEN

The New York Botanical Garden has launched NYBG at Home for Kids & Families, an online compilation of education and fun, so parents can supplement their kids’ at-home learning with plant-based activities, recipes, videos, lessons, and more. Cook dinner with the Edible Academy, start your home garden, and download activities to encourage a love of nature.

#MetKids, its youth education initiative. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/metkids/

STORYTIME

Mom and dad reading stories at bedtime is a treasured memory for many of us. Today there’s also an opportunity to have actors read and/or the authors themselves read some of the kids’ favorites. Partnering with Save the Children and No Kids Hungry, Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams are offering stories on Instagram. For a $10 donation, families can access these.  @savewithstories

GAMES — PERENNIAL FAVORITES

20 QUESTIONS

The “leader” thinks of a person, place, or thing, and the players try to guess, within 20 Yes-No questions (but this can be flexible) what it is.

I WENT ON A TRIP

…and took a suitcase, and in it I put…Stick with the alphabet, so the first player might put in an albatross, and the next a box of biscuits. The more outlandish the better. Each subsequent player must first rattle off all the items before his turn, and then add the next one.

GEOGRAPHY

The first player names a city, state, or country. The next names another that starts with the last letter of what was named, and so on. A variation is to use animals instead of geographic locations.


Young Ethical Explorers & SEEK

May’s theme – Ethical Heroes, Real and Imaginary: Heroes of Nature and Heroes of Nurture!

The coordinators of both Ethical NYC’s Young Ethical Explorers (YEE) and the American Ethical Union’s new virtual Sunday Ethical Education for Kids (SEEK) are creating new online educational and enrichment opportunities for parents and children during these tumultuous times using Zoom! YEE meets every Sunday at 11:00am, and SEEK meets every other Sunday at 3:00pm. Both programs are free but RSVP is required.

To RSVP for YEE and/or SEEK, please contact Ethical NYC’s Youth Programs Director Audrey Kindred at youngethicalexplorers@gmail.com. For more information about all of our youth programming, please visit ethical.nyc/youth and YoungEthicalExplorers.blogspot.com.


Local Heroes

Remember that famous masked stranger of early radio (he was first on radio in 1933) and television (1949-1957) years? The Lone Ranger. Wearing an over-the-eyes black mask and a white hat (the good guys always wore white hats), the once Texas Ranger would ride into town on his trusty horse, Silver, with his perennial sidekick, Tonto, and defeat whatever evildoer was threatening the townspeople. And when some awed townsman would ask, “Who was that masked man?” it’s likely that kids across America would chorus, “He’s the Lone Ranger!” Always a hero.

If you’re one of those who’s making a point of wearing a face mask and maintaining that 6-foot social-distancing when you go out, hurray for you! Everyone who is abiding by these commonsense guidelines is a hero. You’re showing great consideration for everyone else and protecting yourself as well.

Yes, they’re a bother. They’re inconvenient. They’re a nuisance. And the nicer the weather gets, the more of a nuisance they will be. We’d all love to just be open-faced, inhaling the fresh spring air. And it would be so much easier, more comfortable and natural, when walking with someone at that safe distance and trying to converse, and not be somewhat muffled and have to repeat ourselves.

But we’re doing it. Because it’s really so little to ask. And if that’s all we can do to help curb this crisis, we’ll continue to put up with the nuisance of it. Yes, “ke-mo sab-ee” (good friends), it’s kind of heroic. Let’s celebrate the masked heroes of today.


Sharing and Caring

Grab and Go Meals

In this time of historic high unemployment, many New Yorkers are experiencing food insecurity for the first time. Grab-and-Go meals are available for all, and participants are able to pick up three meals. To find a location, text “NYCFOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 or visit  https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/food/free-meal

One Week of Free Groceries

The Department of Probation, Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) have opened one kitchen in each borough — to distribute free food, available to any New Yorker who needs it:
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/neon/programs/nutrition-kitchen.page

Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)—In more than half of New York’s 62 counties, COADs — county-level networks of community organizations, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals working together to plan community responses to a variety of emergency and disaster situations — are coordinating efforts, reducing duplication of services, and working with the New York Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NYVOAD).  This whole community approach leverages existing assets, ensures that recovery efforts meet the community’s actual needs, and builds resilience throughout the state.

https://nyvoad.communityos.org/cms/home


Mental Health Support

In this stressful time, resources are available. Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal continues to publish updates about this and other news related to the Covid crisis. You can get on her email list: rosenthall@nyassembly.gov   Below is an excerpt about mental health services, but her emails provide much more information.

MENTAL HEALTH HOTLINE

Nearly 10,000 mental health professionals have signed up to help staff the new mental health hotline, which allows New Yorkers to call in and schedule appointments with a mental professional for free at 844.863.9314.

NYC WELL

Call 1-888-NYC-WELL or Text “WELL” to 65173.  https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us

The Friendly Visiting Program

This program connects older New Yorkers who are feeling isolated with friendly volunteers to talk with over the phone: 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469). Other mental health resources, including those for veterans and caregivers are also available.  https://thrivenyc.cityofnewyork.us/mental_health_support_while_home

Family Justice Centers

Although these centers are physically closed, you can call any of the borough centers for help with safety planning, mental health and planning, legal help, and/or help in connecting to law enforcement agencies.  https://www1.nyc.gov/site/ocdv/get-help/covid-19-update.page The -24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-621-4673.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Immigrants

The NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has published a resource guide specifically for immigrant communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and, in coordination with the Open Society Foundation, is working to provide emergency relief to those immigrants ineligible for stimulus relief.  https://www1.nyc.gov/site/immigrants/help/city-services/resources-for-immigrant-communities-during-covid-19-pandemic.page

National Alliance of Mental Illness of NYC (NAMI-NYC) Helpline 10 am-6 pm: 212-684-3264 or helpline@naminyc.org

The CDC provides a Resources list for managing stress and anxiety in response to COVID-19

The Institute for Urban Family Health provides free medical and mental health clinics for the uninsured.

Emotional Support for Healthcare Workers

NY State is partnering with the Kate Spade New York Foundation and Crisis Text Line to provide a 24/7 emotional support service for frontline health care workers, who can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741. And the state has directed insurers to waive all cost sharing, co-pays, and deductibles for essential workers seeking mental health services during this crisis.

FOR OLDER ADULTS (55+)

Service Program for Older People (SPOP) is providing behavioral health care. They are accepting referrals for their clinic, bereavement support groups, and PROS/Personalized Recovery Oriented Services. They provide psychotherapeutic and psychiatric services as well as rehabilitation support for adults with serious mental illness. SPOP accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and third-party insurance. Medical providers and other professionals can make a referral through the website, www.spop.org. They also provide behavioral health care for adults via approved telehealth connection. Call 212-787-7120 ext.514.


Contact Tracing Jobs

The state is undertaking a very large-scale contact-tracing project to isolate the virus and reduce new positive cases, beginning shortly and continuing through the next flu season. Labs will report new positive cases daily to contact-tracers who will then interview anyone who tests positive about their interactions over the previous 14 days, and then reach out to anyone who may have been in contact with the person who tested positive so that those people can isolate if necessary.

It is recommended that States have 30 tracers for every 100,000 infected individuals. New York State expects to need at least 6,400 tracers, perhaps thousands more, depending on the number of new COVID-19 cases.

Former Mayor Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University have begun to develop and finance the program. New York State is also working with SUNY and CUNY to identify medical students who can serve as tracers. Training will be completed online and administered by John Hopkins University. They will have to pass an exam to qualify. Government workers who are home without work will also transition to become part of the tracing team.

Employment opportunities

The Fund for Public Health in New York City is seeking tracers to help identify and record those diagnosed with COVID-19. Applicants must have experience in a health-related field or have some type of public health training. The positions offer salaries of $57,000 as well as benefits.

Tracers will be provided the necessary equipment to work from home, though the position may require some in-person visits to various settings. For more information and to apply, visit this link.

The New York State Department of Health is also listing jobs for those interested in becoming involved in the contact tracing project:

  • Contact Tracers: Reach out to the contacts of anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 to assess symptoms, ensure compliance with quarantine, and determine social support needs.
  • Team Supervisors: Lead a team of 20 Contact Tracers and one Community Support Specialist who are working remotely using digital tools.
  • Community Support Specialists: Work with the team to address the support needs of those who are contacts, especially those who are under Isolation or Quarantine.

NEW! “Activism at a Distance” Online Salon

By Bart Worden, AEU Executive Director

The coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing that has accompanied it have made life difficult for those of us who would otherwise be in the streets and on the ramparts fighting for social justice. However, these times call for strong and concerted efforts, so we need to get creative and pursue alternative routes to the seats of power and develop better megaphones to broadcast our concerns and demands to the wider public.

Come join us on Tuesdays at 8:30pm via Zoom for the AEU’s Activism at a Distance virtual salon. Our theme will be “Saving Our Democracy Through Voting.” We’ll focus on ways and means to have safe, timely, and fair elections (despite the coronavirus) and on ways to organize campaigns to make that happen.

Each session will include a brief presentation, group discussion, and campaign-organizing activities you can use with whatever organizations you connect with.

Our first session will feature a presentation by Bart Worden who will map out challenges and opportunities for elections that are free, fair, safe, secure, and accessible.

Come out and invite your friends and family to come, too!

Hope to see you there!

Bart Worden, AEU Executive Director
Carolyn Parker, Chair of the Ethical Action Committee

The New York Society for Ethical Culture is a proud founding member of the American Ethical Union (AEU), the federation of Ethical Societies across the nation.


Our Ethical Family

Congratulations to Michelle Ainsworth who is a fine writer and member of the National Book Critics Circle, for having a heartfelt essay and two book reviews accepted for publication. One review is of The Secret History of Magic: The True story of the Deceptive Art, by Peter Lamont and Jim Steinmeyer, and the other is a comparison of  The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini, by Joe Posnanski and Houdini: The Life and Times of the World’s Greatest Magician, by Charlotte Montague, and appear in the current issue of Skeptic magazine (for sale at newsstands, Barnes & Noble, and at Skeptic.com/magazine). Michelle’s sensitive essay about her transgender experience, “How Could I Be a Woman” has been published by You and Me, an online medical magazine. It can be read at

http://www.youandmemagazine.com/articles/how-could-i-be-a-woman.

We mourn the loss of Ray Schiller.

Share your news (special occasions, happenings in your life! Email editor, Elinore Kaplan at ethicaloutlook@gmail.com.

Happy birthday to:

Anne Klaeysen, Janet Rose, and Bob Tapp – 5/21

Maria Solé – 5/24

Dina Gregory – 5/25

Phyllis Lowinger and J.C. Sobel – 5/27

Kathleen Herrera – 5/29

Alice Kahn Ladas – 5 /30


Contribute to Ethical Outlook

This newsletter is as good as you make it–please share with us! Write an article, write a poem, or send a picture (and caption). Tell us what you’re doing or share what you’re thinking. Send it all to our Editor Elinore Kaplan at ethicaloutlook@gmail.com.

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