We host hundreds of community programs each year with civic advocacy, social justice, and public and individual education at the forefront of our work. We hold forums on key social issues, host discussions on ethics and philosophy, and partner with other organizations to serve the public good. Issues of war, social policy, and human rights have been discussed here by Al Gore, Paul Krugman, Cornell West, Naomi Klein, Toni Morrison and many, many others.
Our building is also a thriving home for arts and culture, with films, theatrical events, book discussions, and writing, music, and art workshops. Our Concert Hall comes alive with a variety of pop, rock, jazz, and classical music programs, including the American Classical Orchestra, the JVC Jazz Festival, the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, the Juilliard School and WFUV’s concert series.
COVID-19 Notice: Please note that due to the pandemic, all of our programming has moved online, and many programs have been rescheduled for weekdays or postponed indefinitely. Please visit our events calendar for our latest program listings.
Caring Committee Living Room
Stop by the Caring Committee’s staffed “living room” on Zoom. It’s an open space people can pop into whenever they need to chat during these stressful times.
Moderator: Larry Hurst
A midweek meditation for relaxing body and mind.
Proactive Meditation and Deep Listening
Moderator: Larry Hurst
In this guided experiential session, we first take time to relax body and mind in order to sense how we really are in each moment. We allow ourselves to focus on listening deeply and empathically for what may be calling for our attention. We stay present with that. This proactive approach to meditating can open up fresh ideas and connections. Moderator Larry Hurst is a certified trainer and workshop leader with the International Focusing Institute.
Postponed – Happy Hour for Humanity Young Professional Meet-Up
4th Fridays, 7-9:00pm, Elliott Library (507)
Discuss current events and the political and personal ethical challenges of the day over drinks! Free for members; $5 public. Includes refreshments.
An ongoing part of our adult education programs, our Leaders run a variety of discussion groups that are open to both members and nonmembers.
Camaraderie and Good Conversation on Topics Philosophical and Newsworthy
with Leader Dr. Joe Chuman
3rd Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30pm
This is a monthly discussion group focusing on contemporary issuese and occasionally classical writings relating Ethical Culture and Humanism. We will primarily make use of articles from journals of opinion and book chapters when relevant. Rather than taking a merely journalistic approach, the discussions will aim to illuminate the philosophical concepts and values which underlie the issues being discussed.
What Is the Ethical Culture ‘Way?’
1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 2:00-3:00pm
Ethical Culture is sometimes called a religion, and sometimes a philosophy. Some consider it a practice and others a way of life. For some it’s an attitude and for others a it’s a self definition. Is there a unique Ethical Culture “way”?
Managing in the Time of COVID-19
Moderators: Dr. Carol Portlock, retired oncologist; Dr. Frank Corigliano, clinical psychologist
COVID-19 has created challenges for all of us. Retired oncologist Carol Portlock and clinical psychologist Frank Corigliano will address your concerns about managing day-to-day during this trying time. You’re invited to share your stories, strengths, and struggles. Suggested readings are available ahead of time in that week’s event listing on our calendar.
Ethics in The News
Moderator: Joe Fashing
Join in the lively give-and-take on compelling issues and current events and bring your own ideas. Suggested readings are available ahead of time in that week’s event listing on our calendar.
Debating the Issues of the Day
Moderator: Sy Amkraut
Sy has been writing a weekly current events blog for several years, and his followers are many. In this program he presents a weekly topic and statements about it, all for discussion and debate.
1st Thursdays, 2:00-3:00pm
Moderator: Elinore Kaplan
Share the poems of your choice. Read them aloud. We’ll listen attentively and discuss some — a line, a word, an image. Tell us a little about the poets, too.
1st and 3rd Thursdays, 5:00-6:00pm
Moderator: Doris Hart
One of the oldest traditions around the world is storytelling — folk tales, fairy tales, historic tales, family tales. Bring whatever story you choose. We’ll gather ’round the virtual campfire and listen.
2nd Thursdays, 11:00am-12:00pm
Moderator: Rev. Dr. Barbara Simpson
Gather in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea, and eat delicious cake. The objective is to increase awareness of death and help people make the most of their (finite) lives. Topics include health care proxy, ethical will, and green burial. Barbara Simpson holds a doctorate in pastoral counseling and is Bereavement Program Community Outreach Coordinator at Caring Hospice Services.
2nd Thursdays, 2:00-3:00pm
Moderator: Elinore Kaplan
This is now an open time slot — for you to fill. Share whatever you like — recipes, games (we could play Trivial Pursuit!), hobbies (show us your paintings, photos, etc.), share a favorite anecdote, view and discuss a TED talk.
3rd Thursdays, 2:00-3:00pm
Share your reflections on the topic based on quotes, parables, poems, etc. presented by the moderator. There are no right or wrong answers, just your individual response shared in a contemplative atmosphere.
Postponed – Lunchtime Roundtable
Bring your lunch and join members for engaging conversation. Folders with relevant articles are also available from Maggie Determann in the Membership office.
Postponed – Ethics, Fair Trade, and You
3rd Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30pm
Ethical NYC Member Andrea Reyes, leader of the NYC Fair Trade Coalition, will connect how our everyday choices and purchases affect the many environmental and social issues facing the world today. Sessions will include a short presentation on topics such as human trafficking and exploitation, overconsumption and waste management, cause related marketing and propaganda, and, body positivity and clothing size standards.
Postponed – Exploring Ethical Dilemmas
3rd Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00pm
What do you do when there’s no clear ethical road to take? Join us every first Monday of the month for this new series featuring speakers from a variety of backgrounds — medicine, law, business, science, education, the arts, social work, etc. — who will share their experiences navigating those ethical minefields.
The Society offers arts and culture programs that include film discussion series, writing workshops, art workshops and theater workshops.
The Joy of Personal Writing Workshops
Moderator: Elaine Berman Gurney
Try your hand at personal non-fiction in a series of classes led by Ethical member Elaine Berman Gurney. You can belong to a supportive group of writers, some just starting and others more experienced, and learn basic and advanced writing skills. All experience levels are welcome!
Advance registration is required for the entire term, with payment made in full before classes begin. Please contact Maggie Determann at email@example.com or 212 874-5210 x1113 for for class and registration information. Fees: $140 for members, $240 for non-members.
Great Literature Discussion Group
1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 7-9pm
Moderator: Gunther Tielemans
Read the selections in advance, and be prepared to discuss the questions that interest you by referring to the specific related text.
Ethics and the Theater
2nd Thursdays, 7-8:30pm
Members of the Society and theater professionals read plays dealing with ethical and moral issues before a live audience. Readings are followed by discussions of the ethical issues raised by the play. Suggested donation: $5 members; $10 public. Includes refreshments.
Postponed – Ethics in Film
1st Fridays, 7-9:00pm, Ceremonial Hall
Monthly film screenings followed by a lively discussion of the ethical issues explored. $5 donation includes snacks and refreshments (popcorn, beer, coffee, tea).
Postponed – Jazz Café
3rd Fridays, 7-9:30pm, Ceremonial Hall.
Hooray for Friday — especially 3rd Fridays at The Café at Ethical, a welcoming place to unwind, relax, and enjoy music, refreshments, and good company. $5 members; $15 public. Includes refreshments.
Some recent reviews:
“Wonderful! A step back in time.” -D. Berkowitz, Asheville, NC
“Totally delighted the whole evening! Classic intimate place, delightful people, and energy the whole time!” – W. T., Brentwood, New York, NY
“The venue for the music was wonderful. There were round tables complete with table clothes and nice mood lighting. The chandeliers were dimmed and it was a nightclub atmosphere. The music was excellent and then there was an open mike so I got to see a number of talented neighborhood folks get up and do their thing. Some people even felt moved to dance. I loved it!” -G. Walsh, Fair Lawn NJ
Concerts At The Society
The Society’s 800-seat Concert Hall is a favorite of musicans because of its warm, full acoustics. From classical music at our Sunday meetings played by Music Director David Gracia, to the many music partners who use our space, the Concert Hall is a gem of New York City venues. The Society presents some of its own music programming and also works with other music presenters to bring the best of music to our wonderful venue.
For a complete list of upcoming concerts, visit Metropolitan Presents.