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.

Community Gatherings

Midweek Meditation
Tuesdays, 5:00-5:45pm
Moderator: Larry Hurst

A midweek meditation for relaxing body and mind.

Midweek Meditation (Online)

A midweek meditation for relaxing body and mind. Larry Hurst moderates. Click here to join at start time | ID 814 7073 5630 | Passcode 158119 You can download Zoom...

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Proactive Meditation and Deep Listening
Fridays, 2:00-3:00pm
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.

Proactive Meditation and Deep Listening (Online)

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...

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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.

Leader Led Courses

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.

Camaraderie and Good Conversation with Leader Joe Chuman: “How America Fractured Into Four Parts” (Online)

Leader Dr. Joe Chuman leads this monthly discussion group focusing on contemporary issues and occasionally classical writings relating to Ethical Culture and Humanism. We will primarily make use of articles...

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Exploring Ethical Humanism
1st Wednesdays, 2:00-3:00pm

These discussions of Ethical Culture beliefs and practices are for newcomers and long-time members alike. We explore the history, ideals, and current interests of the Ethical Society community and our place in the philosophical/religious firmament.

There are no upcoming events at this time

Pathways to Ethical Culture
3rd Wednesdays, 2:00-3:00pm

Ethical Culture is a humanist community that esteems ethics as its core precept, human worth and dignity as its central value, and community, sustainability and freedom as its principal goals.  Where did Ethical Culture come from?  What does it say to us today regarding the human condition? What is its unique contribution for our lives and our future? Join us for a five part program that explores the origins, the history and the values of Ethical Culture – from its founding a century-and-a-half ago to the 21st Century.

Pathways to Ethical Culture: “Our Place in Modern Humanism” (Online)

Ethical Culture is a humanist community that esteems ethics as its core precept, human worth and dignity as its central value, and community, sustainability and freedom as its principal goals.  Where did Ethical Culture come from?  What does...

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Workshops & Discussions

Managing in the Time of COVID-19
Mondays, 2:00-3:00pm
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.

Managing in the Time of COVID-19 w/ Dr. Frank Corigliano

COVID-19 has created challenges for all of us. Retired oncologist Carol Portlock will review recent articles including new science of interest. Clinical psychologist Frank Corigliano will address your concerns about...

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Ethics in The News
Tuesdays, 11:00am-12:00pm
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.

Ethics in the News: “The Downside of Grade Obsession” (Online)

Join in the lively give-and-take on compelling issues and current events and bring your own ideas. Member Joe Fashing moderates. Suggested readings: Two Black Students Won School Honors. Then Came...

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Poetry Circle
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.

Poetry Circle (Online)

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....

Find out more »

Storytelling Circle
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.

Storytelling Circle (Online)

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...

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Colloquy
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.

Colloquy: Silence (Online)

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...

Find out more »

Postponed – Lunchtime Roundtable
Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm

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.

Arts & Culture

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
Tuesdays, 12:00-2:30pm
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 mdetermann@nysec.org 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.

Great Literature Discussion: Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks (Online)

Literary works will be discussed based on what can be found in the text in order to enrich each other’s interpretation of the novel/novella. All are welcome to join and...

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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.

There are no upcoming events at this time

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.