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 or postponed indefinitely. Please visit our events calendar for our latest program listings. For fully vaccinated Society members, we’ve also started offering in-person attendance for some “hybrid” programs, and vaccinated members of the public are invited to attend our Sunday programs. Unvaccinated individuals are invited to attend programs via Zoom.
Moderator: Larry Hurst
A midweek meditation for relaxing body and mind.
Getting to Know You (Members Only)
4th Thursdays, 5:00-6:00pm
Moderator: Larry Hurst and Elinore Kaplan
In this session, two members dialogue with one another (or with one of the moderators). The “dialogue partners” respond to 4 or 5 questions they themselves have chosen (about growing up, career, interests, adventures, etc.; plus one about being a member of NYSEC). It’s all part of getting to know our Ethical Culture family in a comfortable, casual way.
Proactive Meditation and Deep Listening
1st and 3rd Fridays, 10:00-11:00am
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.
Happy Hour for Humanity Young Professional Meet-Up (Postponed)
4th Fridays, 7-9:00pm
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.
Tuesdays With Nori
with Leader Dr. Nori Rost
2nd Tuesdays @ 7-8pm (Online)
4th Tuesdays @ 1-2pm (Hybrid)
We have successfully launched 2022 but at a cost. Delta, Omicron, uncertainty, isolation have all taken their toll on us. Sometimes we just need a soft place to land. These will be informal gatherings with no agenda or set topic but rather a time to check in with one another and share any concerns or joys we might have. The only constant will be me! I’m looking forward to hanging out with all of you.
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.
Exploring Ethical Humanism
1st Wednesdays, 7:00-8:00pm
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.
Leader Dr. Nori Rost leads these weekly roundtable discussions about a range of issues.
Weekly Share and Learn: Topics in Medicine, Mental Health, Science, and Ethics
Moderators: Dr. Carol Portlock, retired oncologist (1st & 3rd Mondays); Dr. Frank Corigliano, clinical psychologist (2nd & 4th Mondays)
Thanks to vaccines and medical innovation, we are gradually moving away from the Covid pandemic. Retired oncologist Carol Portlock will discuss the new and intriguing science that lies ahead, including Covid. Clinical psychologist Frank Corigliano will continue to address your concerns about managing day-to-day during this trying time.
Exploring Ethical Dilemmas
3rd Mondays, 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.
1st Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30am
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.
Ethics in The News
3rd 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.
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.
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, 5:00-6:00pm
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.
Ethics, Fair Trade, and You (Postponed)
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.
The Society offers arts and culture programs that include film discussion series, writing workshops, art workshops and theater workshops.
Ethics and the Theater
2nd Fridays, 7:00-9:00pm
ENCORE! Following Sundays, 1:30-3:30pm
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.
4th Sundays, 1:30-3:00pm (4:00-5:30pm if moved online)
Don’t miss Film Focus, a new monthly series exploring ethical themes in classic and contemporary cinema. Watch the film on your own beforehand, then join our guest presenter for an in-depth discussion.
Jazz Café (Postponed)
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
The Society’s 800-seat Adler Hall is a favorite of musicians 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.