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Empowering Caring People to Turn Ethics Into Action

The Social Service Board is a 501(c)(3) non-profit service 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.

Participation in the SSB offers hope and assistance to people in need, but also offers immeasurable benefit for those who volunteer and participate.  Ethics is the soul of a secular democracy.  It inspires authentic self esteem, motivates our dynamic social conscience, and demonstrates the love, care, and trust which are the human glue of our society and helps us create a better world.

SSB members have created, financed, staffed and sustained many rewarding and meaningful “core projects” with their dedicated efforts.

Good Neighbor Initiative

Amid inflation, rising housing costs, and the lingering pandemic, food insecurity and economic distress is rampant, especially for our most vulnerable neighbors: the poor, families with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, and those on fixed incomes.

In response, the SSB has mobilized and partnered with our neighbors in the Resident Association at NYCHA’s Amsterdam Houses, including their Harborview Terrace senior community, to collect and distribute donated food, household necessities, school supplies for children, and other items every month.

Our neighbors have greatly appreciated our support, and so far we’ve collected and distributed thousands of pounds of supplies to help residents.

Donate to the Initiative online here.

Dr. Maria Fridman Women's Shelter

Since its founding in 1982, the shelter has been sponsored by the Partnership for the Homeless and the Society’s Social Service Board. The Partnership relies on churches, synagogues and other non-profit organizations to coordinate volunteers and provide sleeping accommodations for the homeless. The city provides cots, bedding, laundry services and bus transportation to and from the Olivieri Center to the Society.

For more information about the shelter and the shelter’s policies, please view our brochure. For information or to volunteer, please contact Shelter Coordinator Gunther Tielemans at

Supportive Televisiting Services

Over two million children in the United States have a parent who is currently incarcerated.  In 2012 the Social Service Board led by Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross (dec. 2017), launched an innovative program, Supportive Televisting Services (STVS), to help heal these families by providing opportunities for children to maintain a loving contact with their incarcerated family member.  While not a replacement for in-person visits, the important role of these services in helping alleviate children’s separation trauma continues.

2014 STVS staff: Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross (past SSB chair, dec. 2017), Dr. Frank Corigliano (past director of STVS) and student interns.

Families participating in the STVS program connect with their incarcerated loved one through live video link in a comfortable setting to augment in-person visitations.   A bilingual English/Spanish professional is present during each televisiting session and assists families in preparing for the televisit and in debriefing after the visit.

The Supportive Televisiting program:

  • Reassures and comforts children during separation from incarcerated family members
  • Offers quality time to share between the incarcerated person and his/her/their family
  • Supplements in-person visits
  • Preserves the parent-child relationship
  • Creates positive family memories
  • Provides children with emotional support
  • Enables a meaningful visit in a comfortable, supportive, and welcoming setting
  • Promotes a healthier transition after release

During a televisiting session, which is held in our child-friendly studio at 2 West  64th Street, families have the opportunity to:

  • Connect visually with their incarcerated family member by video
  • Converse and share stories
  • Read together, play games, create art
  • Celebrate special moments and milestones, such as birthdays and holidaysFor more information, contact

Fundraising Initiatives

In support of the ongoing projects of the SSB, we periodically hold special events such as used book sales and jumble sales, with all proceeds going to support our work.  In addition, we accept items for sale on Ebay and Craigslist to support the important work we do. We apply for grants to endowments, foundations, government funding sources, and other faith-based programs. We accept donations and estate tributes.

Get Involved with SSB

Welcome to the world of Ethics in action. The SSB is for anyone young or old, who is looking for more meaning in their life and the personal satisfaction of helping make a difference in our community.  If you are interested in volunteering your time you can:

  • Attend a Board meeting as our guest
  • Present a new project idea
  • Participate in a project of your choice as a Friend of the Board
  • Become a member of the Board

For more information, please email SSB Chair Janet Rose at

Board Membership

The Social Service Board provides an array of opportunities for caring people to put Ethics into action.

People who desire to become a Board member are invited to attend a monthly Board meeting and see how its members give their leadership to ongoing projects and create new ones as their need arises.

SSB Projects

Contact SSB

United Social Services, Inc.
Social Service Board
2 West 64th Street
New York, NY 10023


Phone: 212-874-5210 x1143
Fax: 212-721-4407

Give to SSB

By mail, make a check payable to:

Social Service Board
United Social Services, Inc.
2 West 64th Street, Room 505
New York, NY 10023

SSB Officers and Members


Janet Rose, Chair
Dr. Leslie Aspis, Vice Chair
Bonnie Bean, Secretary


Pierre Arte
Vincent Brancato
Sue Bremer
Bob Gangi
Deborah Goldstein
Maria Guzman
Victor Pate
Howard Rose
Gunther Tielemans

Ex-Officio Members

Elizabeth Singer
President, Ethical NYC

Joe Fashing
Treasurer, Ethical NYC

Dr. Richard Koral
Leader Liaison, Ethical NYC

Friends of The Social Service Board

The SSB also provides the opportunity for people who wish to participate in a project but whose busy lives don’t permit them to be a full-time Board member, but can participate in a desired project as a Friend of the Board.

A Friend of the Board may also support the SSB in two ways: by helping financially or volunteering time to a project of choice.

If you feel the call to put ethics into action to preserve and expand our American Democracy, the Social Service Board is set up to energize, empower, and facilitate the ideas and needs of ethical people.

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