Wrestling with Zionism: A Readers’ Theater
Sep 27 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Wrestling with Zionism: A Readers' Theater @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
*The venue is partially wheelchair accessible. Access into the building from the Garden can be arranged with prior notice. There’s one step up to the bathroom.

Conversations about Israel/Palestine are often charged and challenging. Many families and friends avoid the subject to keep the peace and worry that even a slight criticism of Israel can result in being labeled anti-Semitic. We know that many people have very strong opinions on I/P, while others want to learn more.

During this evening we want to create a space where we can discuss this subject, with respect and active listening, with the aim to build relationships and understanding.

The evening will feature a Readers’ Theater wherein thirteen people with a range of backgrounds share their evolving relationships to Zionism, as well as a short video similarly featuring such personal stories. We’ll also have time for conversation and questions. Light refreshments will be served.

This event is free of charge, but RSVP recommended.

Sunday Platform Meeting: Brave Space and Tough Conversations
Oct 1 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Sunday Platform Meeting: Brave Space and Tough Conversations @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

What does it take to have tough conversations where we know that we may have disagreements, make mistakes, be misinterpreted, risk being wounded or cause wounds, not be perfect? What agreements do we need in order to call each other to more, deeper, and courageous truth and compassion? Without tough conversations, we stay stuck and fail to grow and learn. Without brave space, tough conversations just don’t happen very often. Jone Johnson Lewis, our Interim Clergy Leader, offers some insights from communication practices, research, and experience.

Our speaker, Jone Johnson Lewis, is serving as the Interim Clergy Leader of Brooklyn Ethical. She has been an Ethical Culture Leader for 26 years and shares the Society’s interests in both social justice and personal/interpersonal transformation.

Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.


Colloquy: Exercising Courage
Oct 8 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Colloquy: Exercising Courage @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
“Life calls us to be courageous and we have probably answered that call in small or large measure over the course of our lives. How do you define courage? How are you now or have you been courageous? What is the line you’d like to have the courage to step over?  How can a community be courageous and support its members to be likewise?  You are invited to join us as together we explore courage.”
Diane Kirschner is a long-time member who has held many lay-leadership roles within BSEC, including ceremonies officiant. She was a staff member of the American Ethical Union (AEU) lay leadership summer school from 2008-2016. She is a communications coach, supporting individuals and couples in finding satisfying ways to communicate and connect with themselves and each another (  She also works with, as a facilitator of conversations to build skills to confront racism. 


Sunday Platform Meeting: Courage for the Resistance…and the Relationships
Oct 15 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Sunday Platform Meeting: Courage for the Resistance...and the Relationships @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Many of us are engaged in social justice work, or political action, seeking to change the recent direction of our country. How do we maintain hope and build up our bravery for that work? And, at the same time, how do we stay true to our Ethical Culture principles that affirm the worth of every person? Can we fight for justice without fighting each other (not a rhetorical question!)?

Amanda Poppei serves as the Senior Leader at the Washington Ethical Society, a humanist congregation in Washington, DC. A graduate of Yale University and Wesley Theological Seminary, Amanda is one of the co-founders of the Humanist Clergy Collaboratory. Amanda incorporates social justice work into her leadership; she has served on the city-wide strategy team for the Washington Interfaith Network and is a member of Faith Strategies.