Renaming Our Newsletter

Renaming Our Newsletter

Our weekly email newsletter, which goes out to about 1500 people each week, has been called the “Community Builder.” Readers include not just members of the Ethical Culture Society, but also many people in the larger community who want to know about events at Brooklyn Ethical.

We’re changing the name, and welcome input into what name to choose.   Something that communicates the spirit of Brooklyn Ethical, not too long (because it’s part of what people see in their email box), and eye-catching would be a great combination.

You’ll still be on the list if you’re on there now.  It’s just the name we’re changing.

Send your ideas by July 31 to us at the form below (DON’T FORGET TO CLICK SUBMIT).

If the form isn’t working you can send a note to Taty Sena, Outreach Coordinator, via the Outreach form at this link:  Contact Us   (In your message, let us know if you would NOT want your name used publicly if we select your suggestion.)

300 HOPE Dinners and counting

By Kim Brandon

On the third Sunday in May, 1993, four guests and twice as many volunteers sat down together in the Dempsey Center here in Brooklyn to begin a journey of building community in the face of one of the worst epidemics of our time.  We are still far from a cure for AIDS, yet there have been strides made that have increased awareness, treatment and understanding.

Over the past 25 years, the HOPE Dinners have provided a sage and nourishing environment to celebrate personal and collective milestones, declare our hopes and dreams and mourn our losses.  One constant throughout the years is the love that has found its way into the home-cooked, nutritious food, the friendly conversations and the material and spiritual support for our guests.

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the HOPE Dinners.  We have served over 20,000 guests and hosted 300 HOPE Dinners and counting.

We would like to acknowledge our Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture member, the late Donna Roberts, and Rev. Janine Deitz for starting the HOPE Dinners.  Thank you, Donna and Janine, for showing us the powerful legacy of building helping and
healing communities.

Thank you for coming to Families Celebrate Africa (and pictures)

This past Monday, January 15th, 2018, we gathered with hundreds of families to honor and celebrate the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Together we sang, danced, heard stories about those who have dedicated their lives to the fight for human and civil rights and shared with our children our hopes for a more just and kind world.

Kindness really was the key word to define this event, which depended on the kindness of many to happen:
Thank you to the 5th Prospect Park BPSA scouts for helping us set up, decorate and for designing the beautiful signs that covered our walls all over the building. Thank you to Fiona and Janice (for all you do), to Prajna, who was the amazing face painter to hundreds of excited kids basically on her own, to our amazing teachers and friends, Simba, storae, Lea, DuPree and Barry, who helped make the magic happen,  to Tahra, who was there with me from noon to 10pm, decorating, welcoming people and cleaning and always with a smile, to the parents (and your kids) who showed up and helped us set up and staff our many stations, spread the word and made donations, such as Kymberly, Clyde, Stella, Columbia, Ted, Gus, Claude, Rachel, Lucy and many more in all kinds of ways. Thank you to the members who showed up to help us run the event, such as Nancy, Burt, Lisel (and the wonderful volunteer family you brought with you), to Jason for being so helpful when I asked for things to be changed and moved around, and the members and parents who helped us by coming to the event and helping us publicize it. Please forgive me if I have forgotten anyone or was not aware of what you have done. We thank you all.

Below a few photos from our event:

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From Jone Lewis – How you can contribute to platforms

Lots going on right now at BSEC, and we’re at the edge of making our platforms even better!  Here are some ways you can contribute:

1) MUSIC: The Sunday Committee voted to form a Music Subcommittee to help bring live music including community singing to more platform meetings.  We’ll schedule a first meeting soon, but want to make sure we include everyone who is interested — from performing to leading songs to joining (maybe!) a chorus to helping keep this effort organized.  If you’d like to be included in the planning meetings or just like to be involved in some way, click here to respond or send an email to me at with MUSIC in the title.

2) RECORDING PLATFORM TALKS: BSEC would love to move into the 21st century and have audio and/or video of our great platform talks online so we can see them again and so that people who weren’t there can see them.  That will take a few volunteers willing to learn to use a fairly simple video camera that the Society would provide to “film” platforms, and/or manage an audio recorder to be sure that it’s present and turned on during the platform talk. Then, and this could be a different person, take the recorded video or audio, and edit it slightly to begin and end smoothly, and then upload to a designated location on the internet where our website can link to it. We can train you to do that, if you’ve got a desktop or laptop computer with sufficient power. Ideally, we’d find four or more people willing to do this for most talks (not colloquys which are more personal).  We can draw on the experience of other Societies to make this successful and not too difficult. — most of them use volunteers for this task. Are you interested? Need more information? Please click here to respond or email me at and put RECORD PLATFORMS in the subject line, please.

3) MANAGING THE SOUND BOARD: Wouldn’t it be great on a Sunday if we had an assigned person of 5 or 6 people who are knowledgeable and skillful about how to work our sound system, so there are fewer glitches and some ease in handling the glitches that do arise? Here‘s a job that usually takes just a few minutes on a Sunday, and with training is pretty simple.  It does mean being there when you’re scheduled and being in the room to handle the changes in volume required for different parts of the program.  Or you could volunteer to the be the person to keep this organized, scheduling and reminding volunteers.  Training in using the sound board and sound system will be provided, and you’ll learn about how to handle any upgrades and changes that are made later. Platform presiders are urged to take this training, too.  Please click here to respond or email me at and put BSEC SOUND in the subject line, please.

Thanks for thinking about whether you can help make our platforms better and more available!