Calendar

Dec
16
Sun
Winter Solstice 2019
Dec 16 @ 11:00 am
Winter Solstice 2019

There are times we feel like we are in the shadows. And there are times that we realize that even in the shadows we are not alone. In what ways can we remind one another that we are each other’s brave space?
Join us for our multigenerational Winter Solstice festival to celebrate the values and spirit of the season with music, food and light.
Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.
Please bring a dish to share if you can.

Dec
23
Sun
Winter Solstice – Bring Light
Dec 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Winter Solstice - Bring Light @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Winter solstice is the longest night of the year. Many religions and faiths honor this time with lights. Come together. Light a candle. Join Rebecca Lurie in this colloquy (participative circle) to reflect and share feelings, needs, strengths, offerings with our community. Bring a favorite candle or 2 to light if you wish.

We begin at 11 am and end about 12:30 pm, with social time afterwards.

Dec
30
Sun
Kwanzaa: A Colloquy on the Seven Principles
Dec 30 @ 11:00 am
Kwanzaa:  A Colloquy on the Seven Principles @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Kwanzaa is a 7-day holiday, December 26 – January 1, originally created in the 1960s by Maulana Karenga as both a humanistic alternative to Christmas, and an explicitly African American holiday. Karenga later evolved his idea to being an addition, not necessarily an opposition, to Christmas, and Karenga has encouraged diverse groups to celebrate, still honoring how the principles are rooted in African and African American culture and history. In this colloquy, led by BSEC members, we’ll reflect together on the principles, learn a bit about the holiday if it’s new to you, and share a potluck meal afterwards. You’re encouraged to bring a dish inspired by African, African American or African Caribbean cultures if you can do so.

Jan
6
Sun
Ethics Begins With Choice
Jan 6 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Making and acting on wise choices is the root of ethics.  How do we make wiser choices and then act on them? Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on the role of choice in our lives. Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.

In the 1990s, Brooklyn Ethical and other Ethical Societies identified the Eight Commitments of Ethical Culture under the leadership of Lois Kellerman, then Clergy Leader.  The first of the commitments was this: Ethics begins with choice.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.

Our Ethics Matters theme for January is Choice – The practice of making and acting on wise choices; opening up new options to choose from.

 

Jan
13
Sun
Colloquy: Patience is Power
Jan 13 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Colloquy: Patience is Power @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

A Chinese proverb reminded us: Patience is power: with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk.
Very different in some of our communities, therefore we tend to view racism through a lens of less patience without power.
Join us for a candid discussion on topics of patience and racism and on how and what to do for a more just/equable society.

Jan
20
Sun
No Choice But to Choose
Jan 20 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on an uncomfortable reality of ethics: that we can, as the Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius pointed out, commit injustice by doing nothing.  The excuse that “I didn’t do anything!” does not take into account that inaction that allows people to act in hurtful ways makes the world more unjust — and thus is itself an unjust choice.

Our inactions — from ignoring bullies to deciding not to vote — do have impacts on the world.  Often, we think we are not choosing, but we can usually find a choice not to pay attention or not to challenge what is possible, behind any inaction.  And sometimes, not acting may be the more ethical choice.  But it is a choice.

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” – Elie Wiesel

Our Sunday platform meetings begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.  Check the calendar for other Sunday events on most Sundays, 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Our Ethics Matters theme for January is Choice – The practice of making and acting on wise choices; opening up new options to choose from.

 

Jan
27
Sun
Introduction to the Mandala
Jan 27 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Introduction to the Mandala @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Join us for a hands-on, guided introduction to the mandala as a nature-based culturally symbolic entity that can be created in a variety of forms to help develop group cohesion and personal meaning. Led by art therapist Jennifer Davis.

Jennifer Davis is an arts therapist and supervisor at the New Horizon Counseling Center and a passionate advocate for multiculturalism and diversity. She has been involved with community‑based arts programs for over 18 years through various nonprofit agencies including 651 ARTS, Arts Connection, Ballet Hispanico, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Goddard Riverside Community Center, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.  She received Master Degrees in Performing Arts Administration from New York University and Clinical Art Therapy from Long Island University. 

 Ms. Davis is also part of the Wellness team at the Nurture U Wellness in the Rockaways, a consultant for families served by the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) in Washington, DC, board member of TWW Inc, an arts-in-education nonprofit organization, and member of CATs of Color, Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB), and the American Art Therapy Association (AATA).

Feb
3
Sun
Racism and Anti-Racism: Two American Traditions
Feb 3 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

One of the many subtle myths of American history is to ignore not only the persistence of racism in America, but also the continuity of racial justice activism, instead highlighting a few periods (abolition, the civil rights era of the 60s, for example) and failing to see the connections between them.

In between, activism continues, though either out of the public eye or, like the anti-lynching crusade and the Niagara Movement, largely forgotten except in families who have kept the commitment alive.  Mothers and fathers have passed on their activism through both literal and institutional families.  Another continuity: both trust and tensions between generations, and between Black and white activists.  Ethical Culture has, as one example, been a home for anti-racist work in many periods of our history.

Montage of public domain photos of 19th and early 20th century anti-racist activists

Each time there are major advances in racial justice, there is a major backlash reinforcing racism.  But even in those tough periods, the tradition is passed on.

Many of our Ethical Culture figures from Felix Adler on have been involved in anti-racism work.  A few, such as David Muzzey with his participation in the white-washing of the Reconstruction era, have helped enable backlashes.  We have been a mixture of reliable and unreliable.

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on the reliability and unreliability of racial justice in America, and what it means for those of us today committed to anti-racist work.

Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.

Our Ethics Matters theme for February is Trust: the practice of being reliable and relying on ourselves and others.

 

Feb
10
Sun
U.N.I.T.Y.: Writers Celebrate Black Love and Relationships
Feb 10 @ 11:00 am

Our annual Platform celebrating Black History Month and featuring the Society Writers this year focuses on Black love and relationships.  Join us for what is always an inspiring Sunday morning for everyone.

Our Sunday platform meetings begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.  Check the calendar for other Sunday events on most Sundays, 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Check the calendar for other opportunities for growth and community most Sundays at 9 and 10 a.m.

Feb
17
Sun
Filling Each Others’ Buckets
Feb 17 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

A basic concept in Ethical Culture is that bringing out the best in others helps bring out the best in ourselves.  We’ll look at a way to imagine how to contribute to the lives of each other, using the metaphor of “filling buckets.”  While there’s a children’s version of this topic, as adults we will look at some of the more complex ways that this metaphor can play out in conceptualizing our interconnectedness, in ways that are practical and easy to remember for ourselves and to explain to the children and teens in our lives.

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, is our speaker.

Hands of family together in green park - family unity and peace concept

(c) Adobe Stock Images. Used under license.

Our Ethics Matters theme for February is Trust: the practice of being reliable and relying on ourselves and others.

Our Sunday platform meetings begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.  Check the calendar for other Sunday events on most Sundays, 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

 

Feb
24
Sun
Accountability and Trust: What Is an Elected Civilian Review Board?
Feb 24 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Accountability and Trust: What Is an Elected Civilian Review Board? @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

This Sunday, we’ll hear about a proposal for an Elected Civilian Review Board for the police department, to fit in with our ethical theme of “Trust.”

We will hear from Curtis O’Neal, MD, MS.  Dr. O’Neal is a graduate of Weill Cornell Medical College currently serving as the Assistant Program Director for a Bronx-based Intensive Mobile Treatment team. His work focuses on improving mental health care delivery to vulnerable populations through the integration of clinical education and advocacy. He is grateful to show how the efforts of the Campaign for an Elected Civilian Review Board (ECRB) aim to build trust and support equal justice by holding police accountable.

(The Society has not taken a position on the proposal.)

Mar
3
Sun
Still a Long Way to Go
Mar 3 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

When this country was considering a Declaration of Independence from England, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John Adams, part of the group considering the future: “Remember the Ladies.”  Here it is, 242 years later, and women in the United States are still working towards an equality that treats them as persons of worth, not mere objects, in many aspects of law.  In between, many have worked for the rights and dignity of women, not only in America, but around the world.  The journey is not yet complete; there is a long way to go.

Women's Rights National Historical Park

Women’s Rights National Historical Park. Adobe Images, used with permission.

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on the journey past, present, and future towards treating women as fully human.  Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.

The Society’s Ethics Matters theme for March is Journey: the practice of walking a path; courageous growth and patient change.

Sunday platforms begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.  On most Sundays, check the calendar for other events starting at 9 or 10 for those who want other ways of experiencing community and growth.

 

Mar
10
Sun
Nevertheless, She Filmed
Mar 10 @ 11:00 am

Our views on what women can be are shaped by the images we see on screen. But who creates those images? When the majority of film and television is directed, written, and produced by men, women are largely misrepresented in or even written out of our culture’s narrative.

Young women with movie film reel

© 2019 Adobe. Used by license.

So friends and filmmakers Katrina Medoff and Tracy Sayre took action. In just one year, they made 17 short films with over 300 professional female filmmakers. They created the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge to tackle the gender imbalance in Hollywood and the harmful ways this disparity behind and in front of the camera influences our society.

Find out how you as an audience member can join this movement and redefine how women are represented on screen.

Tracy Sayre is an award-winning screenwriter/producer and founder of Writers Work, an organization that helps writers develop their craft, career and community. She serves as the co-director of Women’s Weekend Film Challenge.  (Tracy grew up going to the White Plains Ethical Culture Society and attended several YES retreats. She’s passionate about living a life that demonstrates deed above creed.)

Katrina Medoff is an actor, writer, and producer. She’s also the editor-in-chief of BORO, a magazine about her home neighborhood of Astoria, Queens. She is the founder and co-director of Women’s Weekend Film Challenge.

Mar
17
Sun
Journey: Between Leaving and Arriving
Mar 17 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Life is a journey, and within life are many journeys.  Some are chosen, some are forced on us.  Every journey begins with a leaving and ends with an arriving, though the end points aren’t always that clear.  Sometimes we follow roadmaps, and sometimes we are making new paths.

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on the journeys of our lives, how we manage the space between leaving and arriving, and how we can be supportive of others on their journeys.  What can we learn from human experience, practical ethical philosophy, and the science of human behavior?

The Society’s Ethics Matters theme for March is Journey: the practice of walking a path; courageous growth and patient change.

Sunday platforms begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.  On most Sundays, check the calendar for other events starting at 9 or 10 for those who want other ways of experiencing community and growth.

 

Mar
24
Sun
Spring Festival – A Multi-generational Celebration
Mar 24 @ 11:00 am – 11:15 am

crocuses in snow

Yes, Spring is really here, even if we may still have some cold weather!
Join us for a multigenerational festival celebrating the Spring Equinox — that time of year when the day and night are in balance.  Lots of activities for kids and adults and some drumming — be prepared, if you’re over 18, to bring out your inner child.  Weather permitting, some activities will be outdoors.

The Society’s Ethics Matters theme for March is Journey: the practice of walking a path; courageous growth and patient change.

Photo by Irina Volkova / Adobe Stock Images / used with permission.

 

TBA: Sunday Platform Meeting
Mar 24 @ 11:00 am
TBA: Sunday Platform Meeting @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Our Sunday platform meetings begin at 11 am and end at about 12:30, with time for socializing afterward.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.  Check the calendar for other Sunday events on most Sundays, 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Check the calendar for other opportunities for growth and community most Sundays at 9 and 10 a.m.

 

Mar
31
Sun
Legacy Platform
Mar 31 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Legacy Platform @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Living an Ethical Life
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Members share their experiences, challenges and hopes for the future.
Annemarie Mogil, Fiona Boneham, Vandra Thorburn and Warren Miner
Music performed by the Brooklyn Women’s Chorus

 

Apr
7
Sun
Wholeness: One Is Not Enough
Apr 7 @ 11:00 am

No person survives completely alone.  We are not whole without our connections to others. Who we are and what we become are influenced by people around us, from parents to friends to community members.  These connections, in turn, are what we draw upon to repair brokenness and move towards wholeness as a human family.

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on the ways that wholeness is enhanced by our connections, including those that challenge us and those that nurture us.

Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.

Our Ethics Matters theme for April is wholeness; the practice of repairing what is broken or wounded, and knowing we are enough.

Sunday platforms begin at 11 am and end at about 12:30, with time for socializing afterward.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.  On most Sundays, check the calendar for other events starting at 9 or 10 for those who want other ways of experiencing community and growth.

 

Apr
14
Sun
I Hear Voices
Apr 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
I Hear Voices @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

The Brooklyn Society Writers will celebrate Poetry month by presenting different voices. Join us for poems, music, flash fiction. We’ll be sure to give your mind much to ponder and provoke cerebellum thoughts. Be prepared for serious matters, good humor, and provocative thoughts.

Apr
21
Sun
The Elusive Art of Wholeness
Apr 21 @ 11:00 am

While wholeness is not complete without human connections, there are also many ways in which we can work on our own healing and wholeness.  It’s more art than science though science can provide some insights.

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on some key questions: What do we need to do to help ourselves become more whole?  To promote wholeness and healing in others?

Our Ethics Matters theme for April is wholeness; the practice of repairing what is broken or wounded, and knowing we are enough.

Sunday platforms begin at 11 am and end at about 12:30, with time for socializing afterward.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.  On most Sundays, check the calendar for other events starting at 9 or 10 for those who want other ways of experiencing community and growth.