Calendar

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
21
Mon
Families Celebrate Africa – A Martin Luther King Jr Day Event
Jan 21 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture offers a fun-filled family event to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr with African music, drumming and dance, face painting, African drawing, crafts and activities, stories and costumes. Moses Onguleye will teach the chiildren African drawing, DuPree and Barry Kornhauser (and guests) will perform songs about MLK’s life and Simba Yangala and the dancers from JungleDom will guide children through a relaxed African dance lesson, followed by a performance that welcomes the participation from both, children and adults.

Proceeds from this event will help provide scholarships for BSEC’s Ethics for Children Classes as well as help with our campaign for an accessibility ramp.

Doors open at 3.
Ticket prices:
$20 children 3 to 12 years old
Free for children 2 yo or younger
$5 for adults and teens accompanying a child. ($10 at the door)
To purchase tickets using Eventbrite, please click here.

Proceeds from this event will help provide scholarships for BSEC’s Ethics for Children Classes as well as help with our campaign for an accessibility ramp.

Jan
25
Fri
All Ages Gaming Night
Jan 25 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
All Ages Gaming Night @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture has a very strong gamers group that meets to play board games twice a month. Some of our members and families have asked if there would be an opportunity for families and those interested in more traditional games to join in the fun! The Membership Development Committee decided to do a special All Ages Game Night this coming Friday, January 25th at 6:30 pm.
It will happen at the same time as the usual Game Night, but the 2nd floor library will be specifically for families and players of all ages. If you can come, please RSVP below. If you’d like, please bring a board or card game and a snack to share:
https://goo.gl/forms/foz4acFhoH1BzEwJ2

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.

 

Winter BSEC Membership Meeting
Feb 3 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Winter BSEC Membership Meeting @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
Sunday, February 3 from 1 to 3 PM
light refreshments will be served
RSVP BELOW
Envisioning the next few years at BSEC
Every year we meet as members and friends to determine future courses and actions at BSEC. We are at a crossroads and need to challenge ourselves to revisit, review, renew or reform our plans and programming. Please join us for this conversation on Sunday, February 3 at 1 PM.   
Traditionally the Winter Membership Meeting is a time for us to come together to review creatively the various strategies, plans, initiatives and tactics for improving and developing the leadership, programming and membership at BSEC.
As some of you might remember, and others may be curious, a few years ago we facilitated an intense series of community meetings and decision making towards agreeing on an Accessibility Campaign. Stewarding property renovation in New York City comes with a slew of issues and complexities. This and other important plans and programs are on BSEC’s drawing board.
Please bring your best ‘thinking caps’ to our meeting on Sunday, February 3 at 1 PM.
PS.  If you would like to be part of the planning for the Winter Meeting, please come to the Board meeting on Thursday, January 31 at 6:30 PM at BSEC Library.

The Board of Trustees

Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
Feb
10
Sun
Mindfulness Meditation with Paulette Graf
Feb 10 @ 10:00 am – 10:50 am
Mindfulness Meditation with Paulette Graf @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
(10:00-10:20 Meditation with brief instruction, 10:20-10:30 Walking Meditation, 10:30-10:50 Meditation)
Participants can choose to do one 20 min meditation, or do both.
Located in the Library
Free of charge
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
Mindfulness Meditation with Paulette Graf
Mar 10 @ 10:00 am – 10:50 am
Mindfulness Meditation with Paulette Graf @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
(10:00-10:20 Meditation with brief instruction, 10:20-10:30 Walking Meditation, 10:30-10:50 Meditation)
Participants can choose to do one 20 min meditation, or do both.
Located in the Library
Free of charge
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.

 

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

 

Book Reading : Don’t Get Too Excited: It’s Just About a Pair of Shoes and Other Laments From My Life.
Mar 31 @ 5:00 pm
Book Reading : Don't Get Too Excited: It's Just About a Pair of Shoes and Other Laments From My Life. @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Join Park Slope author Jen Epstein for a reading from her debut collection of personal essays: Don’t Get Too Excited: It’s Just About a Pair of Shoes and Other Laments From My Life.

Tickets are totally free! All you have to do is register via this Facebook event page or at the Brown Paper Tickets link below! Donations are suggested, but not required. All proceeds will go to support the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture!

In today’s world we all experience worries and anxiety, but how do we cope with our anxiety and practice self-care? How much do we understand about OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), the impact it has on our family, friends, and the community at large who are affected by these and other related mental-health conditions? Our collective struggles may be more common than you think.

Celebrate the last day of Women’s History Month, welcome spring and learn how Epstein uses humor to ward off her biggest fears.

Q&A, book signing and reception with light refreshments to follow.

Sunday, March 31st at 5 P.M.
Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture:
53 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
https://bsec.org/

Don’t forget to check out Jen’s Instagram, Twitter and Website too!
@DGTEBook
jenepsteinauthor.com

 

Apr
6
Sat
Celebrating Diversity in Unison Concert
Apr 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Celebrating Diversity in Unison Concert @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Come join us for a fundraiser for the accessibility of 53 Prospect Park West for a night of folk music of the common people, with a foundation of gospel, blues and country and a little sprinkle of political and social commentary.
DuPrée’s soaring contralto voice, powerful vibrato and melodious yodeling grip the listener with hope for humanity; her songs evoke the haunting quality of longing for truth and an inquiry into the different shades of justice. Joined by accompanist Barry Kornhauser on guitar and cello.
(ASL interpreted)

DUPREE, a visual/performance artist, has spent most of the past 40 years as an activist, singer and songwriter. Perhaps best known in ‘80s and ‘90s as one of the lead vocalists of the duo band Casselberry DuPree, she has performed at numerous women’s music festivals across the country and in Canada. DuPree’s music is filtered through her African American perspective, which runs the gamut of humanitarian concerns. She is currently expanding by incorporating sounds from the Gullah Islands, where she is researching her family and cultural herstory. DuPree completed her CUNY BA from Medgar Evers & Hunter College and her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art from City College CUNY. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Medgar Evers College, teaching Introduction to World Art. She is currently an Artist in Residence at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. DuPree is regularly accompanied by the accomplished musician Barry Kornhauser.

BARRY KORNHAUSER is a longtime friend and neighbor to the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. He is a composer, arranger, teacher and multi-instrumentalist (cello, guitar, bass guitar and mandola) in a wide variety of musical environments.
He has collaborated with or worked in the ensembles of many progressive musicians including DuPrée, Bev Grant, Suni Paz, Bernardo Palombo, Cutumay Camones, Chris Owens, Jana Herzen, Jay Mankita, Patricia Shih, Jolie Rickman and Colleen Kattau.

FOR TICKETS, CLICK HERE

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
Mindfulness Meditation with Paulette Graf
Apr 14 @ 10:00 am – 10:50 am
Mindfulness Meditation with Paulette Graf @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
(10:00-10:20 Meditation with brief instruction, 10:20-10:30 Walking Meditation, 10:30-10:50 Meditation)
Participants can choose to do one 20 min meditation, or do both.
Located in the Library
Free of charge