Ethics for Children Service Project – Animal Shelter

Ethics for Children Service Project – Animal Shelter

Putting our ethics into action is an integral component of the Ethics for Children program. This year it quickly became apparent that animal welfare is a shared passion among our families, so our first service project centered around that theme.

On the second Sunday of October, we came together at the BSEC building where we made cat, dog and rabbit toys to donate to the Brooklyn Animal Care Center and the Itty Bitty City Kitties rescue. We also made drawings of animals in the shelter to help bring attention to their profiles. (You can still view some of these drawing on the shelter’s Community Kids page:  The special guests of the day were the kittens who were in foster care, growing big enough to move on to their fur-ever homes.

NY Center for Nonviolent Communication at Brooklyn Ethical

NY Center for Nonviolent Communication at Brooklyn Ethical

A testimony by Rebecca Lurie

This past summer I took advantage of free training offered to members of BSEC in Nonviolent Communication. It was a weekend retreat we hosted for the NY Center for Nonviolent Communication (NYCNVC) and we are doing it again! In exchange for the use of space, we get a few free seats. (October 28-30)

I cannot say enough about how important these skills are! Many of us in the ethical movement, the left, and peace movements have studied and practiced NVC. Last year we hosted Leonie Smith who taught us aspects of this practice as well. At BSEC we practice the style of NVC when we sit in colloquy, when we teach our children how to speak to one another kindly, and often, (when we are lucky!) when we sit in meetings. But the training here deepens the practice to awaken skills we know we genuinely need to Be the Change we seek in the world.

Please consider being one of the participants later this month when we host it again. If you do, please reach out to me so we can take pleasure and practice the skills together! And if/when enough of us improve our practice, then in any circles we find ourselves in together, we will spread the skills and the practice further.

“Empathic connection is an understanding of the heart in which we see the beauty in the other person, the divine energy in the other person, the life that’s alive in them. We connect with it. The goal isn’t intellectually understanding it, the goal is empathically connecting with it. It doesn’t mean we have to feel the same feelings as the other person. That’s sympathy when we feel sad that another person is upset. It doesn’t mean we have to have the same feelings; it means we are with the other person. This quality of understanding requires one of the most precious gifts one human being can give to another: our presence in the moment.”
– Marshall Rosenberg, Speak Peace in a World of Conf…

Art Night with Friends

This week we had a lovely event, Art Night with Friends, guided by art educator and director of our Ethics for Children Program, Angel Thompson. Participants created their own petit landscapes, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and stayed long after the event sharing stories and enjoying our lovely backyard. It was a warm and fun multigenerational event. Some of the pictures can be found below:

Postcards to voters with Beth Elohim

Congregation Beth Elohim and the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture came together in the BSEC garden on August 17 to write almost 300 postcards encouraging voting in competitive states.
This postcard writing campaign is Reclaim Our Vote.  Some of the pictures can be found below.

Photo Credit: Dan Walsh