New York Society for Ethical Culture
WHO WE ARE New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) is a welcoming home for humanists. We’ve provided non-theistic services in a congregational setting since 1876. We embrace the diversity of our city and invite all to join us in celebrating life’s joys, supporting one another through life’s crises, and working together to make the world a better place.
Ethical Culture is a movement centered on ethics, not theology, whose mission is to encourage respect for humanity and nature and to create a better world. Members are committed to personal ethical development in their relationships with others and in activities involving social justice and environmental stewardship. NYSEC is the cornerstone of the Ethical Culture movement founded by Dr. Felix Adler in 1876. Throughout our history we have helped create significant community institutions that have had a long-lasting effect in promoting civil society. “Deed before creed” has long been a motto of our movement.
WHAT WE BELIEVE We believe all individuals have inherent worth and dignity • the potential to grow and change • a responsibility to strive for ethical growth • a responsibility to create a better world.
WHAT WE DO We host hundreds of community programs a year, most of which are free or low cost. We hold forums on key social issues, and discussions on ethics and philosophy. We partner with other organizations to co-sponsor events that serve the public good. Issues of war, social policy, and human rights have been discussed here by Al Gore, Paul Krugman, Cornell West, Naomi Klein, Toni Morrison, Amy Goodman and others.
Our building is also a thriving home for arts and culture, with films, theatrical events, book discussions and writing, music and art workshops. Our Concert Hall comes alive with a variety of popular, jazz, and classical music programs, including the American Classical Orchestra, the JVC Jazz Festival, the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, the Juilliard School and WFUV’s concert series.
We are members of Empire State Pride Agenda/Pride in the Pulpit • Justice for Juveniles Coalition • New York State Network for Immigration Reform • National Religious Campaign Against Torture • Reasonable New York • Truth Commission on Conscience in War
Our Social Service Board sponsors Shelter for homeless women • Supervised Visitation Project • Homeless Artists and Writers Workshop exhibitions • Queens Youth Soccer League • All Healers Mental Health Alliance
We founded The Ethical Culture Fieldston School • The Child Study Association • The U.S. Settlement House movement • The Encampment for Citizenship • The Blythedale Children’s Hospital
We helped establish ACLU • NAACP • National Urban League • New York Committee to Abolish Capital Punishment • National Child Labor Committee • The Visiting Nurse Service