Did you know that we perform weddings, baby namings
and other humanist ceremonies? Call 973-763-1905

The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County

Click here for this Week's Sunday Program

Today is    Updated 5-26-16


What's Happening at Ethical May 27-June 4



  • May 29, 11 am: Memorial Day Colloquy
  • May 29, 9 am: Tai Chi Chuan with Richard Mullen at Grove Park in South Orange (corner of South Orange Avenue and Grove Street). If it rains, the class will take place at Ethical.

Other Events:

  • May 31, 11 am: Chair Yoga
  • Through June 30, 2016: Barbara Krales Cotler exhibit featuring landscapes and more.
  • The Social Action Committee is collecting ONLY cooking oil, olive oil, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies for Syrian refugee families inElizabeth, NJ. Donations must be unopened, and these are the only things we can accept. Please leave them in the collection box in the small sun room off the parlor.
  • Food Bank- Please remember to bring canned or boxed food items for the food pantry box in our front hall. Donations go to the Donations go to the NJ Food Bank.
  • Children's Books- We accept children's books to be donated to the Parenting Center for children of need. Please contact the office at 973-763- 1905.
  • June 5, 11 am: Steven Trombecky: Forgiveness—Beyond Right & Wrong



See an exchange on Fracking between Marty Cotler and Martha Gallahue



Check out Advocates for Children and New Jersey

Ethical Culture is a Humanist Religion--Come and visit!

516 Prospect Street, Maplewood, New Jersey 07040  Phone 973-763-1905     Email: ecsec.nj@gmail.com
Board of Trustees: Bill Graves, President   Zia Durrani, Vice-President; Rosalie Sussman, Secretary; Melissa Birun; Karen Bokert;
Barbara Cotler; Elaine Durbach; Fred Fink-Armstrong, Allan Parmet, Jeanine Rosh
Martha Gallahue, Leader Member;   Liz Cunningham, Office Manager
Boe Meyerson, Leader Emerita; Jim White, Leader Emeritus
Office hours Monday through Friday, 8:15 to 9:45 am, Sunday, 9:30 am to 12 pm
This society is a religious and educational fellowship that seeks to achieve the ethical life without dogma; to develop the highest values in human relationships in ourselves, our families, and our community; and to elicit the best in others, thereby eliciting the best in ourselves
We're on Facebook!     Twitter too!    

Folk Fridays -- Events This Month -- Calendar-- Last Year's Programs -- Current Newsletter

This Week's Sunday Morning Program

Social Action Committee Meeting


Former Member Bob Bender Fighting the Good Fight in South Florida!

Bob Bender had the following letter published in the Jewish Journal (a free weekly paper with a huge South Florida circulation -which runs very few letters).

Dear Jewish Journal,

I am sorry to learn in her April 6 Jewish Journal pro-Trump column that in the 1930s one of Babette Freed's close relatives suffered permanent injury from "goons" trying to unionize him.

I am even sorrier and angrier about:


1911: 123 women and 23 men with no union die in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Manhattan because the owners locked the doors to the stairwells and exits to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and to reduce theft. The company's owners were acquitted of manslaughter but found liable for wrongful death and plaintiffs were awarded $75 per deceased victim. The insurance company paid Blanck and Harris about $60,000 more than that cost – about $400 per casualty. Two years later owner Blanck was again arrested for locking his factory doors during working hours -and fined $20!

1914: Some two dozen people, including miners' wives and children, were massacred in Ludlow Colorado by the Colorado National Guard and the John D. Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel and Iron Company camp guards at a tent colony of 1200 striking-for-union-recognition coal miners. Initially following the massacre, Rockefeller denied any responsibility and minimized the seriousness of the event.] When testifying on the Ludlow Massacre, and asked what action he would have taken as Director, John D. Rockefeller stated, "I would have taken no action. I would have deplored the necessity which compelled the officers of the company to resort to such measures to supplement the State forces to maintain law and order." Rockefeller admitted that he had made no attempt to bring the militiamen to justice.

2010: 29 people killed in a Massey Energy Company coal mine explosion in West Virginia. On April 6, 2016, the same day as Freed's column appeared, former Massey Energy Chief Executive Blankenship was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $250,000 for conspiring to violate safety standards at the site of the blast. Massey Energy had been bought in 2011 by Alpha Natural Resources for about $7 billion.

Among many others.

                                                                 Bob Bender
                                                                 Deerfield Beach Associate Member,                                                                  United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO;
                                                                 Member, New Jersey Industrial Union Council

Florence Weisz

Member Florence Weisz at her Stripes exhibition: Learn More Below!



3-12-16 We celebrated Betty Levin's 90th birthday!
Images above: Left, Jim White congratulates Betty; Right: Betty listening to her granddaughter, Stephanie Rudolph


What's Happening This Month at Ethical!
Past Newsletters     
Past Year Program Schedules
Interested in Joining the Ethical Society? Click here!
Dialogue-- the American Ethical Union's Newsletter
AEU Ethical Action Report
Our Society By Laws
Notes about Members, Obituaries, etc.





May 29, 2016

Colloquy on Remembrance



June 5, 2016

Steven Trombecky

Forgiveness-- Beyond Right and Wrong


Next Social Action Committee meeting
immediately after the program Sunday, June 5, 2016
is will be short, but important!

Minutes of the last Social Action Committee Meeting


Coffee Schedule for 2015-16




Local Hero Award

The Social Action Committee's 2016 Local Hero Award
will be presented May 22, 2016 to Widney Brown




The Social Action Committee has instituted a program for celebrating Local Heroes. We believe that many people in our communities are doing important, under-appreciated work in social service and social action. Our first honoree, for 2015, was Susan Barry, a long time language arts teacher at Maplewood Middle School who organized a Model UN that is accessible to all types of students.

Our Local Hero Honoree for 2016 is Widney Brown. We are honoring her leadership at Physicians for Human Rights; her support of our Essex Ethical Culture Society; and her efforts to spread good will and respect for gender differences in her neighborhood. She will be accepting the honor on Sunday, May 22.

Widney Brown is the Director of Programs, New York, for Physicians for Human Rights. She oversees PHR's research, investigations, monitoring and evaluation, documentation, advocacy, and capacity-building projects. Prior to joining PHR, she served as the senior director for international law and policy at Amnesty International's Secretariat in London. She was responsible for Amnesty International's strategic litigation program, standard-setting initiatives, international justice program, advocacy in global and regional intergovernmental settings, and policy development. Before Amnesty International, she worked at Human Rights Watch for nine years during which time she served in a variety of roles, including as deputy program director, where she was responsible for overseeing the work of both regional and thematic programs.

Locally, she has spoken for us at the Ethical Culture Society. She also has, in her own backyard in Maplewood, quietly supported and eased the coming out of young people, and has spread good will to the children who attend a Jewish Day Care Center near her home, explaining gender issues in a way they can understand. We honor her both for her engaged, neighborly presence in our community, and for her work for all of us at the national and international level.



Last year's Local Hero was Susan Barry

Susan Barry & Friends 6-7-15

Susan Barry retired from Maplewood Middle School, but is still working on the Model UN Program with the Students there. Learn about their UN trip in April 2016.




Joys and Sorrows in Our Community


Leader Emerita Boe Meyerson is convalescing at  Care One at the Cupola (Room 239) at 100 West Ridgewood Road, Paramus, NJ 07652. Her brother reports that she is getting medical attention and social interaction. 



A memorial service was held for Anja Moen on 
September 26
, 2015 at the Maplewood Club starting at 5:30 pm.
489 Ridgewood Road.

See obituary here




There was a beautiful celebration of the life of Gus Lindquist, on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 3 pm, -- with a program scripted by Gus himself! Read the op-ed piece by Gus   published the day he died, June 18, 2015.




Jerry Kaplan: click on Members.html#jerrykaplan


Current Newsletter

(In order to read this, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader,
which can be downloaded free if you click here.)

Upcoming Events at Ethical   


Member Memorials

Peace Center Page!



We're in the News!


Great Ideas from Felix Adler: The Ethical Culture Elevator Pitch??

  Podcast: MarthaGallahue Interviewed by Anselm LeBourne
(go to the bottom of the Somore.org page)


Past Events, News, and Follow-Up to Programs.







The Calendar of the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County
For More information on individual events, click here.









March 2016


Saturday March 5 Eva Bouzard-Hui Opening


Saturday, March 5th Eva Bouzard-Hui's Art Exhibit at The Ethical Culture Society will officially open on January 4, 2016 and will run through March. The artist's wine and cheese reception will be Saturday, March 5th from 6:30-8 p.m. At that time, Eva will be pleased to offer a very special treat: A well known composer has written music based on poems written by Eva Bouzard-Hui. A noted pianist will perform the compositions. All are encouraged to attend.








Sunday March 6

Social Action Committee

Immediately after Program




Friday, March 11, 2016

Folk Fridayat Ethical

Sing-along & jam



Sunday, March 13

1:00 PM

Millburn Library

Huda Shanawani on Syrian Refugees in New Jersey




April 2016



Sunday April 3
Social Action Committee
Immediately after Program



April 3 Sunday
11am - 12pm
Families for Ethical Education Program




Friday, April 8, 2016

Folk Friday at Ethical

Sing-along & jam

Second Fridays of month (October - June)

Ethical Culture Society

516 Prospect St

Maplewood, NJ 07040

7:30 PM - 9 PM

lnovemsky@comcast.net   973 763-8293

bring acoustic string and rhythm instruments

join in playing, singing, or listening with us bring some refreshments to share

Everyone is invited!



April 13 Wednesday 7pm Transgender Topics




Paintings by Barbara Krales Cotler will be shown at the Society Friday April 15 to Thursday June 30, 2016, announced art coordinator Karen Bokert. The paintings are landscapes, seascapes and abstracts. An artist's reception will be held Saturday April 16 from 7 to 9 pm at the Society. Barbara writes, "I decided that I wanted to be an artist when as a small child I observed a portrait of an old woman being painted out of doors. My mother turned thumbs down on this because during the Depression all thoughts were on earning enough to pay the rent. My father, on the other hand, thought everything I did was wonderful. My family made, repaired or created everything necessary for survival without money. I grew up believing that anything a human being could do with their hands or their brains, I could do as well, from rewebbing the sagging sofa to carpentry. (This notion ended with the arrival of the electronic age.) The notion of spending money on art supplies never entered anybody's mind. I used paper napkins, wire and milk bottle caps to "make things." At Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn I chose art as a 5th major. I came under the tutelage of a blessed teacher, Harry Allen. He basically taught ceramics and sculpture, but what he really taught was how to Ôsee' things whether material or intellectual. He advised me that going to art school was a lovely idea but you could not beat a teaching license for security. I ended up with a degree in sociology and masters in library science but took art courses whenever I could including the entire studio art program at Kean college. My working life was spent as Senior Librarian mostly at Maplewood Memorial Library. I spent several years doing stone sculpture under Larry Umbreit at Riker Hill Art Park until my hands began to hurt. I then switched to painting which I enjoy very much." Barbara and husband Marty, longtime members of the Ethical Culture Society, reside in Maplewood.



Come see Florence Weisz's 25 stripe artworks, including 2-D and 3-D collages, a site-specific wall installation and an interactive collage that you can play with at--


Gallery 103 - Geralyn's Art Studio
103 Baker Street, Maplewood Village:

Tuesday, April 12, from 3 to 4 PM
Thursday, April 14
, from 1 to 2 PM

Saturday, April 16,  from 1 to 2 PM



Or get in touch with Florence










April 30 Saturday 4 pm Parenting Circle facilitated by Martha Gallahue.


May 2016


May 8, 9 am: Tai Chi Chuan with Richard Mullen at Grove Park in South Orange (corner of South Orange Avenue and Grove Street)




May 10, 11 am: Chair Yoga





May 11, 3 pm: ECSEC Executive Board Meeting





May 13, 7:30 pm: Folk Friday


Folk Friday at Ethical

Sing-along & jam

Second Fridays of month (October - June)

Ethical Culture Society

516 Prospect St

Maplewood, NJ 07040

7:30 PM - 9 PM

lnovemsky@comcast.net   973 763-8293

bring acoustic string and rhythm instruments

join in playing, singing, or listening with us bring some refreshments to share

Everyone is invited!



May 14, 2-5 pm: Book Launch for E. Betty Levin’s memoir, “Becoming Betty,” at 117 Sagamore Rd., Millburn. There will be catered refreshments and folk singing. Hopefully the azaleas will be in full bloom. Important: We are limited to 50 guests. RSVP: 973-763-1033 (please leave your phone number if you are leaving a message).




Through June 30, 2016: Barbara Krales Cotler exhibit featuring landscapes, seascapes, and abstracts.



May 22: Local Hero Award to Widney Brown! Learn more here.






The Leader's Page

Social Action Committee Minutes

Links to Other Ethical Societies Around the Nation!

Article on Women in Ethical Culture

Vimeo of Betty Levin's September 16 Program
Fred Sebastian Memorial
Meredith Sue Willis Talk on Political Novel
Building a Relationship: ECS & Valley Settlement House






Information about Ill and Recovering Members

Interested in Joining our Society?

Call Barbara Cotler 973-762-5287


Small weddings, Bar and Bat mitzvahs,
Graduation parties, etc.  Call 973-763-1905


For more informaton about the
Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, call 973-763-1905
The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County
516 Prospect Street, Maplewood, NJ 07040


Employee Legal Notice: Click here for Mandatory Notice from the
New Jersey Department of Labor and
Workforce Development for All Employees

Special Thanks to our friends at Tech-9 Multimedia

Links to other societies around the country!
 Would you like to hear talks by some ethical culture leaders? Click here.


How to Join

We're in the news!   

Leader's Page

Who We Are

Rent Space in Our Building

Babysitting can be arranged during Program
if you call 973-763-1905 two days in advance.


Information for Members
Special for Members: By-Laws
The American Ethical Union
Past Programs
Programs 2014-15
Programs 2013-14
Programs 2011-2012
Programs 2010-2011
Programs 2009-2010
Programs 2008-2009

Platfomrs 2007-2008
Programs 2006-2007
Programs 2005-2006

Programs 2004-2005
Programs 2003-2004



Newsletters (In order to read these newsletter, you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader. It can be downloaded
free if you click here.)
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
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February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
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June - Aug 2006
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December 2005
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October 2003
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November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
Members' Page-- Announcements
Becoming a Member?
National Affiliation Discuss Ethical Culture
Article on Grieving
Phil Sosis Memorial
Social Action Committee Snapshots of Activities