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

The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County

Today is    Updated 10-23-16

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: Morris Silver, President;   Zia Durrani, Vice-President; Jeanine Rosh, Treasurer;
Esther Barcun; Diane Beeny; Barbara Cotler; Elaine Durbach-Norstein; William Graves; Jaqueline Herships
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




October 30, 2016

Susan Rose

Raising Ethical Children


E. Betty Levin will read from her memoir Becoming Betty at Words Bookstore on Sunday, October 23, 2016, at 2:00 PM.

Betty Levin, peace educator and psychotherapist, was orphaned at birth and raised by her loving Tante Surrel. She later married a genius mathematician in the computer industry. After a difficult 27 years, she broke away and reinvented herself as a psychotherapist, peace educator and social activist. Spanning ninety years, Becoming Betty chronicles the journal of a resilient, creative humanist who lived through the era of the Depression, World War II, and the Feminist Movement.

Betty is a fifty year member of the Essex Ethical Culture Society who has served as president and on the Board of Trustees multiple times. Additionally, she was the founder and Director for ten years of the Society's Creative Arts Workshop, later expanded to include humanistic studies and renamed Educational Center.

Her daughters Janet and Wendy are both graduates of the Ethical Culture Society Sunday School, now renamed the Family Eduction Program. Continuing into the next generation, Janet's two daughters Stephanie and Samantha are fourth generation Ethical Culturists, graduates of the Long Island Society Sunday School. Stephanie works as a public-interest attorney in New York City, having graduated from Haverford and Stanford Law School. Samantha, married this year, is completing medical school at Berkeley.

Dear Members and Friends,
     We are saddened by the death of Dick Bohn, longtime member of the Ethical Culture Society. Dick passed away October 1, 2016, after a recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  Condolences and shared memories can be sent to Nancy (who is with their daughter in Minneapolis) at dnbohn@comcast.net. See his obituary here.
Joan Mendelson information

October 14, 2016
Folk Friday at Ethical
Sing-along & jam!!


Social Action Committee Minutes --
Next Meeting Sunday November 6, 2016


Something new and interesting called Brand New Congress.
Take a look at some Youtube clips explaining it:
Zack Exley and MSNBC.


We Made Stone Soup with Families for Ethical Education on 9-25-16!


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.






Next Social Action Committee meeting
immediately after the program Sunday, November 6, 2016

Minutes of the last Social Action Committee Meeting




Local Hero Award

The Social Action Committee's 2016 Local Hero Award
was 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



Joan Mendelson is at Genesis Healthcare, Maple Glen, Room 300, 1215 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410. She is about the same, but enjoys visitors.


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.





September 2016


  • September 24, 1-4 pm: Theresa Pettersen-Chu: Come Home to Yourself- In this 3-hour experiential workshop Pettersen-Chu, certified Rubenfeld Synergist, will guide tyou to deeply listen to your body and translate its messages using a combination of touch, talk and guided imagery. Cost: $35.

  • September 25, 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.

  • September 25, 11 am: Family Colloquy on Education: Community Event Featuring Stone Soup- We invite all those interested in getting to know us and all members and friends to come to our Stone Soup Event. Please bring one vegetable, cut and washed, to go in the soup.

  • Chair Yoga Tuesdays at 11:00 A.M.

  • Tai Chi Chuan Sunday Mornings at 9 a.m.

  • September 27, 11 am: Chair Yoga




Every Tuesday, 11 am: Chair Yoga












October 2016




Coming Up:

October 2, 11 am: Brenda Comissiong and E. Betty Levin: Our Revolution: The Future of the Bernie Sanders Movement



October 14, 2016

Folk Friday at Ethical

Sing-along & jam

(In Memory of Fred Hellerman)

Second Fridays of month (October - June)

Ethical Culture Society

516 Prospect St

Maplewood, NJ 07040

7:30 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!




October 23: The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County's longtime member E. Betty Levin will read excerpts from her recently published memoir, Becoming Betty, on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 2 pm, at Words Bookstore, 179 Maplewood Ave., Maplewood.  





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.)
November 2016
October 2016
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June - Aug 2006
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Members' Page-- Announcements
Becoming a Member?
National Affiliation Discuss Ethical Culture
Article on Grieving
Phil Sosis Memorial
Social Action Committee Snapshots of Activities