Dr. Joseph Chuman

Dr. Chuman has been the leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, NJ since 1974, and since 2008 has served as a part-time leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

Activist and Community Organizer

As an activist, Dr. Chuman has worked on behalf of human rights, civil liberties and in opposition to the death penalty, as well as many other progressive causes. He founded the Northern New Jersey group of Amnesty International in 1974 and currently serves as president of the Bergen County Sanctuary for Asylum Seekers, founded by the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County. This coalition of religious and human rights organizations provides services for asylum seekers who are released from federal detention.

Writer and Educator

Dr Chuman teaches Human Rights at the graduate level at Columbia University, and has taught at the United Nations University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica. He has published numerous articles in the Record of Bergen County, New Jersey. He has also had articles published in The New York Times, The Humanist, Free Inquiry, Humanistic Judaism and other periodicals. He has had articles published on Ethical Culture and religion in several encyclopedias.


The radical Martin Luther King Jr. we do not know

By Dr. Joseph Chuman Martin Luther King Day is almost upon us and its advent comes for me with a sense of ambivalence. That King is worthy of a

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Greatness lies in the human struggle

By Dr. Joseph Chuman We all wear social masks. In public we always want to present our best selves. This is perfectly understandable and probably

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Preserving the American Idea in our perilous times

By Dr. Joseph Chuman It is often said that unlike most other nations, the United States is founded on an idea. Whereas countries on other continents

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If We Reject Science, It’s Over

By Dr. Joseph Chuman Has America lost its mind? With Donald Trump as our leader and the world’s most powerful man, it feels as if we have entered

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Humanism’s Farther Reaches

A former leader of the New York Ethical Society, Jerome Nathanson, often said that in his view Ethical Culture is the most important idea in the

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Finding Solace in the Cosmos

By Dr. Joseph Chuman This has been a hard year for all of us, considering the dark political realities that loom large and invade our mental space

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Searching for the Common Good

In August 1981, Ronald Reagan carried out his threat and fired 11,000 air-traffic controllers who had gone on strike, demanding higher wages and a

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Reclaiming the Light Amid the Darkness

Donald Trump’s mind is like buckshot; concocted thoughts spew out impulsively in all directions. The problem is that he is president of the United

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What it Means to be Human

I have devoted my past five platform addresses to the political maelstrom that lies ahead. As powerful as the impulse to speak again about the

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Repairing Our Democratic Values

By Dr. Joseph Chuman, leader of The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County It’s hard to get excited about them. It’s much harder to get

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Politics as Tribalism

By Dr. Joseph Chuman, Leader of The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County It is as frightening as it is mysterious. Donald Trump did not create

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Staying Sane When the World Seems Not to Be – Sept. 11, 2016

Dr. Joseph Chuman, Leader The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County As Ethical Culturists, we are attuned to the wider world. And today, to be so

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Thinking About Fascism

We have never seen anything like it – a major party candidate for the presidency who is a flaming narcissist, has never held public office and

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The Farther Reaches of America’s Racism

By Dr. Joe Chuman, Jan 3, 2016 Preview of the address The New Year usually arrives on the wings of hope and the anticipation that the year aborning

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What’s Reason Got to Do With It? Sun, May 3, 2015

…Why Americans Deny Climate Change, Embrace Creationism, Believe in Ghosts and Other Preposterous Ideas By Dr. Joseph Chuman, Leader of The

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From The Leader: Individualism Gone Wild

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world… The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of

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In Search of a Wider, Deeper, Richer Humanism

Today’s news is unsettling. Since September 2011, terrorism doesn’t seem so far away from us, even if it is taking place on the other side of the

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Terrorism Very Close to Home, Sun Jan. 4

By Dr. Joseph Chuman, Leader of The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County For our platform on Sunday, January 4th I am pleased to announce that

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