ethical culture society of bergen

The need for forgiveness

By Dr. Joseph Chuman Trying to be ethical is not risk-free. It comes with perils. Among the pitfalls is the appearance of being sanctimonious. Exhibit high ethical standards and others may accuse you of striving to be “holier than thou.” And there is always the risk of ethical failure, which, given the
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The cosmic perspective and its consolations

By Dr. Joseph Chuman I am suffering from outrage overload. Given the macabre and oppressive political times we endure, I am not the only one. Many people, no doubt, seek modes of relief and escape. While I assiduously read the papers and magazines of opinion (these I can control), I find that I often turn […]
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Winter Festival 2017

We celebrated the solstice at our Winter Festival on Dec. 17, sharing jokes, funny songs and laughter, as well as candle-lighting and our traditional potluck lunch.
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Can you host an asylum seeker?

By Dr. Joseph Chuman Fourteen years ago, our Bergen Ethical Culture Society created a new non-profit organization, now called the Northern New Jersey Sanctuary Coalition for Political Asylum Seekers. As many of you know, the mission of the Sanctuary Coalition is to assist political asylum seekers who are fleeing
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Human trafficking, a major moral challenge

By Drs. Sylvain Ehrenfeld and Reba Goodman More than 40 million people were victims of modern slavery in 2016. This amazing figure comes from the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation. This includes 25 million trapped in forced labor, many of them in debt bondage, working in
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New Year’s Day brunch remembered

By Susan Lesh As I am writing this, the holidays are fast approaching. One of the holiday traditions at Ethical had been a New Year’s Day Brunch. This was begun by the effervescent Beth Greenblatt. I remember, when we were new members, being enthralled by the “lady in purple.” She always wore a smile, had […]
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For 2018, new budget, new initiative and new campaign

At the Fall Membership Meeting, held Nov. 19, our Ethical Culture Society unanimously adopted the budget for 2018, totalling $218,391. Survey and conversations: Also at the meeting, members learned of a new initiative that came from the Board-Program Council retreat in October. We are going to be holding a series
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Hunger Banquet raises awareness and funds

The Society’s Oxfam Hunger Awareness Banquet, held on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, raised more than $1,500 for Oxfam’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Guest speaker Ericka Collado (below right, at podium) discussed conditions in Puerto Rico.
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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 necessary for society to function. But peer beneath the surface and one encounters a very different picture of the human condition. My nearly half-century as an Ethical
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Death, Grief and Love

Platform address by Dr. Joseph Chuman, leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, November 4, 2012         Last year my professional life reached a milestone: For the first time in my 44-year career, the annual number of funeral and memorial services at which I have officiated surpassed the number of
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