By Susan Lesh
Did you know that the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County gives out annual awards? They are generally presented at our June Installation Dinner, where we install our incoming officers and committee chairs.
The Selene Katz scholarship award goes to a senior at a high school who is college- or trade-school-bound and has a financial need for assistance. For the last several years, we have awarded these scholarships to seniors at the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts in Paterson. Selene Katz was a quiet member of our Ethical Culture Society; when she passed away she left a sizable gift, stipulating that it should be available for scholarships. Last year we awarded $1,500 to Janeah Alexander; she attends Ramapo College and is in the Biology program.
The Jack Rubenstein Ethical Humanist Award is given to a person who is not a member of our Ethical community. This person, however, has worked tirelessly for the betterment of society in a way that mirrors the ideals and commitments of the Ethical Culture. Jack Rubenstein was a former, esteemed president of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County. Previous Ethical Humanist awardees include Paula Rogovin for her efforts in protesting the Iraq War and forming Military Families Speak Out, Rabbi Joel Mosbacher for his efforts to prevent gun violence, and Kay Roseen for her work improving the education and well-being of children in Haiti.
These awards allow our Ethical Culture ideas to resonate with the larger community and introduce Ethical Culture to more people.
Susan Lesh is president of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County.