Ethics For Children, Tweens & Teens

Here, young humans empower their ethical development, create life-long freindships, and stand up with care and courage for a GOOD WORLD in action.

Winter Season 2016


Free Family Festivals for ALL.  
and Gatherings each Sunday for all ages.
Festivals include: 

January 10th, 11am THE JUSTICE JAM!
February 7th, 11am,  HELPFUL HEARTS FESTIVAL!
March 27th, 11am, A MARCH OF MINDFUL MADNESS! 

Enroll in Winter Season of Ethics For Children:  
Jan. 10 through March 27, 2016 

THE PLAN FOR 2016:  

Genuine Justice January
 invites children 
to explore fairness 
to learn about equality in humanity
to learn about diversity of culture 
to stand up for a fair world
to learn justice songs from the civil rights movement

Friendly Familial February
 invites children 
to explore familial diversity and familial choice
to appreciate the role of one's family in a larger vision of the human family

Moving Mindful March
invites children into yogic fun
to learn about going inside ourselves
to learn about sharing outside of ourselves
to find values, and practices that support 
individual and communal wellbeing
to fuel actions of goodness from outrages of injustice.

Free Festivals and suggested offering of: 
$100 per family for seasonal enrollment.
Free for Ethical Member Families
All ages work together and collaborate.
Parents are invited to attend the Morning Meeting simultaneously, 
(yet are welcome to stay and participate helpfully by request). 
Sundays that fall on 3 day weekends will depend on RSVP, for planning of the group.


NYSEC Winter Solstice!!!! 
Intergenerational Celebration
Sun, Dec. 18, 11am
NYSEC, 4th Floor
Free, all ages, participatory!

Optional extensions:  
Lunch afterwards.  
and Prep-session before it at 10:30 on 5th floor.

Link to the ANCIENT JAPANESE SOLSTICE STORY story we will be enacting.
You may enjoy reading it before and/or after the event at home! You may enjoy making a picture from this story, or from your experience of the Solstice event at NYSEC.

If you make a picture for this story, please send a picture of your picture to and it will get published inside of the story, on this blog.

Join Ethical For Solstice! and Register for 2016!

Winter Solstice Festival is Coming Up!
It takes place on Dec. 20th! 11am.  4th Floor of NYSEC, 2 W. 64th St.
Free, and for all.
Children, we'll prepare for it on December 13, 11am!

We'll be creating a community enactment of an ancient Japanese tale!
A unique and participatory spin on Solstice!  
With all ages, collaborating!
Come on over for a great time!!!!


LOOKING FORWARD:  Get involved in 2016
Family Festivals are open to the public, and free of charge.  
January 10th THE JUSTICE JAM!

Enroll in Winter Season of Ethics For Children:  
Jan. 10 through March 27, 2016 
(sessions on 3 day weekends, depend on RSVP planning of the group)

$100 per family for seasonal enrollment.
Free for Ethical Member Families
All ages work together and collaborate.
Parents are invited to attend the Morning Meeting simultaneously, 
yet they are always welcome to stay and participate. 

THE PLAN FOR 2016:  
Genuine Justice January 
            invites children to stand up for a fair world
Friendly Familial February 
            invites children to explore family diversity
Moving Mindful March 
            invites children into yogic fun 

LOOKING BACK (notes from Audrey Kindred):
As the Ethics For Children's leader, I'd like to share some themes of the past season with the larger Ethical Community.  The fall season of Ethics For Children has been delightful, bringing new friends in to discover Ethical, while creating rich celebrations of the seasonal themes.  The fall focus of Ethical Study was on developing a caring and attentive MIND.  A homemade coloring book I made guided the group to CREATE PEACE through a vision of the mind as a castle (inspired by the work of colleage in mindful-education, Courtney McDowell):  
  • First, children quiet their mind, and "place one thought-stone at a time, to build the castle of the mind."  
  • Then, they recognize their heart as the "treasure box of Valuable Values" 
  • Then they draw upon the valuable values of the heart, to inspire the "helpful hands that build THE BRIDGE OF DEED," through which actions make a difference in the world.
  • Then, as valuable values are challenged, they may recognize their BIG FEELINGS are stoked.  These big feelings are represented by an Inner Dragon that would vigilantly defend the castle's treasure
  • Finally, the child must tame her/his Inner Dragon.  With deep fiery breaths, the child face their big feelings peacefully   
  • Now, the child, as the great ruler of the castle, feels safe, calm and powerful.  
  • Finally, children, as rulers of their mindfulness-castles, freely greet one another and celebrate the shared TREASURE of their valuable values with one another.
No matter what age you are, if you would like a copy of our Thought-Stone coloring book, simply ask at

Giving Thanks, Giving, and Thanking

Gratitude and Generosity Festival 
Children of all ages, 
and their grown-ups, are welcome!
Free. Fun. Friendship.
NYSEC, November 22, 11am
64th St & CPW, 5th floor.

Fall Season 2015

FALL CALENDAR -- click this link, and scroll down for calendar.

For September, we invite new friends of all ages to come join in the joy of Ethical Learning! 
In the early half of the fall season, we'll be building our own personal 
"Ethical Treasure Chests with Valuable Values." 
In late fall, we'll be developing our "Peace Tool Kits" 
to engage us in the communicative practices and deeds that activate those values.  

Visitors are welcome to try out the programming for a free session at any time, with RSVP.  RSVP to, please.  You may wish to try out a season with us.  Cost should never stop you, so please ask for scholarship if necessary.  Otherwise, a contribution of $100 per season is suggested. Ethics For Children is free of cost for members' children.  Ethics For Teens with RSVP is free to all teens. 

NYSEC Ethical Membership is available for all families to who discover a sense of belonging at NYSEC and wish to build the Ethical Culture of New York City.  To explore the possiblity of becoming a NYSEC member, please arrange a dialogue with  NYSEC Leader Anne Klaeysen.  

Ethical Parenting, Step-Parenting, Grand-parenting Workshop!
           With Anne Klaeysen
           Thursdays, September 10 & 24, AND October 8 & 22.
      September 20th:  International Peace Day Celebration
            11:00am:  Ethics For Children
            1:30pm:    Ethics or Teens.


Summer Fun at NYSEC, 2015

Ethical Explorers:  
Looking Back and Forward, with Open Doors and Open Minds

This summer, Ethics For Children hosted a fabulous five session series with Ethics teacher Audrey Kindred and visiting artist Amy Reid titled "Animating Humanism and Humanity."  We thought a lot about human ancestors of the past and descendants of the future, and how we fit into the picture.  From these contemplations, four-year-old Marifer coined a delightful question for us to contemplate: "Are amoeba our ancestors?"      Collaborating children of all ages made several short animations including "Just a Spoonful of Humanity Makes the World Go 'Round.... In the Most Delightful Way." To enjoy these animations, visit  "" (You may link to this on NYSEC's website. In your enthusiasm, you may choose to share these animations freely on public media.  
            In our lovely short summer session, we hosted NYSEC's 3rd-ever rooftop slumber party: NIGHT LIGHT. What a wonderful experience for the many who came!  Here is 8 year old Sylan's paragraph to describe it:
Sylvan offers:
"At the Ethical Culture sleepover, I slept on the slide.  So did Dad.  Mama brought chick pea salad and pasta salad, and David's Mom brought hummus, carrots, and celery to the sleepover. I liked the animation that we did before bed.  Amy was up in the balcony, and we were on the stage.  We started around in a circle.  We moved a little bit, and then Amy took a picture.  We kept doing that, and after the sleepover Audrey sent us the animation so that we could see how it put the pictures together.  That was my favorite thing about the sleepover."


Below, you may link to the wonderful very short and sweet animations created by Ethical Explorers 2015, Summer:

Animating Life on Earth

Animating Night Light

Animating Sand Mandala

Animating A Spoonful of Humanity

Bernette Rudolph, Sculptor

NYSEC Ethical member and artist, Bernette Rudolph ( led our group in an abstract sculpture project.  Ethics For Children has gotten to know Bernette through the Wonder Friends Project in which she has a code-name, Bunny From Brooklyn.  She wrote letters for many weeks with a special young friend, code-named AwesomeSauce23's.  Finally, they met and she offered to come spend time with all his pals at NYSEC.  She introduced them to abstract sculpture, with her favorite substance: wood.

As a Wonder Friend, Bunny From Brooklyn wrote: "I make art all the time. I cut wood images on a band saw and hang my art on the walls...  I actually have two saws.  I have a big band saw with a large blade that goes in a circle. I cut very large pieces of Birch wood on this saw. Then I have a scroll saw with a small blade that goes up and down like a sewing machine. On the scroll saw I cut very fine small works.  I sometimes make puzzles for children when they visit my art studio....   I teach children art in my studio. We build with wood and cardboard boxes and clay."

Once the sculptures were strong, we got together to paint them.  Bernette suggested the powerful choice of painting them all one color, recalling the works of Lousie Nevelson.  Here is how they developed! "AwesomeSauce23, please be first and last in our Sculpture Pics!"


A child has grown!
She has always danced to the tune of her own fiddle, both literally and figuratively.  When ready to embark upon her Ethical Culture "Coming of Age," she took on one of the challenging human quests: Forgiveness.  She asks the question of its meaning to people openly, holding space with equanimity, for all kinds of answers -- thoughtfully absorbing, contemplating.

In the fall of 2014, this wisdom child and I convened, as we had for many years before at the Ethical Education Annual Retreat in Stoney Point.  She had been my student as a young girl, and now, housed in different ethical societies, we are always very joyful to find one another there!  She joined me in a SPEED DEED workshop I was leading, to invite the community of ethical educators taking the workshop to engage in a "doable deed" of forgiveness. She had collected many large colorful leaves from the ground, and upon them, she suggested we write with sharpie pens, the name of someone with whom (be it to or from) forgiveness might be a hoped for prospect.   Release the leaves back into nature, let them go as, trees themselves have done.  Let them go, literally and metaphorically.  Let go of the leaf to enact the forgiveness named on the leaf.

"Letting go," is indeed a forgiveness mantra that resounds among many who contemplate the theme of forgiveness.   It acknowledges an aspect of forgiveness many adults say they have taken decades to understand -- that forgiveness is largely a personal deed, an act of letting go for the sake of the self, an act of personal healing. Our forgiveness-researcher has wisdom far beyond her years.  The Coming-of-Age year of her forgiveness quest is coming to its grand finale.

She invited community to gather at BSEC on Memorial Day weekend, to contemplate Forgiveness in colloquy-style.  Bookended by her supporters, she towers tall above her Coming-of-Age mentor Simba Yangala and her Brooklyn Ethical advocate Tasha Paley.    On this warm Sunday May morning, the large circle that gathered for colloquy included many adults and two teen peers.  Our young leader invited the circle to contemplate forgiveness.  With colloquy traditions scaffolding the morning, she brought out the best of the participants, encouraging us only to speak from our heart-felt "i" voice, and let us land in that voice through her own musical offering, a violin solo.

Forgiveness resonated for people primarily at the person-to-person level... at first.  They could forgive someone, or not.  Twice we gathered into smaller huddles to brew our thoughts with two or three in dialogue.  However, like a dialogue can do, the momentum of wonder about Forgiveness spiraled upward and upward throughout the morning -- toward ever higher levels of thought and inquiry.   We advanced organically from a go-around of "personal" versions of Forgiveness to ones increasingly more profound:   historical, global, environmental, genocidal.  We looked upon natural disasters and historical human sufferings -- facing the ways that, as Leader Emeritas, Lisel Burns describes  "Forgiveness is like one wing, and Fighting -- or standing up for what's good -- is like the other wing, on the great bird of...."  community, freedom, fairness.

A brave young woman steers her quest forth.

Simba, Zoe, Tasha.
The Forgiveness Team

Stephanie Rosenblatt

Gratitude to ling-time NYSEC member 
Stephanie Rosenblatt 
for sharing her life-story with us
at Ethics For Children.
She shared her story of survival,
 as a non-religious Jewish girl,  
in Germany during the reign of Hitler
and the very terrible events of the Holocaust.
She talked about the can-do attitude 
with which she moved forth in life
from this time in history that holds 
for all the world, so much pain.
She has been a member of NYSEC for over 60 years!

Rina, Nina, Mita, Sean, Favio
Sylvan, David
Audrey, Miles, Stephanie

When the Earth speaks, who is listening?

Earth's Gladness 
Earth's Sadness
 The children wrote scripts to express Earth's voice, if it could speak English to Humans:

Then they coached their parents to speak for the Earth.

Here are some of their scripts:

Maria Fridman!

Maria Fridman founded NYSEC's Women's Shelter.

We recently enjoyed visiting the murals made by Teen Leaders with Amy Reid and Ish Islam in 2012-13

Who Needs Donuts...?

Lillian in front of Ethical founder, Felix!
With people of all colors dancing around her smart brain!

Sorting out Needs and Wants: these two values catagories offer important perspectives

Marifer articulating Needs and Wants
The book is:  "Who Needs Donuts?" by Mark Alan Stamaty
And the lesson, of course, is "who needs donuts if you've got LOVE?"

2015 "I have a dream" speeches by children, and then parents inspired by children

Children and parents took their moments to stand at the podium and share a dream of the future as they dream/hope for it to be.  Here are some of the quotes of children.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. each person began with his impactful words:
"I have a dream that..."

A Parent, Pamela    &    A Child, David

...One day --( because somewhere out there there are still a few slaves ) -- all  over the world everyone will have their own freedom.
(Lillian 7 years old)

...Everyone will unite and make a world without segregation. Everyone will have what they need and everyone will be kind to each other.
(Mita, 10 years old)

...Everybody will get to do anything they want to. And if any police kill black people, they will be arrested and have justice.
(David, 7 years old)

...Everyone will eventually unite as one world -- no such thing as countries. There will be no revenge. All people will be helpful and inspired.
(Timothy, 12 years old)