Who We Are

Ethical Culture, also called Ethical Humanism, is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.  In Ethical Culture, the ultimate questions are not about the existence of gods or an afterlife, but rather, “How can we create meaningfulness in this life?” and “How should we treat each other in order to create a humane and just world?

From founder Felix Adler to today, Ethical Humanists have launched and participated in many programs that help create a more just society. Here is a brief look at some of our early social justice initiatives and at some of the many activities the Long Island Society has been involved with:

Our Members

At the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island it is the members and the countless activities that they undertake in the expression of our values—some large and some small— that make up who we are and what we stand for. Hear from some of our members about current and past activities.

Our History

The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island (EHSLI) was founded in 1950, when a group of Long Islanders began a spin-off of the New York Ethical Culture Society. After meeting in several temporary locations, this growing community of like-minded individuals saved their money to erect our building in Garden City – which opened its doors in 1959.

Our roots, however, were planted in the 19th Century when Dr. Felix Adler, a German-American philosopher, educator, and social reformer, founded the Ethical Culture movement in New York City in 1876. He proposed a non-theistic vision of uniting humanity over ethical and moral values. Adler wrote and lectured extensively on how to create meaningfulness in this life and how we should treat each other.

The growing Ethical Humanist movement brings together people from all races, creeds, and backgrounds interested in doing their best in this life to create a better world. There are 22 Ethical Societies and affiliates, linked together as members of the American Ethical Union. EHSLI is also a chapter of the American Humanist Association.