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The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island (EHSLI) was founded in 1950, but our roots go much deeper. Dr. Felix Adler, a German-American humanist philosopher, educator, and social reformer, founded the Ethical Culture movement in Manhattan in 1876. Thanks to his vision, Ethical Humanism is a growing movement around the country, now numbering 26 Societies, linked together in membership through the American Ethical Union.

In 1950, in Hempstead, a group of Long Islanders began a spin-off off the New York Ethical Culture Society in Manhattan. They changed the name to “The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island.” As they grew, the members saved their money, some even mortgaging their homes, to erect our building in Garden City, which opened its doors in 1957. For over 60 years, The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island has educated and enlightened the community in ethical education for children and adults, began Chapter 74 of Amnesty International in 1976, founded Ethical Friends of Children in 1985, helped to build Sema Academy in Kenya beginning in 2000, and has been a leader in ethical social action for decades.


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We have great programs for kids and teens: