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.
For the past seven decades, the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island has provided ethical education for children and adults, taken on a range of social justice issues – including women’s and civil rights, fair housing, prison reform and war protests, helping the hungry and the homeless on Long Island and around the world, and is a leader in raising awareness about issues like global warming, sustainability and human rights. Our own charity, Ethical Friends of Children, helps over a thousand local families every year by providing clothing and other much-needed supplies.
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 24 Ethical Societies and affiliates, linked together as members of the American Ethical Union. EHSLI is also a chapter of the American Humanist Association.
Check out our video highlighting some of the many social action programs started by founder Felix Adler and at projects involving our Long Island Society!