Adler's organization was dedicated to the study of social justice and establishing new institutions to achieve a more just and ethical society. In some ways, the new organization resembled the more traditional faith-based organizations, but Adler focused more on ethical behavior rather than faith in a single religious creed. Developing his talents for written and oral communication, Adler continued to publish and lecture and would later be appointed as chair of political and social ethics at Columbia University
Addler became a leading national figure in several reform movements. For example, he was the chairman of the National Child Labor Committee and one of the founding members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture was established in response to a growing interest in Addler's ideas. Today, it presents itself as a liberal and educational fellowship of individuals and families who come together to pursue personal growth and social progress.