What is The Friendship Circle?

The Friendship Circle extends a helping hand to Jewish families who have children with special needs and involves them in a full range of Jewish and social experiences.

Children with special needs often endure loneliness and isolation because of a lack of friends and social opportunities. One of our main, innovative programs, Friends@Home, is designed to foster enduring and meaningful friendships between spirited teen volunteers and children with special needs.

The Circle's unique formula accomplishes two important goals: (1) special needs children experience firsthand the joy of friendship, gain confidence and are empowered with enhanced social skills, improved language, and better behavior; and (2) teen volunteers learn the values of giving, civic responsibility, and gratitude.

Every member of our community deserves to share the joys of our Jewish experience. Sharing our tradition with children who have special needs is particularly rewarding. The Friendship Circle offers a unique opportunity for teenagers to connect with these children.

The Friendship Circle touches so many . . .

  The child with special needs looks forward to weekly visits from his or her teenage friends, as well as the special events they get to attend together throughout the year.

  The teenage volunteer learns the value of giving, and cherishes the experience of making a difference in a child’s life. Without exception, the teenager gives of his or her time lovingly, never grudgingly.

  The child’s family gets the pleasure of seeing their child become part of the community. They also get to share and interact with others facing circumstances and challenges similar to their own.

Together we are impacting our future by making a difference in the lives of children and teens in our community.