Federation Helps Local Jews With Disabilities Connect Through The Friendship Circle
To support people with disabilities and offer them inclusive Jewish experiences, Federation funds the Friendship Circle of Miami, and Miami Beach & North Dade. The Friendship Circle caters to special needs children and their families, while empowering teenage and young adult volunteers to build their leadership skills and embrace the values of altrusim and volunteerism. The children increase their social skills and confidence, while the volunteers learn the value of giving, the power of friendship and the importance of integrating children with disabilities into our community.
Since 2014, the Friendship Circle Miami has received funding for its Kulanu Hebrew School for children with special needs, and the Friendship Circle of Miami Beach and North Dade has been assisted with its Sunday Circle program, which pairs special needs youth with teen volunteers to engage socially and provide parents with respite. The Friendship Circle of Miami Beach and North Dade’s Sunday Circle is held monthly throughout the school year at the Galbut Family Miami Beach JCC, where children with special needs and teen volunteers work and play together in specialized programs conducted in a supervised atmosphere. Federation’s support has allowed the program to expand its capacity to more participants and provide for a therapist at every Sunday Circle meeting.
In honor of Jewish Disability and Awareness Inclusion Month, which runs through the end of February, The Friendship Circle of Miami Beach and North Dade is hosting its annual Bike for Friendship, a two-day 180-mile bike ride from Miami through the Keys on Sunday and Monday, February 18-19, benefiting children with special needs. To learn more about the Friendship Circles, click here or here.