In a time of great unrest throughout the Middle East, with the tides rising against Jews in so many places, it’s even more important to live in unity with those who share our values, and to applaud the community organizations that do so much to bring us all closer together. Based on the Biblical commandment of V’Ahavta L’Reacha Kamocha, “to love your fellow as yourself,” Bergen County’s Friendship Circle is one of the jewels of our community, with its innovative programming that fosters a relationship between our teenagers and our children with special needs. With school-break camps, Shabbatons, parenting presentations, home visits and even events for siblings of those with special needs, the Friendship Circle promotes a greater awareness and understanding of both the unique needs and the unique gifts of people with special needs, and encourages respect and empathy for those facing challenges, along with their entire families. Friendship Circle serves more than 200 Bergen County families, with the support of 700-800 volunteers.
This weekend is Shabbat Friendship Circle in Bergen County, when many of the rebbeim in the community will be speaking of the value of the organization from the pulpit. Following Shabbat, on Sunday, please join the Jewish Link as we support the New Jersey Friendship Walk, at the Frisch School, from 1:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m. With 1,000 people expected to attend this 8th annual event, more than 50 teams competing to raise the most funds, and 15 corporate sponsors, we hope that soon everyone will share Friendship Circle’s vision for a community in which children with special needs and their families experience nothing but acceptance, inclusion and friendship. For more information, visit http://www.njfriendshipwalk.com.