5:00-6:00 pm on most Thursdays from September-June (and 4 Thursdays during the summer)
Are you a young adult connected to Philly Friendship Circle?
A current member or alumnus?
Come join our virtual Young Adult Happy Hour where we hang out, do fun activities together, and play some games!
This is a great way to stay connected to Philly Friendship Circle even if you have graduated, live away from home, or find it easier to connect with friends virtually! To join virtual Young Adult Happy Hour, please check our weekly emails for the Zoom link OR contact email@example.com.
These 6 in-person events offer dinner in the sukkah, 4 art & dining programs, plus a night out at a restaurant with the warm fuzzy feelings we are known for!
We provide a lot of support via our full-time staff and also have a full team of Friendship Experts on site, who are professionals in the special needs field.
The art & dining programs also empower young adults to work with “Mentor Artists”, as part of our Art Studio–which culminates in our annual Art Show! (Art made during the art & dining events will be displayed and available for purchase at the Art Show.)
Join us to hang out and get to know fellow young adults in the community.
This program is made possible with the support of the Jewish Federation’s Community Fund.
Gather for group walks and hikes in the great outdoors with Rabbi Zev and Chani Baram!
These are also great opportunities for families to reconnect and schmooze while strolling.
In the winter, Sunday Strolls may transition to indoor volunteering opportunities.
Birthright Israel provides a free trip to Israel for all eligible young Jews. Over 10 years ago, through Birthright Israel trip providers, we began leading accessible trips for young adults with disabilities. (Please note that this trip is initiated and run by Birthright Israel, and Philly Friendship Circle works with Birthright Israel to make it as accessible as possible.) Our goal is to provide an authentic Birthright Israel experience with a mindfulness to accommodate everyone and ensure memorable connections with the land and with each other.
This 10-day trip offers an immersive experience for participants. On our must-see list, we visit the Kotel, Masada, Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Safed, and more. We infuse these stops with Israeli food, music, shopping, and activities. We discuss how we each practice Judaism, what it means to be an American Jew and our shared heritage. The trip is an incredible experience for participants–returning rejuvenated, confident, independent, and ready to take on challenges while forming new friendships. Check out our whole highlight of the 2023 trip on our Instagram, right here!
Mid June 2024
Each applicant is treated as an individual when determining their eligibility for the trip. While Philly Friendship Circle staff is open to a vast array of circumstances and encourages anyone interested in an inclusive, accessible trip to inquire further, ultimately Birthright Israel is responsible for the application and decision process. If you know anyone who may be interested in the trip, forward them this information. Please keep in mind the following Birthright guidelines. Participants must:
* Please contact us if you have any questions about eligibility criteria.
* If the applicant is between 27-32 years old, please contact us if the system does not accept your application.
Registration opens in January or February and closes within 2-4 weeks.
Connect with your Philly Friendship Circle community by helping to distribute holiday packages throughout the year! You’ll enjoy doing a hands-on activity that is also a very memorable mitzvah.
Email us for more information.
MVP is our inclusive access point for tweens and teens (6th & 7th Graders – ages 12-14) who are interested in getting involved in Philly Friendship Circle & being inclusive friends. MVP is also an engaging and meaningful Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. The program builds a foundation to understand and accept each other’s differences and how to apply those lessons at school, synagogue, home, and future Philly Friendship Circle programs!
COMMITMENT & DEPOSIT FORM – CLICK HERE!
Through activities, games, and multimedia presentations, MVP participants learn about communication, human development, diagnosis and more. We teach these subjects through special needs advocacy, Jewish values, and current events. This dynamic and interactive approach opens doors to meaningful discussion and personal growth for participants. In addition to weekday gatherings, participants and their parents attend Sunday Circle to get hands-on experience participating in our programs.
Get a glimpse behind the scenes and join our fun programs with new friends!
Please see below for our MVP session dates for the 2023-2024 school year. Check out which one of the 4 sessions you would like to attend!
SESSION 1 – Wednesdays: 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8 (PLUS Sunday Circle on 10/15, 10/22, 11/12)
SESSION 2 – Mondays: 11/20, 11/27, 12/4, 12/11, 12/18 (PLUS Sunday Circle on 12/3, 12/10, 12/17)
SESSION 3 – Thursdays: 1/18, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/15 (PLUS Sunday Circles on 1/21, 1/28, 2/4)
SESSION 4 – Wednesdays: 2/28, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20, 3/27 (Plus Sunday Circles on 3/3, 3/10 and Zoo Trip on 3/17 OR Purim Celebration on 3/24)
These are the steps to register for MVP:
“Although I was apprehensive at first to join Philly Friendship Circle, the more I participated, the more comfortable I felt. Philly Friendship Circle taught me kindness and respect because I learned… how to embrace other people’s differences.” – Mia, graduate of our MVP program, from the pulpit at her Bat Mitzvah
Email our Communications & Engagement Lead, Chava Tova, to learn more!
Think of Sunday Circle as an awesome day camp, with 4 groups rotating from activity to activity. As much as Sunday Circle is a structured environment, we also seek to create a customized experience for everyone and their unique needs. We encourage friends to at least try each activity, but you will also see pairs of friends going on walks throughout the program, or sitting down on the floor to read a book together.
Our only 2 rules are BE YOURSELF and HAVE FUN!
We provide a lot of support via our full-time staff and also have a full team of Friendship Experts on site, who are professionals in the special needs field. In addition, our activities are led by professional facilitators and educators.
We rotate our Sunday Circle activities from week to week, always giving friends a chance to explore new ways to have fun! However, there is always one steady presence on our activities schedule, which is… our Art Studio! The Studio is led by our dedicated Art Therapist, and culminates in a gallery-style show of the work that our youth artists create throughout the school year. (At the end of the school year, all artists’ work is made available for purchase.)
Meanwhile, parents can join our popular networking and information sessions (or simply enjoy some free time) in our specially dedicated Parent Lounge.
Friends@Home is a unique weekly program that brings two people together to build a genuine friendship, unlike any other.
Our Friends@Home team works diligently to match up pairs of friends based on age, interests, and geographic location. Friends@Home pairs play games, create unique artwork, or do any other fun activities they choose!
Participating in Friends@Home is an incredible step toward building a lasting relationship between two friends who may not have met otherwise!
Email our Member Support Coordinator to learn more.
We offer a variety of skill-building leadership opportunities for teens who wish to make a deeper commitment to our mission. These programs go hand in hand with our Fellowship Awards, provide comprehensive leadership development, and happen to be excellent credentials on college admissions applications.
Participants provide integral, hands-on support to Philly Friendship Circle programs and participate in community engagement activities. Through our dynamic and rewarding meetings, teen leaders engage in group workshops and strategic discussions building the future of Philly Friendship Circle. We infuse the program with exciting, thought-provoking events which raise awareness and strengthen advocacy for the special needs community. Leaders gain hands-on experience working alongside the staff to recruit new members and run our programs.
Our program offers different tracks which have varying degrees of commitment and responsibility. These opportunities create various access points for any teen to get involved where they feel comfortable.
General Board members work to enhance our programs, making them more meaningful and enjoyable for all – as well as recruit peers to join our circle! General Board members learn fundamental maturity-building skills like: presence and consistent attendance, making valuable contributions via their feedback and ideas, accountability via clear communication and time management, speaking publicly, and being flexible!
The Executive Board is composed of teens who have previously served on the General Board and want to further their commitment to Leadership. They are the Co-Chairs for the General Board committees. In addition to the skills listed for the General Board, Executive Board members enhance their project management skills, like: planning and implementing meetings, creating agendas, delegating and following up on tasks, and gathering feedback. Executive Board members ultimately learn to take initiative, make final decisions, and set reachable goals.
Our mentors are a group of our most dedicated teens who have participated in our leadership programs throughout their high school years. Mentors have the distinct privilege of being chairs of our annual fundraising events, as they learn about the fundraising and development side of our community events. This is also a chance for them to mentor and guide the incoming group of teen leaders and share insights from past boards and experiences.
This position is the connection point between our organizational board of directors, and our teen body. The Teen Board Liaison will periodically collect program assessments from Teen Leaders via feedback sessions, and act as a representative of the general teen body to Philly Friendship Circle staff and our Board of Directors.
Every Leadership Board member is required to participate in the following:
Applications open in the spring.
Email our Communications & Engagement Lead, Chava Tova, to learn more!
Fellowship Awards are presented to teens and young adults who demonstrate outstanding commitment to Philly Friendship Circle. We honor their dedication at an annual Fellowship Award Ceremony at the end of each programming year.
To receive an award:
30 hours = Bronze Fellowship Award
60 hours = Silver Fellowship Award
90 hours = Gold Fellowship Award
120 hours = Platinum Fellowship Award
*Hours roll over from year to year, allowing recipients to achieve higher levels of recognition at each milestone.
**Package assembly and delivery hours count towards Fellowship hours. Please take photos and log your hours for accurate recording.
Awardees must also have participated in 2 out of 3 FC Community Events (Philly Friendship Walk, FC Art Show, Annual Gala) in some way (i.e. attending the event or volunteering at it, actively fundraising, creating material to be displayed at the event, etc.).