In case you missed it… Sunday Circle is BACK in-person, in partnership with great local synagogues who are hosting us!
Sunday Circle provides weekly opportunities for friends ages 17 & under to gather and do all kinds of engaging activities — from art, dance, and karate, to drumming, music, and more.
We are in close contact with medical advisors who guide us in our Covid protocol. Masks are optional. Please pay attention to how you are feeling. Please STAY HOME if you are not feeling well and/or if you tested positive for Covid within the past 5 days. If the initial 5 days have passed, please be sure to wear a mask for an additional 5 days after that.
Building friendships can be challenging. Friends@Home supports building friendships through a unique “at-home” platform. Meeting children and teens with disabilities at their home, there is a sense of comfort and tons of activities that they can enjoy with friends.
Through a thoughtful pairing process, we identify teens with similar hobbies and interests. We guide the initial introduction and first meetings helping to create a bond that pairs can then foster independently. Together, they can play games, make crafts, play sports, read books, and enjoy activities they like.
We continue to support these friendships with different DIY activities, periodic programs, and regular check-ins. We help families communicate, establish clear plans, and support difficult transitions.
The impact of this program is apparent when you hear the success stories. Pairs meeting continually though out school and beyond continue to share how meaningful the experience has been. Hearing how friends keep in touch over the years validates the authenticity of these friendships.
This program is made possible with the support of the Jewish Federation’s Community Fund.
We offer a variety of unique 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 are excellent credentials on college admissions applications.
Participants gain valuable leadership skills, provide integral support to Friendship Circle programs, and participate in exclusive community engagement activities. Through our dynamic and rewarding meetings, teen leaders engage in group workshops and strategic discussions building the future of 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 FC 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 will help guide our path for future curriculum and outreach. They will be involved in further enhancing our programs to be more meaningful and enjoyable, as well as recruit peers for our programs and community events. Through this experience they will work on creativity, goal setting, and teamwork with their fellow board members.
The executive board is comprised of teens who have previously served in the general board and want to further their commitment to leadership. They are the co-chairs for the general board committees and through that experience they have the opportunity to enhance project management skills like creating agendas, following through with tasks, and gathering feedback.
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 FC staff and our board of directors.
Every leadership board member is required to participate in the following:
Applications open in the spring.
Email our Outreach Coordinator, Amanda, 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.).
MVP is our inclusive access point for tweens and teens (6th & 7th Graders – ages 12-14) who are interested in getting involved in FC & 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!
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 a hands-on experience participating at our programs.
Gatherings will be held on Mondays or Wednesdays, depending on the session. (Please click here for basic timing of our MVP sessions for the ’22-’23 year.) The exact time of the weekly gatherings is determined by participants’ availability in each MVP session.
Get a glimpse behind the scenes and join the fun with new friends.
“Although I was apprehensive at first to join FC, the more I participated, the more comfortable I felt. FC 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