The Mission of the Friendship Circle is to bridge the gap between special needs and typical youth through shared experience, empower special needs youth with the skills they need to live a productive and independent adult life, give parents and families much-needed respite, and nurture a sense of awareness and communal responsibility in our teens.



At the heart of all of the Friendship Circle’s programming is the belief that each and every individual can be a productive member of the community and benefit from the social support offered by one’s peers.  Friendship, acceptance and a chance to participate in socially accepted bonding opportunities are critical to achieving this type of inclusive society.

The Friendship Circle aims to provide children and adults with special needs and their families with many of the social and recreational opportunities that are currently available to the general community.  These experiences are essential building blocks for an individual to acquire confidence and self esteem and to ultimately lead a productive, normative adult lifestyle.

We envision a world in which people with special needs and their families experience acceptance, inclusion and friendship as contributing members of society.  We foresee a future where they never again have to suffer the social isolation that has often been so prevalent in society.

The Friendship Circle aims to create an environment for teens that will nurture and inspire them with meaning, purpose, and self-value; a sense of connection to and responsibility for the greater Jewish community through innovative and stimulating programs.  We see this as essential to developing and producing the members and leaders of tomorrow’s Jewish community.


The Friendship Circle Today

As one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations in Fairfield County, the Friendship Circle’s wide array of innovative programming promotes a greater awareness and understanding of both the unique needs and the unique gifts of those with special needs, and encourages respect and empathy for those facing difficult challenges.

The children and families benefit from home visits, Hebrew school, winter camp and athletic opportunities. Together with parents and siblings, children and teens with special needs celebrate the holidays with exciting, interactive programs that bring to life the spirit and richness of the Jewish traditions. The Volunteer Club offers meaningful educational and social events for the teen mentors.



The Lubavitcher Rebbe is the inspiration for the Friendship Circle.The Rebbe's unconditional love of people knew no bounds. To the Rebbe we all belonged. He made everyone feel at home.  

The Rebbe's warm smile would heal every aching heart. The Rebbe was always there, offering counsel and blessings, comfort and hope, and often - material help as well.  

To the Rebbe there were no divisions among the Jewish People. He considered every Jew his own flesh and blood. For him Jewish unity was not a slogan, a wish or a promise - it was a reality.  

It is his belief in Jewish unity, the notion that "no one of us is complete unless all of us are included", that goes to the very core and essence of what the Rebbe taught.  

It is this concept that motivates and is the core of the Friendship Circle.