Federation calls Friendship Circle a ‘Vital Source of Hope’

By Johanna Ginsberg

Since the pandemic began, the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ has allocated more than $100,000 to Friendship Circle. These emergency funds have helped ensure Friendship Circle can continue and expand its vital programming for people with special needs and their families.

Over these last months that’s exactly what has been done, from virtual summer camp activities to car parades to socially distant CARnivals, Friendship Circle has offered activities that provide a break from the isolation amplified during this pandemic.

“We deeply value the work of Friendship Circle and how they have become an integral part of community, connecting to our families and reaching out to so many,” said Dov Ben-Shimon, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest. “Their programming is such a necessary and vital source of hope for many of our community members.”

The funds have been provided through the UJA Annual Campaign. The number does not include additional private donations, but as Ben-Shimon said, “It’s a strong message of community support through the United Jewish Appeal.”

Friendship Circle CEO Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum said Friendship Circle and Federation have always had a special relationship and we’re truly grateful for emergency funding.

“Families continue to face a real crisis,” said Grossbaum. “While many others have returned to more ‘normal’ schedule, most individuals with special needs remain home and isolated. Thanks to Federation and other private donors we have been able to continue to provide an outstanding, and ever-growing, slate of programming.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) in partnership with Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest has launched the Human Services Relief Matching Fund. The community is encouraged to support their efforts at jfedgmw.org/DoSomeGood.

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