We envision a community in Atlanta where all people with special needs and their families experience acceptance, inclusion and friendship. We picture all facets of the Jewish community coming together as one supportive and united family. We see local teens and young adults feeling a sense of connection to, and responsibility for, the greater Jewish community and taking leadership roles in changing the world for good.

Built on the foundational Torah principle of “V’ahavta L’reyacho Komocha” , “love your fellow as yourself”, our unique model and opportunity to connect with a special friend in a meaningful way has a profound impact on everyone involved. Step by step, person by person, we are shaping a kinder, more compassionate and selfless community of tomorrow.

We all complete the Circle

The Friendship Circle is made up of five parts: special friends, volunteers, parents, supporters, and staff. The true beauty of the circle is how we all link together to form a seamless circle of friendship. Together, we can perform miracles.

The child, teenager, or young adult with special-needs looks forward to spending time with his or her teenage/young adult friend, as well as the fun events they get to attend throughout the year.

The teenage and young adult volunteer learns the value of giving, and cherishes the experience of making a difference in an individual’s life while bringing a smile to his or her face.

The special friend’s family gets much needed respite and the pleasure of seeing their child become part of the community. They also get to share and interact with others facing circumstances and challenges similar to their own.

The supporter is the pillar for Friendship Circle to exist. Sharing the view that Jews of all abilities have a place in the community, supporters of the Friendship Circle facilitate these friendships that last a lifetime.

The staff is a team of leaders and professionals for whom the Friendship Circle is a labor of love. With an ever growing vision of a more inclusive community, engaging with the children, teenagers, young adults and parents and executing all the varied activities, these dedicated men and women are the driving force behind the program.