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Friendship Circle International



NSW Friendship Circle is part of a much larger international organization.

The Numbers

The Friendship Circle is today's fastest growing Jewish organization for children with special needs and has changed the playing field for people with special needs not just in the Jewish community but in the wider community as well.

  • 85 locations worldwide
  • 5,000 special children
  • 11,000 teen volunteers


The Friendship Circle began in the United States, in Detroit, Michigan, with just eight volunteers visiting three children each week. But it wasn’t long before other teens, children with special needs and their families learned about the program.

They too wanted to join the Friendship Circle, which welcomed them with open arms.

By 2003, the Detroit Friendship Circle had evolved from “a hands-on activity” into a thriving organization with 350 teen volunteers spending time with 150 children with special needs.

Detroit’s success inspired Friendship Circle branches in cities across the United States, which in turn, led to chapters in Canada and Australia and other countires around the world.

Like a stone tossed into a pond, the ripple effect continues growing all the time.