Friendship Circle Took Children with Special Needs “To Mexico” This Chanukah
Friendship Circle of Los Angeles brought the Chanukah spirit to the Los Angeles special needs community with a “Chanukah in Mexico” themed celebration on December 10th. Event took place at their location at 1952 South Robertson Boulevard.
Chanukah in Mexico marked the beginning of the Chanukah holiday as over 350 participants celebrated together. The children, families, friends, and teen volunteers enjoyed themed crafts, music, entertainment, a Mexican buffet, and a workshop for the parents. “It was an amazing way for the community to come together and celebrate Chanukah and the love they have for the children.” commented Arianna Faramarzi, a Friendship Circle volunteer. Each child that attended was paired with a teen volunteer for the ultimate inclusive experience that brought another dimension of joy and friendship to the holiday, as well as connecting them with their Jewish roots.
“What made the event even more special was different organizations of the Los Angeles Jewish community coming together to share joy and friendship with the children and their families.” said Chanie Lazaroff, Program Coordinator and Community Liaison at Friendship Circle. “The Lev Foundation and generous individual donors purchased gifts for our children who have special needs and their siblings. Teens from a local BBYO chapter and Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s WBTYhelps came to volunteer as a group and gave of themselves to make the event truly a day to remember.” The event culminated with a menorah lighting by Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy, Executive Director of Friendship Circle, and Chanukah songs with the entire group.
The Friendship Circle of Los Angeles was created in 2003 to address the social needs of Jewish children with special challenges. Its mission is to provide these children opportunities to engage with others through social, recreational, and educational experiences. At the heart of all Friendship Circle programs are teen volunteers from over 60 schools around L.A. that are paired with participating children to provide mentorship and friendship.
To find out more about the Friendship Circle and its many programs, please call 310-280-0955 or visit their website at http://www.fcla.org.