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A Volunteer Speaks

Love Your Fellow

Malky and Chana.JPGIt was the first day that I was volunteering at Friendship Circle. I was pretty nervous. Liba walked in welcoming us and told us to look at our buddy’s profile page to get to know a little bit about them. On my buddy’s page, Malky, it said she was shy and that is when I got really nervous. Shy? How would a girl like me, with a loud personality know how to interact with her? How would I know if I'm being too jittery or loud, making her feel uncomfortable? When I met Malky for the first time I kept on asking her questions to start conversations like “Are you excited that we're starting Sunday Circle again?” or “Do you have any siblings?” and either she would look back at me with a nervous smile or would… Read More »

FCLA Connects

 

Riding through the desert, in the back of a 15 person passenger van with no air conditioning, my high functioning autistic buddy, Shmuelie, rested his head as hard as possible on my shoulder. What had I gotten myself into?

They said I should volunteer with the Friendship Circle because it was a mitzvah and that I'd be a natural, buddied up with a special-needs teenager. But I couldn't seem to connect with Shmuelie. Why wasn't I paired with someone else? No one else's buddy refused to participate, went from catatonic to manic in a second, and was trying to crush their friend. How was I supposed to stop him acting up -- I had only just met him?

I looked at him and I told him bluntly, "Shmuelie you're acting silly, lift your… Read More »

Patience and Politics

 

“So what do you believe?” Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy gently asked me one Thursday night at L.A Burger Bar, after we had witnessed a political debate between my brother, Eliyahu and close friend Max. I responded “Rabbi, I’m not so sure we’ll be able to understand each other so well”, thinking that Friendship Circle and politics don’t mix. After all, how could such an organization even relate to such a decisive and sometimes ugly topic? Little did I realize that night that the very traits Friendship Circle has developed in me, patience and understanding, were essential for engagement with any and every political position.

            It’s… Read More »

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Friendship Circle Los Angeles
1952 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Ph: 310.280.0955 Fax: 310.280.0974