The groundbreaking marks the beginning of the “Friendship Campus” of the Circle of Friendship

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Nechama Harlig, co-director of Friendship Circle in Miami, celebrates the grand opening of the group’s new facility with volunteers and friends.

Friendship Circle Miami’s mission, led by volunteers, is to provide friendship and acceptance to people with special needs.

To better accomplish this, the nonprofit has long planned a visionary “Friendship Campus,” a 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in South Florida.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the building took place on December 5 during a grand celebration with 200 guests.

It is hoped that the new campus, which will also house the Chabad of Kendall/Pinecrest, will set the standard for Friendship Circle groups across the United States.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone in our community who contributed to this significant achievement, as we make the new Friendship Campus a reality after more than 25 years of creation,” said co-director Rabbi Yossi. Harlig.

“It is truly life-changing to soon introduce a state-of-the-art location that will be a second home for so many South Florida families. This would not be possible without our volunteers, members, board of directors, donors and our long-time patrons, who share a mutual sense of providing a place to ‘belong’ to all.

Yossi and co-director Nechama Harlig are the founders of Friendship Circle in Miami. The two new one-story buildings are expected to be completed by spring 2023.

The campus will include indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing for many services, playgrounds and a garden, as well as on-site parking.

Friendship Circle in Miami has been operating from its current 3,000 square foot facility at 8700 SW 112 St. since 2004 and has reached capacity.

In its holistic vision, the new Friendship Campus will serve thousands of families with children and young adults with physical and intellectual special needs through immersive programs and weekly events, fostering a sense of belonging for the entire community.

From the full-scale kitchen to the social room and parent meeting room to the sensory room, organizers envision the campus to be “an inclusive place of limitless experiences and lasting friendships for those who matter the most.” need”.

Learn more at www.friendshipcirclemiami.org

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Anthony Broad, Connie Goodman-Milone, first place winner Devorah Benveniste and Jennifer Forbes celebrate the 2021 Junior Orange Bowl creative writing awards. Mitchell Zachs MagicalPhotos.com

Writing contest open to eighth graders

The 34th Annual Junior Orange Bowl Creative Writing Contest themed “How can art and music change our lives?” is now open for registration.

The competition for South Florida eighth graders is co-sponsored by the South Florida Writers Association.

Entries of up to 500 words are encouraged and essays will be judged on the author’s attention to theme, originality and depth of meaning. Submissions must be received online or postmarked by March 18, 2022.

Finalists, their families and teachers will be invited to the awards ceremony at the Coral Gables Museum in April. President Jennifer Forbes and director Anthony Broad lead the Junior Orange Bowl creative writing competition.

Essays can be submitted on the Creative Writing event page at www.jrorangebowl.org. Email [email protected] or 305-662-1210 to learn more.

The three winning students and their teachers will receive a total of $2,300 in scholarships and prizes. The winning essays will be published in the South Florida Writers Association’s Author’s Voice newsletter, and the winning students will be featured on a MiamiLit podcast.

Holocaust education group receives grant

As Holocaust Remembrance Day approaches on January 27, 3GMiami announced that it is expanding its education efforts in Miami with recent funding of $6,500 from the Jewish Federation of Greater Miami as part of its Jewish Incubator Grant Program.

This significant funding will support the nonprofit 3GMiami’s outreach and education efforts throughout 2022.

Launched in 2020 by Stephanie Rosen and Julie Paresky, who are both grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, 3GMiami empowers other grandchildren of Holocaust survivors to educate the next generation about the dangers of intolerance and persecution by telling personal stories.

3GMiami-trained speakers volunteer in Miami-Dade classrooms as part of Florida’s state-mandated public school system Holocaust education. Last year, 3GMiami reached over 1,000 students and visited 14 schools.

The group’s first major event of 2022 will be held in conjunction with the Miami Beach JCC, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., January 26.

Titled “Why I Must Tell My Grandparents’ Story: A Panel Discussion with Third-Generation 3GMiami Members,” the virtual lunchtime event will be led by child Holocaust survivor Miriam Klein Kassenoff and three members of 3GMiami.

To continue its programming and reach even more students in grades 6-12, 3GMiami will host another series of speaker trainings from April 5 through May 10 to teach grandchildren of Holocaust survivors how to better share the testimonies and stories of their grandparents.

Participants must attend all sessions in order to complete the training. To learn more about 3GMiami and the Speaker Training Series, contact Paresky or Rosen at [email protected]

To RSVP for the JCC Virtual Lunch and Learning Event on January 26, go to www.mbjcc.org/event/international-holocaust-remembrance-day/

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Write to [email protected] with news for this column.


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