The Friendship Circle launched in Central Jersey in 2001 with a simple mission: To provide individuals with special needs with social and educational experiences they would otherwise not have. It is our goal to bring greater awareness and understanding to the community of both the unique gifts and the unique desires of individuals with special needs, and encourage respect and empathy for those facing these difficult challenges.

At the heart of all the Friendship Circle’s programming is the belief that each and every individual can be a productive member of the community and benefit from the social support offered by one’s peers. We envision a world in which individuals with special needs and their families experience acceptance, inclusion, and friendship as valued members of society.

The result of the Friendship Circle not only offers much needed respite to the parents of individuals with special needs, but instills a love and commitment to community service in our teen and young professional volunteers—the next generation of community leaders.


The Friendship Circle is dedicated to creating a supportive community for special needs children, their families and high school volunteers, giving them the opportunity to unearth their potential, make positive life choices, and realize their dreams. Since 2001, The Friendship Circle works tirelessly to fulfill its mission.


I am excited for another wonderful year of friendship, smiles, warmth, networking and fun! The mission of Friendship Circle is so powerful and it is a privilege to watch the special friendships and relationships unfold. This year I am looking forward to taking FC to the next level through community engagement, community events and working on our future “home.”
MOUSHKIE VOLOVIKDirector of Volunteer & Alumni Division
Friendship Circle is such a large and important part of who I am. Volunteering at Friendship Circle when I was in high school truly shaped who I am today. Through my experiences I learned friendship can come in so many different shapes , sizes, and forms- it’s all about accepting it and allowing it to happen! The families and volunteers who are part of Friendship Circle are truly incredible people. I feel honored to be a part of the family!
MUKA PEWZNERDirector of Operations
For two years, I worked at the Friendship Circle of New Jersey, and absolutely loved every aspect of being here. Getting to know the community, the volunteers, and of course, the beautiful FC participants and their families was an incredible privilege. I am thrilled to be back here at Friendship Circle with my family! I am looking forward to building many new friendships, connections, and continuing to expand the many programs and activities of our organization.
SUSIE SUISSAProgram Coordinator
This will be my third year working at the Friendship Circle, time flies when you are having fun! I have the privilege of putting together our weekly programs at Sunday Circle & Yad. I look for fun & engaging people who can come in and show our participants a great time. I work on making Sundays go off without a hitch so everyone can maximize their time spent in the building. I also work on our yearlong events like Trips, Mom’s night out, Shabbat dinners, Purim Baskets, Chanukkah party and of course the Friendship Circle walk. Being part of the Friendship Circle is a true blessing. I have met and continue to meet the most amazing people who inspire me every day.
MUSHKIE KATZAdministrator
I was in Manalapan a few years ago before I got married and was so privileged to be part of the Friendship Circle, helping out in the office & attending the weekly programs. I am so excited to be back on board, and look forward to help make sure everything runs smoothly from “behind the scenes” in my hometown, California.
MIKAYLA SCHULTZVolunteer Coordinator
I’ve been a part of Friendship Circle for a year and have dedicated over three years to working with individuals with disabilities. When I first joined Friendship Circle, my goal was to make a positive impact on others’ lives. Little did I know the profound effect it would have on me. For me It has evolved beyond a job—it’s become a true passion. The care, inclusivity, and familial environment within the Friendship Circle community are unparalleled. Being involved in something this special is an absolute privilege.


Being involved in Friendship Circle has allowed me to grow more as a person. I love being able to help out people in the community. Knowing that every week my buddy is looking forward to seeing me makes me more motivated to come every week and conveys the effect that I have on the participants. It is a very good feeling. Without Friendship Circle, I do not think I would be the person I am today.
Over the years I have met various individuals with specials needs. Each and every one has impacted my experience with Friendship circle in different ways and helped shape me into who I am today. I have learned to connect with people in ways I didn’t know I could and even learned to communicate using sign language. I have become more patient and compassionate while spending time in different activities and learned what each persons strengths and weaknesses are. Showing up weekly, on time, has helped me be consistent and responsible. It is the highlight of my week knowing I’ll be helping someone and doing something that makes a difference for both myself and the participant. The few hours I spend at FC create lasting memories that stay with me all year. I realized that being someone’s buddy isn’t just about walking them from activity to activity or interacting with them. It’s about forming a connection with another person on a level that has such an impact on everyone. Finally, as much as my time with the friends in FC has given to them they have given me so much more. They have given me time to think how much I am grateful and what I would like to do with my future. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of FC and to have met the people who run it.
Being a part of friendship circle for the last 3 years has been an amazing experience! I love meeting new people and helping the community. Everyone there just turns into your family and it’s so heartwarming! I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world as I have learned so much and am beyond grateful for everyone I have met. I am the best version of myself when I’m here and I genuinely couldn’t be happier. I am so glad I get to be apart of watching my buddy’s grow and become the best version of themselves every single week. I love friendship circle❤️! 
My name is Sam Goto and I am 22 years old.
I go to Brookdale Community College and work at Applebee’s in Manalapan. I enjoy being a part of the Friendship Circle. I like being one of the presidents on the Leadership Board this year so I can to help out the other presidents, the FC staff, and the volunteers. I enjoy volunteering at the Sunday circle program. I also like volunteering at summer and winter camp. I also like attending YAD on Sundays so I can hang out with my friends. What I like the most is that everyone is so nice.
I first became involved with Friendship Circle in 2020 for the Summer Camp program. Since then, I’ve volunteered with the Sunday program, YAD, holiday events, and joined the board. Friendship Circle has taught me how to be better person and friend to everyone. I look forward to bringing everything I’ve learned to college with me next year, where I plan on continuing to make a difference!
“I feel that I gain happiness and joy as a volunteer and Leadership Board member at Friendship Circle. I have discovered new found values about myself which include independence and a new appreciation for helping others. By being involved with Friendship Circle and building a strong connection with my buddy, I have found a deeper understanding in what it means to make a difference in someone’s life through friendship.”
“Friendship Circle is always the highlight of my week. I love talking with all the participants, especially those who I have become close friends with. It’s incredible to see the difference you are making in someone’s life just by being a friend! The leaders truly care for all the volunteers and provide so much support, both in and outside of programs. I’m so grateful to have been a part of this amazing organization for the past 6 years!”
Daniel Fiskin
Daniel Fiskin
I’ve been volunteering at Friendship Circle since seventh grade and I don’t regret a single minute I volunteered. Friendship Circle has allowed me to grow as a person and feel like I am doing the right thing every weekend. I am honored to be a part of the leadership board and a volunteer at this wonderful organization.


Through their altruism and dedication, our volunteers are creating a community that strives on acceptance, goodwill and love for others.

We have volunteer and intern opportunities to suit all interests, skills sets and time commitment preferences. We need each of your individual talents and gifts. Wether you can volunteer an hour a week, month or year come see what Friendship Circle is about and how you can get involved.

It was 2001 when I drove my younger daughter, Arielle and Moushkie (yes, Moushkie:) to their buddy Jake’s house, every Wednesday – and my older daughter Sara, drove herself and a friend to visit Aliza. To see the joy and satisfaction this activity brought to the FC families, as well as to the volunteers was heartwarming. That was just the beginning of FC – oh how it’s grown and so have all of us, in so many ways. My daughters went off to college, but as FC grew, I got more and more involved.
I spent my entire life watching my incredible mother help bring programs, services and buildings to children and adults with special needs. I learned the importance and value of inclusion starting at 4 years old. And I always knew that some day I would ultimately look to help a similar organization in a similar way. When I moved back to the area, and met Chana ‘Le, and learned about The Friendship Circle — I knew I had found people and an organization I wanted to help in any way I could. Today I’m proud to contribute both with strategic and tactical skills, helping in marketing, business and communications; as well as through fundraising – having raised over $3500 last year and running the Miami Half Marathon on behalf of FC. I am proud to be a volunteer, fundraiser and advocate for FC and look forward to the many successes we’ll share in the years to come.
I retired from my career as an optometrist five years ago. At about the same time, I met Chanale Wolosow and began to volunteer for Friendship Circle. I immediately realized what a wonderful organization it was and the positive impact it had on the community. The Loaves of Love is an amazing program that brings together young adults with special needs to make various products, often holiday gifts, to sell to family and friends. I have helped organize the teen and adult volunteers for the annual Walk4Friends, which is a huge community event and fundraiser. Through all of these programs, I have the privilege to help many wonderful people and hopefully make a difference in our community.
I started volunteering with the Friendship Circle in July of 2018 because of a desire to contribute to my community. The Friendship Circle has a beautiful mission of inclusivity and using our unique gifts to give to others, and being a part of it is immensely fulfilling. My 12 year old son has also become involved through the MVP program, and will soon be volunteering every Sunday. I’m excited to assist in growing the many programs of the Friendship Circle, and I can’t think of a better way to use my time than serving others through this amazing organization!