Maccabi NSW members at work in the community

May 21, 2010 by Odile Faludi - Maccabi NSW
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Maccabi NSW meets the Friendship Circle and is impressed…

Bertha Milner, Rebbetzin Henya Milecki, Ruth Gardos and Millie Karpin p: Nadine Saacks

My late father, Maurice Afif, always had a saying which he would often repeat, “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” Know who your cheer squad is! They make you feel good when you are in their company. They show you in many different ways that they care about you! Well, this is very true about being part of The Friendship Circle. There is a lot to learn from others and The Friendship Circle is certainly leading the way!

Last week, the Friendship Circle hosted an evening to honour and recognise their 2009 Volunteers. Maccabi News was at this event and is very proud to report that many of these young volunteers are Maccabi members. Interesting to note, Maccabi also supports The Friendship Circle through assistance received from the senior soccer club and Maccabi NSW.

George Gertler, Nick Gardos, Rabbi Sender Kavka and Robin Shnier

The Friendship Circle reaches out and extends a helping hand to families who have children with special needs, involving them in a full range of Jewish and social experiences. The Circle’s unique formula introduces teenage volunteers to the children and through shared experiences both are enriched. It was evident from the teenagers who spoke so beautifully at this event that they had received much more than they had given. The experience of helping others was taken to a new high. The teenagers all echoed the same conclusion. Giving honestly will always bring unexpected pleasures that money just cannot buy.

The crowd was left speechless by the stories which were told of how The Friendship Circle had made an immeasurable difference to the lives of families who have children with special needs. It was expressed by Jeff Zulman in a moving speech that in the search for some guidance and support, The Friendship Circle had provided his family, “with crutches to lean on while they found their feet.”

There was not a dry eye in the house and it goes without saying this organisation deserves the full support of our community. Rabbi Sender Kavka and his wife Chana are inspirational and certainly Menschs in the true sense of the word.

Throughout 2009, sixty teenagers shared over 2,000 hours of love and friendship. Ashley Stein, Moriah student, summed up the evening with this quote “Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow Wilson, former President of the United States. The community service that The Friendship Circle provides is unique and Maccabi NSW salutes you!

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