Tag Archives: Vocational

Friendship Circle Opening Cafe and Art Studio for Vocational Opportunities

Since 1994 Friendship Circle has been dedicated to providing exciting new programs to children with special needs and their families. However, those amazing children that joined us in 1994 are now amazing young adults. In order to continue to give them the encouragement and support that they need, we need to continue to adapt and advance our programming.

A New Adventure: The Farber Soul Center

Soul Center RenderingAfter acquiring a portion of a shopping center located at Drake Rd., just south of Walnut Lake Rd in West Bloomfield, Friendship Circle will soon begin to construct and operate a Cafe and Art Studio.  The Farber Soul Center, as it will be named, from a generous $2.1 million donation from the William and Audrey Farber Family Foundation, will be a facility where Friendship Circle will extend programming into the lives of adults with special needs through culinary, digital and traditional arts, thus getting the much needed on-the-job training.  We are continuing to raise an additional half million dollars which is necessary to proceed.

About the Soul Cafe

lighter-look4Soul Cafe will be a gathering place, with a state of the art kosher restaurant.  The unique menu will be unparalleled in the area and most importantly will be created and served by their staff of both, typically-able, and those who have special needs, as they work together as a team.  These young adults with special needs will receive on the job training in kitchen and serving skills. The café also gives the existing Lessons for Life program, currently utilized by over 200 schools around the metro Detroit area, the opportunity to expand their lessons for students with special needs into dining etiquette, utilizing the café’s real-world setting.

About the Soul Studio

inside1Soul Studio will be a professional art studio that encourages these adults with special needs to find their passion and explore the many different artistic media that will be available to them. Friendship Circle will submit the artists’ work to be shown in galleries, entered in contests and sold to commercial and residential customers.

Cutting edge digital technologies such as photography, video, 3-D printing and animation will be available to help them express themselves.  These artists, with the help of state of the art computers, will have the opportunity to sell tangible productions of their digital designs. Of course, no art studio would be complete without artists being able to learn and create paintings, ceramic, weaving, jewelry, printmaking and folk art.

inside2Art Gallery

Also located inside the Farber Soul Center will be the Soul Gallery, which will proudly exhibit the works of the artist.  The gallery will be open daily to the public for viewing and purchasing.

A Message from the Farber Family

Nanci Farber, daughter in law, said, “The Friendship Circle is an entity which is unparalleled in our community.   It is with great joy and a deep warmth and appreciation to The Friendship Circle that the Farber family decided to facilitate the creation and running of the Farber Soul Center.  We however, are only a piece. It takes so many to build such an incredible space. We are indebted to everyone involved and truly grateful to be able to be a part of this amazing journey. The added bonus of this new facility is that it allows Friendship Circle another benefit to their families with children who have special needs that currently are enrolled in their existing programming.  In the evenings, once the Farber Soul Center closes, these children with special needs and their teen volunteers will be able to delve into the arts and find their passions.”

The Friendship Bakery Opens Doors for Young Adults with Special Needs

bakery

In 1994 Friendship Circle began bringing friendship to children with special needs. Almost 20 years later, these children have grown into mature young adults.  As they continue to grow, Friendship Circle has committed to teaching and supporting them.  This realization has inspired the Friendship Bakery, a program for young adults to learn skills that will enable them to qualify for a job in the food service industry.

Friendship Bakery Video

Learning New Skills

Each week, the group meets at a professional kitchen and bakes delicious challah! The bakers are acquiring skills such as measuring, rolling, braiding, kitchen safety and cleanliness, and basic business management.

At the beginning of the session, bakers are challenged with kitchen skills such as putting on gloves and tying aprons, learning to identify measurements and ingredients, accurately measuring and pouring, and asking for assistance. By the time the session ends, bakers have learned all these skills and much more, and are proud of their new accomplishments.

Young adults who enroll in the program will have the opportunity to work in different areas of the business, depending on their interests and talents. Sample positions include managing online orders and sales, waiting on customers, managing inventory, and of course baking.

The Results: Great Tasting Challah

The Bakery has been met with instant popularity! The challah is beautiful and delicious, and has been met with high demand, keeping the bakers on their toes. The bakers have even received special orders such as wedding challahs and Bat Mitzvah dinner rolls. It is a welcomed challenge, and there is such camaraderie as the bakers work together. The Friendship Bakery has worked its way up to producing 50 fresh, warm challahs each week!

The program coordinator, Rivki Mann, said that the “bittersweet goal of the program is that our employees-in-training outgrow the Bakery and find stable jobs of their own. We will assist them in their job search and placement, and continue to provide support as they grow into the next stage of their lives.”

Order Your Challah Today

Challahs are sold on Fridays in the lobby of Friendship Circle. They are $5 each.

To request a special order or for more information about the Friendship Bakery, contact Rivki Mann at 248-730-1055 or [email protected]

Friendship Bakery Photos