Tag Archives: Chabad.org

Jews in Recovery Find Friendship and Inspiration at Michigan Retreat

Experts in the field of addiction agree that a strong support system is one of the most important components of long-term recovery, but creating and maintaining an effective network is often difficult amid the daily demands of work, family and personal obligations. For Jewish individuals and families who struggle with addiction and its far-reaching consequences, the annual Jewish recovery retreat sponsored by the Daniel B. Sobel Friendship House in Michigan provides a welcome respite that helps participants strengthen their connections to their recovery, their Judaism and each other. About 40 people gathered last month at the Butzel Retreat Center in Ortonville, Mich., to enjoy the fourth annual weekend of workshops, nature walks, early-morning exercise and delicious meals in a setting surrounded by woods and wildlife. The group included couples, families with young children, and individuals of varying ages and backgrounds. Child care was provided so parents could take part in the various programs.

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For a Special Set of Students, Jewish Learning Comes to Life

For most Jewish children, learning about the High Holidays is a natural component of their education; preparing for this special time of year has long been a traditional part of day schools and Sunday-school programs throughout the world. But for children with special needs and their families, like most aspects of their lives, the holiday season is not so simple. Many of these children attend public schools in order to receive necessary special-education services, and most Sunday or after-school programs are geared towards children with mainstream learning styles and abilities. The Efshar Circle, a program of Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, fills the gap by providing a Jewish and Judaic program developed especially for students with a variety of special needs. Curricula are designed to meet each student’s current level and learning style, from beginners to those who have had previous Jewish education. Quite fittingly, the Hebrew word efshar means “possible.”

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Mothers of Children With Special Needs Bond at Friendship Circle Retreat

Mothers of Children With Special Needs Bond at Friendship Circle Retreat

Planning outings and trips for children with special needs is nothing unusual for the Friendship Circle of Michigan, but a recent weekend retreat for the mothers who care for these children certainly proved a novel experience. The women were expecting a few days of respite and a relaxing getaway; they left with more than 20 new sisters and a fresh perspective on their children, each other and themselves. The retreat, called “Shabbat at the Spa,” took place Feb. 28 to March 2 at the Riverwalk Place in Gladwin, Mich.—a spacious hotel/conference center with a full-service spa, luxurious rooms and suites, and an accommodating staff. Attendees enjoyed spa services on Friday afternoon and Sunday, and participated in a variety of Shabbat-oriented activities, beginning with a group candle-lighting on Friday night and continuing through Havdalah on Saturday night.

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Friendship Circle on Chabad.org

On August 14, 2012, Friendship Circle was featured on Chabad.org.


 Families With Special Needs Find Community Thanks to Chasidic Teachings

When Connor Larson turned 4 years old, his family became actively involved in the Friendship Circle.

“Connor absolutely loves going there,” Stacy Larson of Farmington Hills, Mich., says of the flagship project that gave birth to a network of Chabad-Lubavitchprograms benefitting children with special needs around the globe. “You can tell that when he walks in the door. He loves pushing buttons, he loves going inside; he feels like a normal kid.”…

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Families With Special Needs Find Community Thanks to Chasidic Teachings