Southern New England News

Friendship Circle event celebrates inclusion, acceptance and pride

Hundreds gathered outside West Hartford Town Hall on Sunday, June 6 for a concert and Friendship Circle celebration honoring the children, teens and young adults, living with and without disability, that joined together in friendship to fight isolation, during the pandemic year.

Mark K., left, and Keighan Kosminoff, center, lead the Shema with their new Tefilin in celebration of their bar mitzvahs. Their bar mitzvah plans last year were upset by Covid, but were celebrated at Sundays event.

A highlight of the day was rejoicing with those who missed the opportunity to properly mark their Bar/Bat Mitzvah milestones during the pandemic year.

The Teen Leadership Board of Friendship Circle demonstrated with gumballs how every hour that Friendship Circle members invested in friendship adds up to a monumental sum. Each gumball they used represents one hour of laughter, acceptance and pride in being part of an inclusive Jewish community. The cumulative effect created together by the children, teens and young adults – with and without special needs – equaled 1,989 gumballs!

Teen Leadership Board Member Benjamin Covici pours gumballs in cylinder as other board members watch.

Main Photo: Members of Friendship Circle whose b’nai mitzvah were affected by Covid stand on stage as the Rogers Park Band honored them.

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