Friendship Circle Executive Director Rabbi Yossi Marozov recalled the Shabbat morning in winter 2011 when he read in the Cleveland Jewish News that the former Congregation Bethaynu building on Gates Mills Blvd. in Pepper Pike was for sale.
“In an instant, it flashed up to my mind,” Marozov said. “I said to my wife Estie, ‘Friendship Circle has a new home.’” A day later, negotiations began.
Marozov announced the final deal to a cheering audience during the organization’s teen volunteer award ceremony May 22. On Labor Day weekend, the nonprofit Friendship Circle, which raised $325,000 mostly through private donations for the purchase, moved into its new 12,500-sq.-ft. facility, doubling the space for hundreds of participants.
Now in its ninth year, Friendship Circle brings together some 250 teenage volunteers and 130 children with special needs for hours of fun and friendship. Several adult volunteers also participate regularly.
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