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Friendship Circle Celebrates Unique Perspectives with Photo Gallery

If an average photo is worth a thousand words, the unique perspectives of children showcased through the second annual Friendship Circle Art Show transcends language with heart-warming expressions of individuality. The Friendship Circle Philadelphia Region South will showcase the beautiful collaborative photography work of over 30 children with special needs and their teen buddies on Jan. 15.

From 2 to 4 p.m. at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, join Friendship Circle in celebrating each of these unique artists who will be exhibiting their one-of-a-kind prints, which will all be available for purchase. Each participant has personally crafted and curated their photographs, including photographing, editing, and framing each print.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for our participants to further bond with their buddies while learning new skills,” said Director of Community Engagement Chani Baram. “The prints turned out beautifully, and reflect each participant’s unique perspectives of the world. This event is one of the truest examples of our organization by helping cultivate an inclusive community, where our participants are understood and accepted for who they are.”

In order to prepare the gallery, Friendship Circle once again sought the guidance of Rebekah Narli, who is acting as Art Facilitator. Overseeing the show from start to finish, Narli said she has seen unbelievable growth for both participants and their buddies in how they understand each other.

“It is just the most beautiful process in the world,” said Narli. “What I really notice most is the collaboration between the volunteers and their buddies, and how integral the volunteers have been in assisting their buddies.”

Buddies play a major role to in the preparation of the show, including working with the children on how to crop photographs and write collection statements. In some instances, buddies had to lead their partner’s hand in editing and help hold cameras.

“This gallery is as much an expression of our participant’s unique perspective as it is a story about their bonds with their buddies,” Baram said. “It’s inspiring to see these interactions, and it’s an honor to showcase that beauty.”

For the second year, Bear Givers has generously supported this collaborative artwork enabling Friendship Circle to offer the show free of charge. Bear Givers is a non-profit dedicated to serving others. Bear Givers believes that the altruism of some can exponentially affect the lives of many. The non-profit’s mission is to bring joy to those in need and to enable those in need to feel the pride and pleasure of giving to others. Bear Givers programs facilitate an environment where givers are empowered to bring happiness to others through acts of generosity and giving.

“The art the children create is amazing! There are so many truly beautiful pieces, which are truly a reflection of the beautiful souls behind them,” said Bonnie Coplon, the grandmother of an FC volunteer who purchased a painting last year. “Last year, we loved seeing how much pride the children had in their work. We are looking forward to seeing the creative photographs this year.”

The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy is located at 272 South Bryn Mawr Ave in Bryn Mawr.

Friendship Circle invites you to see this unique photography show by its participants and volunteers, and to experience for yourself the transcendental power of art on January 15. To RSVP, email or call (215) 574 1765.

About Friendship Circle

Founded by Lubavitch House in 2004, The Friendship Circle Philadelphia Region South connects teens and young adults to youth with special needs and their families, offering a full range of Jewish and social experiences. Together, they develop friendships while enjoying creative arts group activities, Jewish holiday celebrations, weekly playdates, and more. These mutually rewarding relationships foster the development of a caring, supportive community.

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