Friendship Circle creates friendship in the lives of individuals with special needs and those facing isolation while providing an opportunity to become a contributing member of the community. Through our programming, Friendship Circle aims to promote an inclusive community that values all individuals regardless of the challenges they face.
Friendship Circle functions under the guidance of the Jewish Youth Library of Ottawa. Friendship Circle is non-sectarian/humanitarian and hopes to support all people in Ottawa and the surrounding areas, along with the Jewish community.
To provide those with special needs and their families with assistance and support by providing recreational, social, educational and vocational programming.
To provide teenagers and young adults with a valuable, selfless volunteer opportunity.
To have participants and volunteers alike gain valuable skills, have enjoyable fulfilling experiences and find life long friendships.
Born in Toronto, Elinore received her Honours BA in English and psychology along with her BEd in the concurrent education program, specializing in the primary/junior level, at York University in 2004 and received an additional qualification to teach ESL. She has worked with children with special needs as a tutor, camp counselor and teacher. In 2018, she worked as the program coordinator for the Ottawa Seniors’ Health and Wellness Guide for the Jewish Youth Library of Ottawa. She currently works for Friendship Circle coordinating all aspects of the program, including but not limited to, volunteer recruitment, participant recruitment, event planning and program development. Elinore strives to create the perfect match between volunteers and participants.
Devora Caytak moved to Ottawa with her husband Joseph in 1981. As a co-founder of the Jewish Youth Library of Ottawa, she has made Friendship Circle a priority, emphasizing the beauty of friendship for children with special needs. Starting with a seed grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2006, Friendship Circle continues to reach out to families in need, offer a valuable volunteer opportunity to volunteers and provide friendship to children and young adults.