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two teen girls flanking a girl with Down's Syndrome in embrace all three smiling broadly all with brown hair
About: About Us


The Friendship Circle Cincinnati is a chapter of Friendship Circle International which was founded in 1994 and affiliated with the global Jewish movement of Chabad Lubavitch.


The Friendship Circle is a community program that brings Jewish teenage volunteers together with children who have special needs. Through safe, fun, educational, and meaningful programs, the Friendship Circle uplifts the lives of our special children, allowing them to grow, learn, bond, contribute, and celebrate their Jewish selves.


This circle of friendship is complete when our children, parents, volunteers, supporters, and staff all come together to create a feeling and accomplish a goal that is as special as the families we serve.


The results impact all our lives in so many ways.  First, children with special needs have access to a wide range of social, recreational, educational experiences centered around their Jewish identities. Second, we provide support and resources to the children’s families. Finally, the Friendship Circle is an outlet for our teen volunteers to become inspired, give back, and gain incredible experiences at a time they are growing into adulthood.


Rabbi Mangel a man with a full, untrimmed, graying beard wearing a brimmed hat and glasses, smiling

Rabbi Yisroel Mangel

Founder & Director

Jeanne Bilyeu, a woman with medium length brown hair and glasses smiling broadly

Jeanne Bilyeu

Program Director

Chana Mangel, a woman with medium length brown hair smiling

Chana Mangel

Co-Founder & Co-Director

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