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Aug. 4, 2021

35. A Proven Recipe for Inclusive Employment


"You can't age out of being in a family" according to Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Executive Director of the Friendship Circle in Bloomfield Michigan. Over the past 27 years as children within the Friendship Circle have grown so has the capacity of Friendship Circle to meet their employment needs and enhance the quality of their lives. The Soul Cafe and Soul Studio, launched in 2016, are located inside the Friendship Circle’s Farber Center where they provide a loving and inclusive environment that encourages artistic self-expression, vocational training, and employment opportunities to adults with special needs. In the fall of 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, an opportunity arose (shall we call it by Divine Coincidence) for Friendship Circle to purchase the nearby Dakota Bread Company which expanded their employment and vocational training opportunities for adults with disabilities. Our interview today with Levi and Bassie Shemtov provides a behind the scenes glimpse at how Friendship Circle's special blend of love, inclusion and opportunity bring people together to create an inclusive family from which you can never "age out".