Chanie and Eliyahu Canterman, parents of five, opened Friendship Circle - Central Jerusalem (a branch of Friendship Circle International) back in 2008. Starting with only six families and ten volunteers, Chanie gave the organization her all. In the years that followed, she and the Friendship Circle team have brought together children, teens, young adults and their families for thousands of hours of friendship and fun.
In addition to being a caring and devoted mother of five, Chanie is a licensed parenting workshop facilitator with an MA in Jewish History and Social Work. As the older sister of a sibling with special needs, Chanie brings her unique personal experience and her many talents, humor and personality into making Friendship Circle it's best.
At the heart of all of Friendship Circle programming is the belief that each and every individual can be a productive member of the community and benefit from the social support offered by one’s peers. Friendship, acceptance and a chance to participate in socially accepted bonding opportunities are critical to achieving this type of inclusive society.
Friendship Circle aims to provide children and teenagers with autism and other special needs and their families with many of the social and recreational opportunities that are available to the general community. These experiences are essential building blocks for an individual to acquire confidence and self-esteem and to ultimately lead a productive, normative adult life.