The Friendship Bakery
Young adults with special needs
bake bread for supermarket chain.
hen Friendship Circle of West
Bloomfield started offering
programs for children who
have special needs 19 years ago, Rabbi Levi
and Bassie Shemtov's mission was to assist
and support families of children with spe-
cial needs. Those children have now grown
into young adults and Friendship Circle is
continuing to develop programs that meet
these young adults' needs.
The Friendship Bakery enrolls young
adults, ages 18 years and older, and helps
to develop their skills in the food industry.
The program runs for nine weeks, meet-
ing each Thursday for three hours to bake
Participant Lauren Ettinger of West
Bloomfield says, "I like working with the
dough, rolling it, pinching the ropes togeth-
er, braiding it and putting it on the tray:'
Her co-worker Nick Wecker of
Farmington Hills says, "Working with the
dough and rolling the dough is my favorite
thing to do. I also like selling challahs to
In the program, these young adults
learn baking skills, life skills, social skills
and business skills. Learning a vocation
helps them go out into the community
and become active, contributing members
while at the same time building their self-
Currently, they bake eight dozen loaves
in a day. The next day, they take the bread
to two Hiller's Markets (West Bloomfield
and Commerce), set up a stand between 9
a.m. - noon, greet customers, offer samples
and sell the bread.
Friendship Circle Director Bassie
Shemtov said, "It is incredible to watch our
bakers handcraft these loaves of challah.
Their attention to detail and passion really
shines. Not only are they learning skills for
the future, they are also creating something
with the utmost pride. It's really beautiful
The bakers bake on Thursdays at the
Milk & Honey restaurant in the Jewish
Community Center in West Bloomfield.
"I braid the challahs. I've learned to
weigh the dough. I make sure that the
weight is right (0.35 lbs.) for each piece:'
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Jared Hyman and Joslyn Sessel, both of West Bloomfield, with Kim Kaplan,
Friendship Circle Bakery education consultant, and Nick Wecker of Farmington Hills
says Noah Sriro of West Bloomfield. "After
that, we put the dough in the rolling
machine, and then we braid it. I also like
selling challahs so that I can earn money:'
Another participant, Sam Morris of West
Bloomfield, said "I love the taste of the
challah and having it on Friday nights. I
love meeting new people and working with
my friends at the Friendship Bakery:'
One of those friends is co-worker Jordan
Weinfeld of West Bloomfield, who said, "I
love the intertwined teamwork here at the
bakery, and I love how we always get things
done in a fun and efficient way!"
ifh Women's Foundation of Metropolitan Detroit
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Wednesday, April 2,2014
1 1:30 a.m.
Waterview Loft Port Detroit
I 30 Atwater Street • Detroit, MI 48226
JOIN US FOR AN INSPIRING PANEL DISCUSSION MODERATED BY
CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS PUBLISHER, MARY KRAMER
The panel includes Faye Alexander Nelson, President, DTE Energy Foundation • Cindy Pasky, CEO & President, Strategic Staffing Solutions
Laura J.Trudeau, Senior Program Director, Community Development, Detroit,T he Kresge Foundation • Jackie Victor, Founding Partner, Avalon International Breads
RSVP online at jwfdetroit.org
For more information, please contact
Pat Mayer, 248.203.1519
Enhancing the Lives of Jewish Women
The Jewish Federation
OF METROPOLITAN DETROIT
Complimentary Valet Parking
A dairy lunch will be served.
A glatt kosher meal
will be served upon request.
28 arch 13 • 2014