Rabbi Levi Shemtov is the Executive Director of The Friendship Circle. Rabbi Shemtov and his wife Bassie are the founders of The Friendship Circle. The Friendship Circle of Michigan is a non-profit organization affiliated with Lubavitch of Michigan, and its goal is to provide every individual with special needs the support friendship and inclusion that they deserve. The Friendship Circle provides assistance and support toover 3,000 individuals with special needs and their families by providing much needed recreational, social, educational and vocational programming both in person and online. In addition to helping those in need, the Friendship Circle enriches its vast network of volunteers by enabling them to reap the rewards of selfless giving. In this episode, Andy Jacob, CEO of DotCom Magazine, and a supporter of the Friendship Circle, interviews Rabbi Shemtov regarding entrepreneurship for non-profits, and how the Friendship Circle was able to make a remarkable pivot into amazing online programming during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Friendship Circle offers virtual programming with other Friendship Circles participating, which has expanded their footprint, and has allowed the Friendship Circle to continue its mission of providing pure love and friendship for individuals with special needs. For more information about the friendship circle, https://www.friendshipcircle.org/ For more information about virtual programming check out FC Goes Virtual
Bassie and Rabbi Levi Shemtov are the founders and co-directors of Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield. The nonprofit organization they started in 1994 provides assistance and life-changing support to 3,000 individuals with special needs and their families through recreational, social, educational and vocational programming.
The couple dedicated their lives to making the world a better place after growing up under the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Their family history with the Rebbe goes back even further.
In 1958, Rabbi Schneerson himself dispatched Bassie’s parents, Rabbi Berel and Batsheva Shemtov, to Michigan as his first U.S. emissaries with the mission to spread Judaism to every corner of the world. Today, Chabad centers can be found in thousands of locations worldwide.
Now, a new generation is carrying on the family tradition. Three of Rabbi Berel and Batsheva’s granddaughters have moved home and opened Chabad Centers in Bloomfield Hills, Troy and Royal Oak: Bassie and Levi’s daughters, Mushky Dubov, 24, and Chana Caytak, 21, and their cousin, Mushky Glitsenstein, 21.