On Tuesday, Philip and Jeffrey Bershad along with their wives, were honored at the annual Friendship Circle Banquet in celebration of their generous contributions to their local New Jersey chapter. This year, PJ was proud to pilot a program to provide career opportunities to people with special needs.
The Friendship Circle aims to provide opportunities for individuals with special to have a more meaningful and impactful life through work, social, and recreational opportunities throughout the community.
Phillip Jeffries Core Values Include Inclusivity
One of our core values at Phillip Jeffries is giving back to our community and striving to make the world more beautiful. This includes fostering an inclusive environment that supports the community. We are thrilled our President and CEO were celebrated for their thoughtful and generous efforts both in the workplace and our larger community. With the success of the pilot program, Phillip Jeffries has continued hiring more employees with special needs.
PJ couldn't have done it without the support of The Friendship Circle! Their continued efforts to educate and encourage families with special needs has led to this amazing partnership. As one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations in New Jersey, Friendship Circle’s wide array of innovative programming promotes a greater awareness and understanding of both the unique needs and the unique gifts of those with special needs, and encourages respect and empathy for those facing difficult challenges.
Phillip Jeffries remains committed to continuous learning and improvement in all facets of life. One component of this is being mindful about our impact in this world.
"We strive to be the best," said Philip. "And at the same time, when Jeffrey and I first looked back many years ago and said, 'What is important to us? What type of legacy do we want to leave?'"
With those questions in mind, the brothers came up with three major components: How can we help the environment? How can we help the community? And how can we still make our beautiful things?
Phillip Jeffries plants a tree with every order in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and our PJ Artisans program supports entreprenuerial communities around the world. We also have a PJ Cares program that supports local communities. Our partnership with Friendship Circle is all about community. Read more about our Great And Worthy Purpose here.
How did Phillip Jeffries first get involved with Friendship Circle?
Years ago, Philip's wife Andrea first heard of the organization in her hometown in Michigan. When a local chapter opened in New Jersey, she and Jeffrey's wife Marisa were both excited to get involved and recruit the rest of the family.
Jeffrey's son Leo and Philip's son Jack volunteered weekly at Friendship Circle and became close with one of the participants, Eric. When Jeffrey learned that Eric was looking for a new job, he invited Eric to come work at Phillip Jeffries.
"We started a pilot program," said Jeffrey. "It's been an amazing experience for our company, our employees, and Eric's family." Shown below, Eric is on the far left with a few of his new PJ colleagues.
Friendship Circle's Vision
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.
Along with the Friendship Circle, we also hope to see a world in which people with special needs and their families experience acceptance, inclusion and friendship as contributing members of society. Watch the entire FC 2022 Banquet celebration here