Meet the Friendship Circle Team

 

Rabbi Mordy Rudolph

Executive Director

Rabbi Mordy graduated high school at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, and studied in London, England, and Tzfat, Israel, before receiving his Rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinical College of America at Morristown. He initiated The Friendship Circle together with his wife Rivkee, in September 2006.

Rivkee Rudolph

Director

Rivkee graduated high school at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, and continued studies at Seminary Chaya Mushka in Tzfat, Israel. She taught several years of pre-school both here in Pittsburgh, and in Brooklyn, New York, before initiating The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh together with her husband, Rabbi Mordy Rudolph, in September 2006.

Adina Waren

Program Director

Adina graduated high school at Yeshiva Schools and continued to study education at Beit Chana Teachers Seminary in Israel. She has much experience coordinating programs for summer camps and Hebrew schools before joining the Friendship Circle team in 2013.

Julia Averbach

Member Relations Manager

Julia is a Pittsburgh native and 2015 graduate of Ohio University. Her passion for The Friendship Circle began during her teenage years as a volunteer and continued to grow as she worked as part of our Program Staff. As a teenager, Julia served on the Teen Leadership Board and participated in many programs such as Friends at Home and Creative Arts Club. After graduating from college, her passion for The Friendship Circle family and our mission led her home to Squirrel Hill.

Gila Zimbovsky

Office Manager

Gila joined The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh in 2016 to continue her passion for social service. Before moving to Squirrel Hill in 2013, Gila worked in various communities in states such as Illinois, Florida, and New Jersey. Previously, she has worked for various organizations, including the University of Illinois Chabad Center for Jewish Life, The Friendship Circle of MetroWest New Jersey, and the Haifa Rape Crisis Center in Israel. Most recently, Gila has served the Pittsburgh Jewish Community through the Chabad of Fox Chapel. With The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh, Gila is excited to be a part of our growing family and continue working to serve the local community.

Casey Briglia

Friends on the Town Coordinator

Casey joined The Friendship Circle team in November of 2017. She completed her undergraduate studies at Duquesne University with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and completed her graduate work towards her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, also from Duquesne, in December of 2017. Casey’s passion for working with children and young adults stems from her time with the JCC Early Childhood Education Department and Quest Therapeutic Camps. Casey is so very excited to grow with this community and join The Friendship Circle family.

Caitlin Miller

Development Associate

Caitlin is a Pittsburgh native, and graduated high school from Shady Side Academy. She completed her undergraduate degree at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and her master’s degree at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Caitlin previously served for over four years as the Development Associate at the Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania. She is thrilled to continue her involvement with Pittsburgh’s growing and the vibrant non-profit community at The Friendship Circle!

Emily Vogt

Friends on the Town Associate and Clubs Coordinator

Emily graduated from Goshen College in August 2017 with a degree in P-12 Education. She moved to Highland Park in September as part of the PULSE program, spending a year serving the city of Pittsburgh. Emily is so excited to serve at The Friendship Circle and to help further their mission of enriching the lives of all participants through mutually advantageous interactions.

Hayli Firtell

Teen Member Coordinator

Hayli graduated from Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh and continued studying at Machon Shoshanat Seminary in Jerusalem. She volunteered for Friendship Circle while being in High School. After a year spent in Israel she decided to come back to her hometown and give back to the community. Hayli is so excited to be part of this incredible team at Friendship Circle.

Ann Grandinetti

Development Associate

Ann was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, and her master’s degree is in Public Administration and Non-Profit Management. Working at an organization like the Friendship Circle, which serves the community in such a vibrant way, is why she went to school for non-profit administration in the first place. She is ecstatic about this amazing opportunity!

 

Our Board of Directors

Professional Advisor

Dr. Laura Marshak

Chair

Dr. Tracy Prizant-Levy

Vice-Chair

Amy Spear

Treasurer

Alan Gordon

Secretary

Dorothy Pollon

Directors

Michael Bernstein
David Goldberg
Ina Gumberg
Lee Hurwitz
Kathy Klein
Mollie Hanna Lang
Aaron Morgenstern
Natalie Moritz
Andrew Rabin
Geri Cohen Recht
Steve Silverman
Cindy Vayonis

 

 

 

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Recent blog posts

And You Shall Live

A WEEKLY TORAH THOUGHT FROM RABBI MORDY No amount of Rabbinical School training prepares you for a week like this past one. The amount of numbness, emotions, sadness, love, shock, awe, mourning, and support has been overwhelming for many and the days ahead will likely prove to be overwhelming as well. In truth, I should leave it this week saying… Read More

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FOTT Art Night by: Mark Sulkin

Last night at Friendship Circle, we did, FOTT Art. It was a lot of fun. We learned how to make sculptures out of aluminum foil and different colored fabric. A woman named Teresa talked to us about an artist who made sculptures like that. The sculpture I made was a worm. I started rolling the aluminum foil into the shape… Read More

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Our Mission

The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh was established in 2006 with the intention of creating a more inclusive community. Our programs engage youth and adults with diverse abilities in a full range of social activities; we aim to enrich the lives of all participants through mutually advantageous interactions, creating lasting friendships that strengthen both the Jewish and greater communities.

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