Friendship Circle is an internationally recognized organization providing life-changing opportunities for individuals with disabilities and for the youth and adult volunteers. Local volunteers provide social opportunities for people living with developmental disabilities which enhances their quality of life and eliminates the stigma associated with their situations. Friendship Circle provides understanding, inclusion and friendship.

Chabad of Poway has been the host of San Diego County’s Friendship Circle for more than 14 years under the leadership of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. It has been my honor and pleasure to act as its Executive Director since its inception. During my time with Friendship Circle, I have met many incredible volunteers: people whose hearts and souls are firmly tied to the work of Friendship Circle.

No volunteer, however, gave of herself more than Lori Gilbert Kaye, z”l. Lori was not only a frequent hands-on supporter of Friendship Circle and its many activities, she was a committee member for our Annual Walk, designed and donated the T-shirts for the event last year, donated all kinds of supplies and gift bags, assembled teams and raised money, and acted as a vocal advocate for the work of the organization. I will miss her dearly.

Within just 48 hours of her tragic and untimely death, Lori’s beloved husband, Dr. Howard Kaye, agreed to have Friendship Circle dedicate its upcoming Walk, scheduled for June 2nd , to Lori’s memory. Howard said she would want to be a catalyst for record- setting attendance and fundraising, and so, with heavy hearts, we are dedicating the 2019 Annual Friendship Walk to the memory of our dear friend, Lori Gilbert Kaye.

Many of you have recently asked how you can help.  This is how:  Assemble a team or register as an individual walker.  Unable to attend?  Sign up as a virtual walker or make a donation in Lori’s memory to the Friendship Walk.  If you have a business, please consider a fully tax-deductible sponsorship. All monies raised will go to support a cause and a community that was close to Lori’s heart.

This year’s Friendship Walk is being held on June 2, at 8 AM at Liberty Station and is the kick-off event for Israel Fest.  Further details, including registration information, can be found at Please help us honor the memory of our beloved friend, Lori Kaye.  We are grateful for your support.

Green is executive director of the Friendship Circle of San Diego

Republished from San Diego Jewish World