More than 750 guests packed the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark for the Friendship Circle of New Jersey’s Annual Banquet.

The event, held in honor of volunteers who partner with children with special needs, brought together donors and families.

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo introduced Ellen and Jonah Zimiles, recipients of the organization’s Kesser Shem Tov Award. Paula and David Saginaw were honored with the dinner’s Leadership Award, and George Fiore received the Humanitarian Award. Launched in October 2000, the Friendship Circle – one of more than 70 branches internationally – currently serves 275 families and children.

Said Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum, executive director of the Friendship Circle: “When we see statistics that there are still many hundreds of families in our own community who need our services, and there are thousands more teens whose lives can take on a whole new direction through volunteering, then it’s clear that we can not and dare not stop climbing!” …