While some knew him as Jonah and others as Mac, we all loved and respected him. And we miss him dearly.

Want to receive posts via email?
Subscribe here.

If you see the “bell icon” in the lower-right hand corner of your screen, you can sign up for screen notifications that will appear when we post something new.Image result for onesignal

To purchase our magnificent recording, "So Is Life," visit jonahmac.org/cd.

The Jonah Maccabee Foundation, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are deductible to the full extent allowable under IRS regulations. Our Federal tax ID # is 45-1736178.

Tweets

Remembering A Friend

Meet Alessandra Rabellino. Ale (pronounced “Allie”) is 24, lives in Atlanta, and is a graduate student in design at the Portfolio Center.

Ale and Jonah met during her freshman year of high school at a weekend retreat for Jewish youth group leaders. This was Ale’s first time attending the retreat, held at Kutz Camp in upstate New York, and she didn’t know anyone there. Although she’d never really been shy, she felt out of place in this very new environment. But not more than two minutes after she got off the bus and finished signing in, a cute boy with auburn hair approached her and asked if it was her first time at Kutz, flashing a warm, welcoming grin that melted away any reservations she may have had about being there. She imagined that smile had a similar effect of many others. The boy she had just met was Jonah Maccabee Dreskin, a cool high school senior whom everyone seemed to know and love.

Read the rest of this entry »

Freehand

Dear Jonah,

You haunt my life. But in a good way. Wherever I go, if you were there, I feel it.

I feel you.

I can be driving down the road and, if I see something that was part of my experience with you, your presence comes pouring into me. I can be reading a book and, if I encounter a turn of a phrase that once came from you, the book recedes as your story moves into my foreground.

I love those moments. They contain the requisite pang of remembering you’re no longer in this universe. But they also remind me how sweet it was to have had you here in the first place.

Recently, I finished a Shabbat service at temple and was putting my things together to head home when I noticed a discarded piece of paper on the sanctuary floor. It was filled with the drawings of a child whose parent had (wisely) provided pen and paper to keep the child quietly busy throughout the service.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks to all who have contributed to our Summer Campaign ’17!

We are so grateful that you take the time and dollars to support our work. It’s so incredibly gratifying. This list of Summer Campaign 2017 donors is a small but earnest way to thank you. May our efforts bring ever-increasing goodness into young lives!

The campaign continues through June 30, 2017. Please give generously at jonahmac.org/donate.

The Dreskins

 


Danny Siegel … yashir koakh and kol hakavod big time!

Gwynne and Alan Ross … in memory of Brad Gaber

Leona Paul … in memory of my darling daughter, Susan Sirkman

Read the rest of this entry »

Responding to Adversity with Our Very Best

I was interested in listening to the score of that new musical about the airplanes that got diverted to Gander, in Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001. Because I entered the wrong name for the show, Google pointed me to a Twyla Tharp musical about Frank Sinatra. And although Ol’ Blue Eyes had indeed spent some time in Gander, I was looking for something else.

Finally, I found it. The musical’s name is “Come From Away” and just listening to snippets of its songs on iTunes sent tears rolling down my face. Having now purchased the entire recording and been listening to it for two days, I think my eyelids are chapped from all the crying.

“Come From Away” is not a sad story even though it emerges from the devastating events of 9/11. It’s a side-bar tale of 7000 passengers on 38 international flights that were diverted to this little Canadian town of only 10,000 residents when the U.S. closed its airspace. The musical revels in the storm of kindness unleashed by the townsfolk during those three days when their population nearly doubled. Picketing bus drivers got back behind the wheels of their buses as bakeries, restaurants, stores, medical personnel, therapists, and virtually everyone else in town did whatever they could to help the stranded while they waited to go home. Even two great apes had to be tended to!

Read the rest of this entry »

Know What We’ve Been Up To?

JFM's Summer Campaign is now on!

As we begin this summer’s campaign (throughout the month of June), here’s an update on what we’ve been doing lately.

When we created The Jonah Maccabee Foundation, we began inviting you to donate to one of three “buckets” —  areas of communal importance that we thought were also important to Jonah. Since then, we’ve committed ourselves to raising funds and to help finance projects in these three areas:

  • The Arts Fund – offering young people dynamic learning experiences in visual and/or performance arts
  • The Social Justice Fund – making the world a better home for young people in need
  • The Jewish Life Fund – offering young people compelling opportunities to deepen their passion for living lives that are steeped in Jewish ideas of kindness and compassion

Through your incredible generosity, in the past six months we’ve supported the following projects which we feel not only fit into Jonah’s “buckets,” but inspire us as well. Through the foundation’s work, we can lend them a helping hand and maybe inspire you to nurture your own friendship with one of them.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Song From the Heart

Dear Jonah,

Yesterday was your yahrzeit. I spent the day sitting quietly at home reflecting on the eight years that have passed without you in them. Well, you’re in them, kid. You’re always in them.

Age 18 (Aug 2008)

Last night, we held the 8th annual concert in celebration of your life. I’m still amazed how powerful these evenings are for me. Part of it is that so many people in attendance want to surround our family with love and support. So while I was ready to just jump in and enjoy the concert, their strong emotions nudged me into a more reflective state than I might otherwise have found myself.

That was okay. More than okay. With your smiling, black-and-white-checked-fedora-topped face on the screens above the performers, you were powerfully present anyway. Again, my visceral response to your photo took me by surprise but that was a fine, comforting way to move through the evening.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Leap of Faith

Dear Jonah,

Faith is a commodity I’ve spent most of my life peddling. It’s kind of what rabbis do. On this your 8th yahrzeit, I’m thinking about faith. Not mine (although losing you has certainly put that to the test).

I mean yours.

Because the Buffalo medical examiner was unable to prove the cause of your death, the police wanted to label it a suicide. But in canvassing your friends on campus, they found what I’d felt all along. You were not a candidate for suicide. You had far too much faith – in you, in others, and in life.

Read the rest of this entry »

JMF Awards Grant to HUC Soup Kitchen

“I will never forget the sight of Jonah leading a group of tenth graders into the Manhattan subway system to find where the homeless were and to offer them food and a kind word” (Billy Dreskin, Jonah Maccabee Foundation).

That’s why we feel especially good about making this grant. For nearly 30 years, the common room of Hebrew Union College (Reform Judaism’s rabbinical/cantorial seminary in New York City’s Greenwich Village) has been transformed each Monday evening into a dining room where students prepare and serve dinner to 100 people who might not otherwise get a meal that evening. NYU law students offer free legal aid, and there are clothes and supplies available to help these folks get by. There’s live music by professional jazz musicians and free flu shots at the Duane Reade down the street. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 14, 2017 (your 27th birthday)

Dear Jonah,

Special Investigator Jethro Gibbs brings a full complement of law enforcement skills to his job heading up a crew of officers at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. NCIS. Yep, one of my favorite TV shows. One of America’s favorite TV shows. I enjoy it because of the storylines that are frequently accompanied by a humor (okay, often corny humor) that makes me smile. I’m not sure if you’re responsible for this, Jonah, but between losing you and the ugliness in the world today, I have absolutely no desire to see unabating corruption and violence on television. Unless it’s about the good guys winning. Read the rest of this entry »

JMF Brings Palestinians and Israelis a Tiny Bit Closer

We recently learned about a beautiful Israeli project called “The Road to Recovery” in which more than 750 volunteers drive critically ill Palestinians (mostly children) to receive medical treatment in Israel. 10,000 recovery trips now happen each year!

There are so many ways that we see Israelis and Palestinians coming together. We’re touched by them all. This one, saving lives one at a time by making sure patients can get from the West Bank and Gaza to hospitals throughout Israel for treatment, is simply fantastic.

We are touched and honored to support this worthy program.

Learn more about “The Road to Recover” — watch a 6-minute video here. You can learn more about “The Road to Recovery” at roadtorecovery.org.il.

 

Archives
Recent Comments