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

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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.

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August 2007

August 2007

A Thread That Has No End

This section of jonahmac.org is dedicated to remembering Jonah Maccabee Dreskin, to telling the stories of his life, and to celebrating the beauty of his character. We named this section “A Thread That Has No End,” taken from a Led Zeppelin tune, All My Love, which Jonah had listened to just a few hours before he died. Robert Plant composed All My Love in memory of his own son who’d died (at age 5) of a respiratory infection:

Should I fall out of love, my fire in the light
To chase a feather in the wind
Within the glow that weaves a cloak of delight
There moves a thread that has no end.

Feeling connected by “a thread that has no end,” all of us who knew and loved Jonah cherish the threads we shared. It is our great honor to safeguard them and to weave new friends into the tapestry of his life.

 

Screen Door

Dear Jonah,

I have a love-hate relationship with doors, in particular the one that stands at the front entrance to our home. Not the entry door, the heavy one that “defends the castle,” but the second layer, the screen (or storm) door that permits light and air (but not bugs).

Read More »

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...Read More »


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...Read More »


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...Read More »


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...Read More »


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...Read More »


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...Read More »


What Won’t Be Erased

Dear Jonah,

I was in the backyard today with Charlie where, while usually it’s only a quick pass-through as he makes his way from the back door to the front door and outside again, he found lots to interest him. So I got to linger a bit too.

My attention was drawn...Read More »


Life (and You) Still Teaching Me

Dear Jonah,

Most days, I’m okay. Really. I’m almost never without you on my mind or very close by. But I don’t dwell much. I enjoy my life, and I eagerly meet each new day.

Here’s why we love the footpath so much!

I do still feel...Read More »


Hats!

I started this piece six years ago. About a year after Jonah died. I have no idea why it took so long to finish it. But it’s always been one of the stories I wanted to tell.


 

Dear Jonah,

I should have known. It had already begun when you were...Read More »


By the Grace of God

Dear Jonah,

One of my very favorite memories of you was fashioned on Monday evening, January 5, 2009. This was during your winter break from college. Four days later, you would return to Buffalo to begin your 2nd semester of freshman year. I would not see you alive again.

But that was...Read More »


Not A Day Goes By

Dear Jonah,

You and I find some fascinating ways to make our lives intersect, don’t we? Yep, present tense … because it’s still happening, kiddo. Consider this …

In the summer of 2004, you were at the URJ Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA. You’d been spending parts of each summer there...Read More »


A Father's Day Gift

Dear Jonah,

On Yom Kippur in 2010, when it came time for Yizkor (the service during which Jewish communities remember their loved ones who are no longer alive), we always invite a couple of congregants to speak about someone they loved who has died, to share the legacy of values and...Read More »


Reflections on Jonah as Musician – Part Five

Dear Jonah,

With the kick-off of your foundation’s summer campaign, music comes to mind. Summer in our family was always filled with music. For you, it was Kutz, Eisner, PGT, Maccabi Arts Fest, and just sitting at your desk waiting for some computer program to load … wherever you...Read More »


Seven Years Gone ... But No Way Are You Forgotten

Dear Jonah,

Pretty much from the moment that you died, I would wake up in the morning and experience a pair of responses to each new day … in this order. First, there would be 2-3 blessed seconds during which I hadn’t yet remembered that you’re gone. I actually looked forward to...Read More »


A Valentine’s Day Card

Jonah on Feb 14, 1990. Minutes young!

Dear Jonah,

When you were born on Valentine’s Day, one of my first thoughts was, “Your girlfriends are going to love your birthday!” Well, as things go when you’re the dad, I was never much privy to those details...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Carolyn Minott

CarolynMinott.03

Although our “Summer Camp” fundraiser is over, we’ve got one more bit of writing for you. Carolyn Minott was with Jonah through many a summer at Eisner Camp, at Kutz Camp, and at NFTY-NAR events. She and Jonah loved each other in the way that best of friends do so...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Kyleigh Banks

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Laura L. R. Kaplan

Laura (on right) with adoring fan (Ellen) at the recent Kutz 50th Anniversary (Jul 2015)

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from age...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Danny Wender

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Rabbi Darren Levine

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: David White

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Ben Tungland

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Dan Nichols

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from age...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Joel Hoffman

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Julia Breskin

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: David Bloom

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Melissa Frey, Director

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Ben Fuld

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Dan Reichenbach

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Sonia Wilk

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Billy Dreskin

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Sasha Pollock

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Michelle Lesco

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Jonah @ Kutz: Dan Hall Ross

2015.06.SummerCamp

“Summer Camp” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s summer fundraiser for 2015. Throughout June and July 2015, we’ll be remembering — through the writing of his friends as well as some who watched from the sidelines — experiences, both great and small, that were part of Jonah’s seventeen years (from...Read More »


Time to Pony Up! Our "Summer Camp!" Campaign Has Begun!

2015.06.SummerCamp

If summer is approaching, then it’s time for us to ask you for some bucks. And this summer, we’re trying something different. With your help, we’d like to make one big gift at the end of the campaign. The recipient we’ve selected is Kutz Camp in Warwick, NY. We’ve...Read More »


"He Would Have Done That, Anyway!"

TixOnSale.JonahConcert2015.WebPhoto

Last night, my wife and children joined me once again with our friends and community in celebrating Jonah’s life and the things he loved (music, being Jewish, and helping others) by welcoming two great performance entities – Read More »


Pinewood Purim: Lessons from a Half-foot of Childhood

Jonah'sYahrzeit.2010

Jonah’s sixth yahrzeit is here. How is it possible? I was watching an episode of “Sherlock,” the one where he appears to have died. Watson is visiting Holmes’ grave and asks if he’d perform one more miracle, “Please … don’t be dead.” As the tears ran down my cheeks, I...Read More »


When Loved Ones Die

Grief.Sunflower

I wrote this D’var Torah on parashat Vayekhi for T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, a terrific organization that works with clergy of all denominations to implement Judaism’s unmistakable call to better human lives and conditions everywhere.


“Time will tell where...Read More »


Reflections on Jonah as Musician – Part Four

Dan Nichols.Jonah Camper.Kutz2005

I’ve got some more documentation for you about those rare Jonah-playing-in-public sightings.

One that I’ve mentioned before but haven’t fully described is when Jonah joined Dan Nichols on stage at Kutz Camp in July 2005. Jonah was 15 years old at the time and had been playing the ukulele for only...Read More »


Reflections on Jonah as Musician – Part Three

All-County Choir (March 2002) Jonah's right smack in the center!

So when were those rare moments that Jonah would sing in public?

Well, they weren’t quite as rare as the moments he would do homework, but they weren’t so easy to find either. Lucky you, you’re reading this blog entry and are now among the fortunate few to access Jonah Maccabee...Read More »


Reflections on Jonah as Musician – Part Two

Jonah emcee'ing Academy Coffeehouse December 2006

“Nothing on earth is so well-suited to make the sad merry, the merry sad, to give courage to the despairing, to make the proud humble, to lessen envy and hate, as music.”

Contained in these words by Martin Luther (1483-1546) is a pretty fair recipe for anyone who’d like to make...Read More »


Reflections on Jonah as Musician – Part One

Katie.68a

As our “Summer Music” campaign heads toward its conclusion, I’d like to share a collection of snapshots of Jonah’s musical life. I hope you enjoy them and maybe become inspired to add a little music to your own life.

Billy


Music has always been important in our family. I grew up playing...Read More »


Cliff Mays (Jonah’s Guitar Journey – Part Three)

Cliff Mays

From age 15 (9th grade) until his high school graduation, Jonah had the joy and privilege of studying guitar with Cliff Mays. I don’t remember much since that hour each week was theirs and their alone. But I do remember that Jonah always looked forward to his lessons and only...Read More »


Wholeness When Life Is Broken

Web

This is a D’var Torah I presented at Woodlands on Friday, March 7, 2014, parashat Vayikra, Jonah’s 5th yahrzeit. Somehow I neglected to post it in any timely manner. But I found the parallel to ancient Israel’s sacrificial cult a compelling one. Sometimes we’re simply helpless as events whirl...Read More »


Thoughts on the 5th Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert

2014 Jonah Maccabee Concert

Somehow, this never got published. I wrote it shortly after our March 2014 concert, but life must have gotten away from me and this just sat in the bullpen. Well, here it is now. I hope it’s still got some resonance.

Billy


 

This year’s 5th Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert has...Read More »


Jonah’s Guitar Journey – Part Two

Jonah & the Junkie Guitar Dec 2005 (photos by Katie)

Jonah & the $12 Guitar
Dec 2005 (photos by Katie)

Jonah kept that twelve dollar guitar close by for a long, long time (see “Jonah’s Guitar Journey – Part One”). He mastered his first chords on it, and...Read More »


Jonah’s Guitar Journey -- Part One

Jonah.Kutz07.143a.byKyleighBanks

Having once been a kid myself, I know what it’s like to want to do something, to cry and clamor for your parents to finance it, and then to lose interest in the aftermath of victory. I’m horrified by how many times I talked my parents into supporting my childhood...Read More »


On Jonah’s 5th Yahrzeit

Jonah'sYahrzeit.2010

It’s been five years since March 5, 2009. In some ways, lots of time has passed by. But in other ways, it feels as if no time has passed at all. Grief stands strong while life continues on. Here are a few snapshots that illustrate Jonah’s continuing presence these days:

1)...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Alexandra Wolitzer

2013.11.Jonah'sYears@PGT.BlogPost.PostCampaignEntries

Dear friends,

This is the final piece of writing by one of Jonah’s PGT friends. We hope you’ve enjoyed the series. Thanks to everyone who submitted an essay!

Billy


 

Alex Wolitzer remembers …

Having graduated from Skidmore College in May of 2012, Alex immediately started teaching...Read More »


Jonah and Pete

Jonah (far right) sings with Pete Seeger at the Clearwater Festival (Jun 15, 2002)

In Jonah’s 2001-2002 6th grade year, one part of his life that we knew he enjoyed was singing. Not only was he in Ardsley Middle School’s 6th grade choir (anyone who didn’t play in the instrumental program had to be), Jonah also volunteered to sing with the Madrigals,...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Ross Baum

2013.11.Jonah'sYears@PGT.BlogPost.PostCampaignEntries

 

Dear friends,

Our autumn fundraiser has ended, but Jonah’s friends have asked to continue writing about him. So we’ll keep sharing those writings here. Enjoy!

Billy


 

Ross Baum remembers …

Ross graduated from Syracuse University in 2012 with a degree in musical theatre. He spent the past year...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Tamara Wolfson

2013.11.Jonah'sYears@PGT.BlogPost.PostCampaignEntries

 

Dear friends,

Our autumn fundraiser has ended, but Jonah’s friends have asked to continue writing about him. So we’ll keep sharing those writings here. Enjoy!

Billy


 

Tamara Wolfson remembers …

Tamara Wolfson was a proud member of PGT from Spring 2006 through Spring 2007. Though her time at...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Mason Lee

2013.11.Jonah'sYears@PGT.BlogPost.PostCampaignEntries

 

Dear friends,

Our autumn fundraiser has ended, but Jonah’s friends have asked to continue writing about him. So we’ll keep sharing those writings here. Enjoy!

Billy


 

Mason Lee remembers …

Mason spent his junior and senior years at PGT, where he performed Guys and Dolls, Zanna Don’t, and...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Sarah Stein

2013.11.Jonah'sYears@PGT.BlogPost.PostCampaignEntries

 

Dear friends,

Our autumn fundraiser has ended, but Jonah’s friends have asked to continue writing about him. So we’ll keep sharing those writings here. Enjoy!

Billy


 

Sarah Stein remembers …

After graduating from Wesleyan University in May of 2012, Sarah moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she has...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Ryan McGovern

2013.11.Jonah'sYears@PGT.BlogPost.PostCampaignEntries

 

Dear friends,

Our autumn fundraiser has ended, but Jonah’s friends have asked to continue writing about him. So we’ll keep sharing those writings here. Enjoy!

Billy


 

Ryan McGovern remembers …

Ryan McGovern is a freelance writer/director and founding creative director of Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Solly Zisser

2013.11.Jonah'sYears@PGT.BlogPost.PostCampaignEntries

Dear friends,

Our autumn fundraiser has ended, but Jonah’s friends have asked to continue writing about him. So we’ll keep sharing those writings here. Enjoy!

Billy


 

Solly Zisser remembers …

Solly Zisser is...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Jill Abusch

Jonah'sYears@PGT.2013.11.BlogAd.Final.large

Dear friends,

I’m so honored to share with you this very special, very loving portrait of Jonah, written by the one and only Jill Abusch. Read her bio below. Jill, along with her husband Steven, is the heart and soul of Play Group Theatre. For any truly complete reflection on...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Chiara Klein

Jonah'sYears@PGT.2013.11.BlogAd.Final.large

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Jeff Downing

Jonah'sYears@PGT.2013.11.BlogAd.Final.large

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Maya Glasser

Jonah'sYears@PGT.2013.11.BlogAd.Final.large

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Emily Selinger

Jonah'sYears@PGT.2013.11.BlogAd.Final.large

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Ben Zacharia

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Liza and Allison Pincus

Jonah'sYears@PGT.2013.11.BlogAd.Final.large

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Brenne Rimberg

Brenne Rimberg (shouldering a very hairy Jonah)

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with similarly...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Abby Fried

WritersPix.AbbyFried.photo by KDreskin

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with similarly...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Yoni Bronstein

WritersPix.YoniBronstein.a

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with similarly...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Sarah Spangenberg

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with similarly...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Rachel Berger

Rachel Berger

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with similarly...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Jake Perlman

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with similarly...Read More »


Jonah @ PGT: Maddie Hendricks

Maddie Hendricks

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with similarly...Read More »


Jonah's Years @ PGT -- Part 1

Jonah'sYears@PGT.2013.11.BlogAd.Final.large

“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with...Read More »


Road Trip – Part Seven

Hurricane Katrina relief work in Mississippi February 2007

Hurricane Katrina relief work in Mississippi
February 2007

In February 2007, Jonah and I took a very special road trip together. It started in Philadelphia, where the two of us attended the biannual Convention of NFTY, the North American Federation of Temple Youth. I...Read More »


Road Trip -- Part Six

Jonah @ Kutz Summer 1996

This story made a brief appearance in “Doctored Memories” (May 12, 2010) but it lends itself easily to our “Road Trip” series. So I expanded the story for your enjoyment. Billy

For many, many years, our family made an annual summer move to the URJ Kutz Camp in Warwick, New York....Read More »


Road Trip -- Part Five

If this is how he treats his mother ... (Hawaii, April 2005)

This is a story previously told as “One for the Road” on this blog (May 31, 2009). But it’s too good to leave out of our “Road Trip” series. Enjoy!

Among my earliest memories of Jonah and driving is that of him and Aiden camped out in the backseat for each...Read More »


Road Trip -- Part Four

Niagara Falls August 1999

Niagara Falls
August 1999

As I prepared maps and sleeping arrangements for our 1999 road trip to upstate New York and Niagara Falls, everybody told me how brave I was to take my three kids for an entire week and across an international border...Read More »


Road Trip -- Part Three

2013.06.RoadTrip.BlogPost

Road trips are certainly part of every family’s experience. For parents, it’s often where some of the best time is spent with our kids. We’ve got them captive. And assuming they’re not plugged into any tech, we may even have their attention.

Jonah and I spent an unexpected, but lovely,...Read More »


Road Trip -- Part Two

2013.06.RoadTrip.BlogPost

As the summer of 1999 approached (Katie age 11, Jonah age 9, and Aiden age 5), there was no doubt that I would once again lead the charge into my family’s second road trip. Ellen was still not available (convenient, eh?) so it was all up to me. We...Read More »


Road Trip -- Part One

2013.06.RoadTrip.BlogPost

Parenting is an endurance test, to be sure. But sometimes the shoe moves to the other foot, and children have to endure their parents. Such was the case in 1998, when I packed the car with suitcases and three children, and headed off to explore the roads and roadside...Read More »


Into the Fold

Origami.01

I have a video Jonah made in which he (dramatically, and with a driving soundtrack, to boot) thanks a friend for teaching him how to fold t-shirts. We’ll not get into how he missed his parents’ instruction in that regard. The video ends with Jonah pointing to the mess...Read More »


Becoming a Man ... Plus 10

Jonah.8Feb03.25b

2013 happens to mark the tenth year since Jonah Dreskin became a Bar Mitzvah. His Torah reading was from Terumah (Exodus 25:8-22), which we read just a few weeks back in early February. Needless to say, Jonah the Bar Mitzvah has been on my mind.

They weren’t the most captivating verses...Read More »


On Jonah's 4th Yahrzeit

I was reading an article about the first-responders in Newtown, CT, describing their experiences during the shooting and their lingering emotions six weeks later. As I worked my way through the interview, tears gushed down my face. At one point, I put my head down and just sobbed. I...Read More »


Gotta Fly

When Jonah was 13 years old, much like any other kid his age he had some difficulty fitting into the world, a struggle pretty common to 7th grade kids all making the journey from childhood to young adulthood. Jonah was such a bright, funny, caring guy; we had every confidence...Read More »


A Barrel of Monkeys

Jonah's 1st sight-gag May 1992

If you knew one thing about Jonah Maccabee Dreskin, you knew he loved humor. He loved to read it, watch it, listen to it and, as often as possible, to create it himself.

Larry Gelbart, who wrote Tootsie, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and M*A*S*H, is...Read More »


The Rubik's Cube

Mac and Charlotte UB 2008-09

When we ran the “Commencement Gifts” campaign to introduce The Jonah Maccabee Foundation, I reached out to Jonah’s UB freshman year friends inviting them to share stories of their six months at college with him. I received wonderful reminiscences of that brief but unforgettable...Read More »


Lessons from My Younger Son

On June 10, 2012, an era came to an end for our family. Beginning eight years ago, in 2004, and continuing every half-year since, either Jonah or Aiden (and often both) has performed in a production at The Play Group Theatre...Read More »


When It’s Hard to Believe Life Will Get Better

3rd Grade June 1999

I was asked to write a series of essays for the Union for Reform Judaism’s “10 Minutes of Torah.” This is the last of the nine. I’d wanted to write about Jonah in each one of them, but of course I couldn’t. So I saved him for this final piece.

In...Read More »


Here the Anthem Doth Commence

Settling Jonah into his freshman dorm -- August 2008

Today is May 13, 2012. Jonah’s graduation day. Commencement. Not an end, but a beginning.

I’ve had this date in my calendar since Jonah was accepted into, and elected to attend, the University at Buffalo. It’s always been important that I put dates like these into my calendar, even when they’re...Read More »


Commencement Gifts, No. 7

On May 13, 2012, Jonah would have graduated from the State University of New York’s University at Buffalo. To mark this occasion in a meaningful way, I have invited friends from his freshman year (who knew him as “Mac”) to share memories about him. These young people...Read More »


Commencement Gifts, No. 6

On May 13, 2012, Jonah would have graduated from the State University of New York’s University at Buffalo. To mark this occasion in a meaningful way, I have invited friends from his freshman year (who knew him as “Mac”) to share memories about him. These young people...Read More »


Commencement Gifts, No. 5

On May 13, 2012, Jonah would have graduated from the State University of New York’s University at Buffalo. To mark this occasion in a meaningful way, I have invited friends from his freshman year (who knew him as “Mac”) to share memories about him. These young people...Read More »


Commencement Gifts, No. 4

On May 13, 2012, Jonah would have graduated from the State University of New York’s University at Buffalo. To mark this occasion in a meaningful way, I have invited friends from his freshman year (who knew him as “Mac”) to share memories about him. These young people have opened for...Read More »


Commencement Gifts, No. 3

On May 13, 2012, Jonah would have graduated from the State University of New York’s University at Buffalo. To mark this occasion in a meaningful way, I have invited friends from his freshman year (who knew him as “Mac”) to share memories about him. These young people have opened for...Read More »


Commencement Gifts, No. 2

On May 13, 2012, Jonah would have graduated from the State University of New York’s University at Buffalo. To mark this occasion in a meaningful way, I have invited friends from his freshman year (who knew him as “Mac”) to share memories about him. These young people have opened for...Read More »


Commencement Gifts, No. 1

Commencement Gifts campaign (May 2012)

This is probably a surprising statement to hear a father say about his son who died young, but Jonah was a very lucky guy. I mean it. He possessed some very special gifts. Like an electrified and magnetic personality. And a heart of gold. We don’t all get those. Jonah...Read More »


Parallel Lines -- Part Two

Charlie!

Dear Jonah,

The first time I wrote about parallel lines, I was drawing them between your life and mine (Parallel Lines – Part One). I knew there would need to be a Part Two. Not about you and me, but about you and Charlie.

Read More »

Pickled Celery

G’pa Herman shares first secrets of pickling with Jonah February 1990

Since Jonah’s death, there have been any number of activities I’ve not engaged in, some because I haven’t been ready, and others because I’m basically a very lazy person and haven’t wanted to expend the energy. This story fits into both categories.

When I was a little boy, I loved when...Read More »


The 3rd Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert

I lost an hour’s sleep last night. And that was in addition to the Daylight Savings change. I couldn’t stop thinking about the evening’s concert. Dan Nichols and Josh Nelson. So professional. So caring. So loving of the Dreskins. So loving of Jonah – their student, their fan, their friend.

We...Read More »


Uncle Jeffrey's Words at Jonah's Funeral

Jonah & Uncle Jeffrey Passover 2007

It’s the day after Jonah’s third yahrzeit. What an utterly amazing day it turned out to be. And while we hadn’t been as emotionally overwhelmed as we’d been for yahrzeits #1 and #2, we were very much overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that flowed into our hearts...Read More »


Parallel Lines – Part One

Jonah Maccabee Dreskin 1990-2009

Jonah Maccabee Dreskin
1990-2009

Dear Jonah,

It’s March 5th again. The third one since you left. And what’s on my mind this time is parallel lines. The ones that ran between your life and mine. It seems that you and I may have had a...Read More »


Double Date

Our Forever Valentine February 1997

Valentine’s Day. Jonah’s birthday.

I always loved that the two went hand in hand. When he was younger, Jonah’s positive attributes were kind of difficult for many to see, but I did. And I’d always believed that he’d someday grow up to become a person who’d be easy to love. During...Read More »


Path Change

Jonah’s portrait of Post-Katrina Disarray Ocean Springs, MS February 2007

Walking with Charlie through the woods behind the dog park, I find the path has grown more and more familiar from our almost daily visits this past year and a half. A quarter of a mile or so in, the path makes a hard right and heads toward a stream...Read More »


If You Can’t Go Home Again, You May Be Able To Go Back To Camp

Jonah’s camp experiences started as a one-year old when he began spending his summers as a “fac brat” at Kutz Camp (see “Kutz: A Human Symphony in Three Movements,” April 18, 2009). Ellen and I served on the Kutz faculty for...Read More »


Art Touches Heart

For the past two weeks, I’ve been driving into downtown White Plains, NY, to watch Jonah’s younger brother Aiden perform the part of Ren in the musical, Footloose. The show was produced by Play Group Theatre (PGT) which has been part of Aiden’s life...Read More »


Sacred Ground

Elmsford Reformed Church & Cemetery Stuff of Memories, circa 2000

A few days ago, I was out at Sharon Gardens Cemetery.  For work.  I know it sounds bizarre, but what can I say?  I go where my people are, and on that day they were at the cemetery.

When I was...Read More »


Putting On A Brave Face

This mask from Jonah’s high school days went to college with him too.

I read an article in the New York Times this morning about how a plastic mask used for protests across the world has also created some significant income for its owner, Time Warner (“Masked Protesters Aid Time Warner’s Bottom Line,” New York Times, August 28, 2011). The mask is a...Read More »


Won’t You Look Down Upon Me, Jesus?

Today, at 6:00 pm, Christian millennialist believers were supposed to have been “raptured” – lifted up to heaven to live side-by-side with Jesus until he brings them back to earth to do final battle with the anti-Christ for the salvation of the planet and its (faithful) inhabitants. Needless to say,...Read More »


6:01

It’s hard to say when Jonah fell in love with music. I suppose that, for most of us, melody serves as a fairly constant backdrop to our lives. It first consists of the tunes our parents or older brothers and sisters play, but then sometime along the way, we begin...Read More »


Death and Rebirth of the Spirit

Colorado.1992

I guess I don’t get out much. I mean, I’m at work so much of the time. But when I’m not there, I’m pretty much at home. Part of it is I’m a busy guy, and there’s always temple work to be done, even at home. Part of it is...Read More »


2nd Annual Jonah Maccabee Dreskin Memorial Concert

Dear Jonah,

Last night (4/2/11) was the 2nd annual concert presented in your memory. We held it at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY, where Rabbi Rick Jacobs et al graciously and lovingly welcomed us so that we could do our remembering and our music-making. Between the crew over at WRT,...Read More »


All the World’s NOT a Stage, but There's Still a Lot of Theater to See

"Billy Elliot" in London August 2010

“Billy Elliot” in London
August 2010

With Aiden recently finishing his run of Pippin at the Play Group Theatre (playgroup.org), I am reminded of a couple of things. First, how much Aiden loves musical theater (really loves musical theater)...Read More »


Two Years

Jonah'sYahrzeit.2010

Try as I might to not count time in terms of how long it’s been since Jonah died, I find it an impossible undertaking. Through acts of determination, I can sometimes turn off that clock – in fact, I can turn off most of my being conscious that Jonah...Read More »


Stuck

19 years old February 2009

Dear sweet Jonah,

I’ve dreaded the arrival of this day for quite some time now. February 14, 2011. Your birthday. And Valentine’s Day (a convergence we always adored). You’re supposed to be twenty-one.

First legal drink and all that. I was really looking forward to taking you out for your birthday dinner...Read More »


Two Puppies

Billy and Frankie circa 1973

Billy and Frankie
circa 1973

When I was a kid growing up in Cincinnati, there were nine members of my family living under one roof. This included my parents, five siblings, me … and Frankie, our dog. Originally saddled with the moniker,“Frankie VI,” this...Read More »


A Stone's Throw

Jonah’s footstone is up. It only took us nineteen months. It’s not that we haven’t been out to his grave. We have. Plenty of times. We just haven’t been in a hurry to do this part of it. We likely feel there’s something a bit too compliant about setting the...Read More »


God and the Big Bump

The Union for Reform Judaism publishes a wonderful educational resource called “Torah at the Center.” In preparing for the Fall 2010 issue on “God and Reform Judaism,” they asked if I would write about how the death of a loved one can change one’s views on...Read More »


Eating (In and) Out of House and Home – Part Two

Makin’ A Motzi! Kutz Camp, November 2006

We Dreskins have simple tastes. There are not a lot of fancy restaurants in our story (although Ruth’s Chris is definitely at the top of the list when it comes to celebrating important stuff like high school graduations). Mostly, we’re about fast-food chains and family dining spots (which could be...Read More »


Navigating

Each year, Craig Taubman publishes “Jewels of Elul” online as part of the Jewish community’s preparation for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur during the Hebrew month of Elul, which immediately precedes the High Holy Days. This year, Craig’s theme is “The Art of...Read More »


Unforgettable Faces

First Self-Portrait May 2005

Dear Jonah,

What was it with you and your camera? I’m not complaining, mind you; I’m just kind of stunned by it all. In 2006, you asked me if you could have one and I gave you mine (always happy to have an excuse to upgrade my tech). You used it...Read More »


Father's Day II

Dear Jonah Maccabee,

A year ago, I was in Buffalo, NY, for Father’s Day. I’d gone there for a wedding but my heart was pretty squarely with you and the University at Buffalo where you’d died. It had been little more than three months since we’d lost you.

My second Father’s Day...Read More »


Eating (In and) Out of House and Home – Part One

Saturday Night Pizza October 2000

Much of the Dreskin family life occurs around meals. Whether it’s the breakfast room, the dining room, in front of the television or out-and-about, some of our favorite shared memories come from those food- and antic-filled moments. This makes sense because it’s often the only time during the day when...Read More »


Doctored Memories

Just arrived! February 14, 1990

On a recent visit to my physician’s office, while I was waiting to be summoned I watched with muted delight as a father and his 20-year old son arranged to get the young man a check-up before he took off for a semester in Australia. The whole time they were...Read More »


A Foundation of Feathers

One feather ... 300-400 soda can tabs

I thought of you today, Jonah. Yeah, I know, I think of you everyday. But today’s is worth sharing.

One feather …
300-400 soda can tabs

Jeffrey Schrier and his “Wings of Witness” project was at Woodlands Community Temple this afternoon. Again. Jeffrey’s been coming...Read More »


The Clown Mensch of White Plains (Part Two)

Bulletin Board @ PGT Summer 2009

I promised a part two to this piece and am finally getting around to it. It’s an important addition to the story: the “part two” that kicked in the day after Jonah died.

While Jonah was alive, I didn’t really “get” PGT. I’d definitely grown to love it, but that was...Read More »


Shout-outs

Jonah’s mandolin

After someone we love has died, it’s a rare and exciting moment when we realize they’ve just reached out to us, a paranormal “shout-out” that reassures us they are okay and that they continue to care about us. I don’t necessarily subscribe to this belief – in loved...Read More »


One Year Ago ... 11:58 pm

Doug Siegel and Jonah on Mt Bierstadt Clear Creek County, Colorado August 2002

One year ago, innocence was erased. The world changed forever. A single phone call, presumed to be nothing more than a late-night hello, brought word that Jonah was in a bad way, that an ambulance was en route. An hour later, a second phone call, presumed to be the one...Read More »


For A Blessing

Confirmation, June 2006

I wrote this for the March 2010 issue of my temple bulletin. Once again, not a Jonah-story but, to mark Jonah’s 1st yahrzeit, some thoughts on my journey of the past 12 months.

Billy

 

“God will destroy death forever, and wipe the tears from every face.”

This text is from the prophetic book...Read More »


9 Adar 5770

You and Me Purim, 14 Adar 5753 Age 3 (you, not me)

Dear Jonah,

I remember, when Mom and I studied in Israel for a year (1982-83), someone telling me how much they loved living in a country where you can write the Hebrew date on your checks. I really enjoyed hearing that and, to this day, I too like writing the Hebrew...Read More »


Be My Valentine

Jonah’s 18th birthday February 14, 2008

Jonah’s 18th birthday
February 14, 2008

How does one celebrate the 20th birthday of your child who died nearly a year ago? Well, “celebrate” isn’t exactly the correct word. But it’s not entirely off-base either. Jonah’s birthday was always a bit more fun for...Read More »


The Clown Mensch of White Plains (Part One)

Clown-Mensch-in-Training Club Med, April 1993

Clown-Mensch-in-Training
Club Med, April 1993

It’s time to write about The Play Group Theatre. PGT is a youth drama program in White Plains, NY. But it’s much, much more than that. PGT is a place – a safe...Read More »


A Song for Love

On January 23, 2010, my family and I were privileged to join with 500 very kind and generous folks (plus hundreds of supporters, also kind and generous, who could not make it but sent donations to support the Jonah Maccabee Fund) for the 1st Annual Jonah Maccabee...Read More »


The Place In Between

Jonah Maccabee Dreskin 1990-2009

This entry is not a Jonah-story. It’s from words I wrote for our January 2010 temple newsletter, reflecting on ten months of life-lived-in-ultimate-reorientation since Jonah’s death. With the concert in his memory soon approaching, I’ve been thinking about what it means to remember my kid rather than grow...Read More »


This Little Light of Mine

Video Gaming October 2007

Hanukkah has always been huge in our home. For a number of excellent reasons. First, who doesn’t need a holiday of light and warmth during winter’s dark and cold? December, both in New York and in our earlier home in Cleveland, were really cold and we particularly took to heart...Read More »


Thanksgiving Thanks

Grandma Iris and Jonah Thanksgiving 1992

Thanksgiving at the Dreskins is not the same kind of tradition many other families have. While Ellen does spend most of the day preparing a lot of great food, each of us is usually involved in our own individual activities throughout the day, and when we finally gather to gorge...Read More »


Biennial Snapshots

Jonah, Aiden & Katie Disney World 1999

Ellen, Aiden and I recently returned from the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial Convention in Toronto. As with so much else in my life these days, Jonah’s never far from my thoughts … even in Canada. On various occasions, the five of us had traveled as far as Niagara Falls,...Read More »


Shirt Tales (Part Two)

Jonah @ the URJ Biennial December 2007

Dear Katie and Aiden,

I’ve got a few more of Jonah’s t-shirts I’d like to tell you about.

Jonah @ the URJ Biennial
December 2007

Your brother was a longtime fan of Monty Python. We’d corrupted him at the tender age of 12 when, for Hanukkah,...Read More »


The E Street Shuffle

November 2006 Think he’d have liked to have been a rock star?

The other night, I joined 40,000 people I’d never seen before (along with just a few that I had) to make some noise at Bruce Springsteen’s final Giants Stadium appearance. To be honest, I’ve never been a Bruce fan. His music just isn’t my music. But too many people I...Read More »


A Pair of Reluctant Prophets

Kutz Camp Summer 2008
This entry is also not a Jonah-story. It’s adapted from words I wrote for Yom Kippur, this time celebrating Jonah Maccabee’s incredible determination to become the version of himself that he (and we who loved him) most admired: a silly, smart, smart-assed, golden-souled friend.

Billy

 

Read More »

The View from the Valley

August 2007

This entry is not a Jonah-story. It’s from words I wrote for Rosh Hashanah, describing a bit of my faith-journey since Jonah’s death. It comes from the place in my heart where Jonah now resides, and where I regularly go to spend time with him.

Billy

 

Read More »

Shirt Tales (Part One)

“Batman Animated” wrapped around Jonah. Jonah wrapped around buddy Ryan. Cleveland, circa 1995.

Dear Katie and Aiden,

I suspect that lots of parents are easily won over by their children. Not so much because kids demonstrate any particular talent or ability (although certainly those may be there) but rather, pretty much just because we love you and find joy in most anything you yourself...Read More »


From Which the Water Flows

So often playful as a puppy, Jonah’s sweetness acclimated easily to the water.  Wildwood, Sep 2004.

Ellen and I got to the Pacific coastline in California this past month. I’d thought, “Don’t take anything with you but a book to read and a swim suit. Put a little distance between you and Jonah for just a few days. Rest your spirit.” It was a wonderful week....Read More »


Hands and Smiles

Shabbat Eve included candles, wine, challah, tzedakah boxes and my beautiful family. Nov 2006

Shabbat Eve included candles, wine, challah, tzedakah boxes and my beautiful family. Nov 2006

One of my very favorite Jewish customs is when, just before lighting Shabbat candles on Friday eve, a few coins are placed in a tzedakah box (a Read More »


2046

I love this photo. It’s a little fuzzy because I had to snap it quickly. It’s an extremely rare picture of Jonah ... doing homework! Something about wanting to graduate from high school. June 2008

Jonah fascinated me.

I always worried about him, of course, because he frequently refused to walk the well-trodden path. You know which one I mean — the path that would have led him to conventional purpose and dependable security. The one every parent wants for their child. Here’s an example. Jonah...Read More »


Bottled Up

Lady Liberty holds a torch for Root Beer (Jan 2004)

When I was a kid, my brother Jimmy (true child of the late-60s, early-70s that he was) painted his room in dayglo colors and glued magazine cut-outs all over his walls. All over his walls. Jimmy made that room into a happening — something that was a true...Read More »


Fireworks (A Fourth of July Tribute)

Who thinks he liked being Jewish because he could light things on fire? December 2006

One of Jonah’s friends, in remembering the impact he’d had on her life, excerpted a Walt Whitman poem:

Still though the one I sing, (One, yet of contradictions made,) I dedicate to Nationality, I leave in him revolt, (O latent right...Read More »


Zinc + Copper = Brass (or “Sometimes Alloys Change Our Lives, and Sometimes Our Lives Change Into Alloys”)

Jonah and Dan Kutz Camp, July 2005

It’s just about four months since Jonah died. I’m learning important lessons by residing in a world where I desperately wish he were here but — like Sisyphus perpetually at work moving his boulder towards the mountain’s peak — I am always denied my request.

Nessa Rapoport, in her

I’ve just returned home from 24 hours in Buffalo, NY. I was there for a wedding (a really nice guy named Dave married Katie’s “twin sister” Brooke) but I knew I was going to be looking for Jonah. It was precisely where I needed to be on this first Fathers...Read More »


Pick Pocket

Self-portrait Hawaii, February 2006

I don’t really attend concerts. I prefer listening to music at home – to a playlist of my own choosing, at a volume of my choosing as well. When I do get to a concert hall, it’s not usually to hear a rock guitarist. So finding myself at the Izod...Read More »


Birthday Present

On February 14th, nineteen days before he died, Jonah turned 19. I always thought February 14th was the coolest date for a birthday, and that one day those who would lay claim to Jonah’s heart would adore the opportunity presented them by its intersection with Valentine’s Day. But alas, others...Read More »


One for the Road

This is how he treats his mother? (Hawaii, April 2005)

Among my earliest memories of Jonah and driving is that of him and Aiden camped out in the backseat for each summer’s trip from Cleveland to Kutz Camp, watching enough DVDs to fill the entire 11-hour expedition. We never heard a peep out of them which, as everyone knows, is...Read More »


Sweet Toots

Jonah, age 10 (Sep 2000) Shofar Savvy!

For quite a few seasons, Jonah was the only thing that stood between me and his mom … at the Young Families Rosh Hashanah service. It was a gig that Ellen and I’d had since we’d moved back to New York in 1995. No matter what else was going on...Read More »


When Fields Lie Fallow

Jonah and "the Dreskin kid's Dad" Bar Mitzvah, Confirmand and Graduate 2003, 2006 and 2008

This past Friday night, my congregation celebrated the Graduation of our 12th graders. Religious school Graduation is always a wonderfully inspiring Shabbat evening, and this year was no different. Except that last year, Jonah was there. Which means that this year at Mee Khamokha, I felt him playing...Read More »


Knives

Katie, Jonah and Aiden Road Trip, Summer 2000

I have this friend who loves to give me pens. They’re not for me. He tells me to give them to someone in my house who loves pens. That would be Ellen. Last night, however, he handed me a pocket knife. I immediately thought, “Oh, this must be for Jonah....Read More »


Secret Recipe for Life

Not the Empress my dad took me to, but a later incarnation

Skyline Chili. If you have no idea what that is, get yourself to Cincinnati this very instant and have them pour some on a plate of spaghetti or a hot dog (doesn’t much matter which, so long as there’s lots of it … learn more at skylinechili.com/story.php). Now...Read More »


Diary of a Rabbi’s Kid’s Father

Jonah with Mom and Dad Confirmation, June 2006

Jewishly parenting Jonah while being a congregational rabbi had its tricky moments. When Aiden was born, we brought the entire family to synagogue (back then, Fairmount Temple in Cleveland) for Aiden’s naming during a Shabbat Evening service. Ellen and I envisioned having the five of us strike an Ozzie and...Read More »


Kutz: A Human Symphony in Three Movements

Katie and Jonah at Kutz Camp Summer 1991

A brief history of Jonah Maccabee Dreskin and the URJ Kutz Camp in Warwick, New York: Jonah loved Kutz, Jonah hated Kutz. And then Jonah loved Kutz.

Katie and Jonah at Kutz Camp
Summer 1991

Here’s what went down. Our family started spending all or...Read More »


Use the Force, Mac

Feb 2008
Jonah’s 18th birthday
Cheesecake Factory!

Jonah had four years on his brother Aiden. With that great an age difference you might think that growing up, these two boys would have little in common. But as you probably know, Jonah lived his life...Read More »


Touching The Thread

July 2005 at Kutz Camp
playing ukulele with Dan Nichols

My 19-year old son, Jonah Maccabee, died on March 5, 2009. As you can imagine (or worse, know firsthand), grieving for a child is a horrendous place to have to put your heart. They...Read More »


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