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.


Jonah’s Years @ PGT — Part 1

“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 loving direction along the road to wholeness during their own childhood years. Please consider making your tax-deductible gift at jonahmac.org by Sunday, January 5, 2014. Okay, or any other time. Thank you. You’re the best!


Jonah'sYears@PGT.2013.11.BlogAd.Final.largeIn the second half of 8th grade, Jonah discovered a magical island of creativity and love called Play Group Theatre which harbored his blustery, generous soul throughout high school and provided the incubator in which he could grow his massive spirit. Located in White Plains, NY, Play Group Theatre (PGT) opens its doors to young people in search of a safe place to explore the parameters of their self-definition. Closely watched over by Jill and Steven Abusch, the kids of PGT aren’t afraid of anything. Well, perhaps they are, but through classes and rehearsals they learn bravery and courage and not to shrink from a challenge. These are key skills that will serve them well all their lives, whether or not they’re destined for a life in front of the footlights.

Jonah in "Lucky Stiff" May 2004 (age 14)

Jonah in “Lucky Stiff”
May 2004 (age 14)

When Jonah was 14 years old, he was struggling mightily with trying to figure out who he was and what he could do. His first show, Lucky Stiff, aptly captured his beginnings at PGT. STIFF-ly indeed, he presented his first solo musical lines to the PGT audience. But he already understood how LUCKY he was to have discovered what had already become one of his favorite places on earth.

As Jonah’s dad, I looked on in absolute awe at the astounding work that was being done at PGT. Sure, I liked the shows. But I could see that PGT wasn’t about the shows. This theatre company’s emphasis was on the company … the kids. Steven and Jill and their staff feel obliged to care for the developing individuals who have been entrusted to them. And over the eight years that Jonah and Aiden grew up there, Ellen and I felt blessed to witness the gifts with which these young people were being showered: a safe place to explore personhood, a loving sanctuary in which to open up and peek out from behind the walls we all build for hiding our teenaged selves.

In short, PGT may be one of the greatest places on earth. For both my boys, that was most certainly true.



P.S. With this entry, we kick off our Autumn 2013 campaign. Please give generously at jonahmac.org. As always, we are ever grateful for your friendship and support.

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