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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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 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!


 

Maya Glasser remembers …

Maya was lucky to be a member of the cast of “Zanna, Don’t” at PGT. She graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2011, creating her own concentration in “Religion and Theater as Text and Interpretation.” After working at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan, she moved to Israel for a year in July 2013 to begin her Rabbinical Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

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My first (and last) callback night for a show at PGT was during my senior year of high school, and I was incredibly nervous. I was very relieved to see Jonah hopping out of the car in front of me when my parents dropped me off. He could tell that I was apprehensive, but of course in his typical charismatic way he made me feel at home by telling me that he would find someone my age to introduce me to. Scanning the room, he brought over a fellow senior, explaining that she had only been with PGT for a few shows and that she was really nice. It made me feel exponentially more comfortable to connect with someone one-on-one and to know that someone was looking out for me in a room full of a family to which I did not yet belong. That girl and I are now classmates and close friends! Since we ended up in separate shows at PGT, I can’t say we would have necessarily connected at that time if it hadn’t been for Jonah.

When a friend who was in a show with me at PGT and I organized a benefit cabaret that summer featuring a cast of PGT volunteers, we needed someone to film the show. After some brainstorming, I thought of asking Jonah. We wanted him to come early that day and watch our dress rehearsal so he knew who to film when, and not only did he practically sprint into the theater exuberantly, ready to do anything we asked of him, he arrived over an hour early for his call time. He was more attentive and focused that day than I ever remember seeing him.

What stands out to me from each of these experiences is Jonah’s purity of heart and devotion to others. His incomparable spirit shone through in every act of kindness he performed, whether it was a favor asked of him or a good deed he decided to do because he was just that kind of person. I think nothing could have stopped him once he set his mind on a task. I loved seeing this spark manifest itself on the PGT stage and beyond, and while the world is definitely missing it, his spirit lives on in the lives of those he touched along the way.

Maya

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

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