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: Solly Zisser


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!



Solly Zisser remembers …

WritersPix.SollyZisser.01aSolly Zisser is a junior in high school at Solomon Schechter School of Westchester. He is currently in rehearsal for his fifteenth production at PGT, starring as Shrek in “Shrek, the Musical” (Jan 11-26, 2014).

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Unfortunately, I did not get to know Jonah as well as I wished I had. I was only twelve when he left us. Most of my very few memories that I have of him are scattered and not very clear. One of my most clear memories of Jonah occurred during PGT’s production of Once on this Island. As told in Maddie Hendricks’ writing, two weeks before our tech week Jill Abusch (our director) needed to find someone to play the role of Daniel’s father. She picked Jonah. So there we were, rehearsing in the White Plains Mall [PGT’s old rehearsal space] three weeks before our show with a new cast member. Most of the cast was on break while only a handful of us was actually rehearsing. I, being the curious ten-year-old that I was, went into the infamous “yellow room” where the rehearsal was going on. I sat down next to where Jill was standing and began watching the rehearsal. Jonah also happened to be watching the rehearsal.

Jonah and Solly, "Once On This Island" May 2007

Jonah and Solly, “Once On This Island”
May 2007

Our set consisted of these big circular platforms that cast members had to push around on the stage. Jill’s constant challenge: find people to move these platforms. The scene that I happened to be watching consisted of a platform move and Jill says “Um … Jonah, Solly … you’re up.” Of course what we didn’t know at the time, which we learned during tech week when we had a stage and a set, is that Jonah and I would have to stay behind the platform after we moved into place for the duration of the scene and song.

All I could think of was, “Oh great. Not only do I have to stay on stage for all this time but there is gonna be this big, scary high schooler with me.” I was quite nervous to say the least. But all my nerves were pushed aside the very first time we did that scene/song. Together Jonah and I moved the platform and set it into place. We sat down behind it and then, without a moment’s hesitation, Jonah says with a big smile on his face, “So, how ya doing, Solly?” I was caught completely off guard. I barely even knew Jonah, let alone ever talked to him. I was practically a stranger to him, and yet he treated me like a friend.

Jonah’s kindness and compassion inspired us all. The way he interacted with others can teach us all how to treat those around us. I feel lucky to have been able to catch a small glimpse of Jonah. I feel lucky, like I know we all do, to have known him, as a role model, and as a friend.



P.S. Your donation at jonahmac.org is always welcome! We are ever grateful for your friendship and support.

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