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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To purchase our magnificent recording, "So Is Life," visit jonahmac.org/so-is-life.

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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Time to Pony Up! Our “Summer Camp!” Campaign Has Begun!

2015.06.SummerCampIf 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 got a whole bunch of reasons for choosing Kutz so, since we’re counting on your support, you’d best read on.

Kutz Camp is the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) center for teen leadership training. High school students from across North America (across the whole world, really) are there not only during the summer but in the autumn and spring as well, and soon (with the support of good folks like you and us who help them winterize the campgrounds) during the snowy months too. Kutz offers leadership training in the arts, social justice, digital media, songleading, Jewish studies and Hebrew studies. Like all summer camps, it’s a remarkable environment in which young people can truly blossom in areas that interest them.

Back in the 70s, Ellen attended Kutz as a teenager. She not only loved it, but she chose a life in Jewish music and teaching as a result. Me, I’m a Goldman Camp alum (5 summers, 1973-77). So I’m no stranger to Reform Jewish camping. Later, during our rabbinical and cantorial seminary years, we also spent a summer at Camp Coleman in Cleveland, GA.

Eventually, we settled on Kutz as the place we would lay down some serious roots. The conversation went something like this. Me: “So, how ’bout we volunteer at Goldman Camp each summer? After all, I was there for five years and it means a lot to me.” Ellen: “I signed us up for Kutz.”

I’m still not sure how that discussion ended so quickly, but beginning in the summer of 1991 either Ellen or I, or both of us, served on faculty at Kutz. Sometimes Ellen would be there the entire summer (I would commute up from NYC on weekends) and sometimes I would spend two weeks on faculty with her. All told, we racked up about 24 years on faculty there. Needless to say, we’re very fond of the place.

Jonah took this photo at Kutz in 2007. Pretty dreamy place!

Jonah took this photo at Kutz in 2007. Pretty dreamy place!

Katie, Jonah and Aiden were all fac brats at Kutz. Jonah first toddled across Kutz’s vast lawns when he was only a year old! He later became a program participants during the summers of 2005 and 2007, and he worked on staff in the summer of 2008.

Jonah loved Kutz. Eventually. For that story, take a look at Kutz: A Human Symphony in Three Movements.

Because of this great love that we Dreskins shared, we’re thrilled to support Kutz’s next chapter. Read on!

Kutz Camp has now embarked upon a major capital improvement campaign. It needs it. Badly. As much as we’ve loved Kutz Camp, we’ve always wished it would find the money to at least make horribly-needed repairs. So the opportunity to help them spruce up the place is something our family really believes in. And since the work they do there is very much in line with what the Jonah Maccabee Foundation is all about, we’re inviting you to join us in supporting this effort.

The five of us at Kutz in 2007

The five of us at Kutz in 2007

Throughout June and July, we’ll be bothering you in our usual way. We’ll share stories about Kutz Campm some coming from our family (okay, by “family” we mean Billy), but most will come from those who knew Jonah at Kutz: fellow campers, fellow staff, fellow “fac brats,” and even from the adults who looked after Jonah while he was at Kutz. Hopefully, you’ll love the stories so much that you’ll send us lots of money.

Stay tuned. Much more to come. If you’d like to donate right now, hop right over to jonahmac.org/donate. But read the stories, anyway. We’ll be in touch!

Ellen, Billy, Katie and Aiden

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