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 @ 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 age 1 to 18) at the URJ Kutz Camp in Warwick, NY. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us help Kutz continue its wildly successful work of helping teens blaze a summer’s path to a whole, healthy life. Please consider making your tax-deductible gift at jonahmac.org. Thank you. You’re the best!


David Bloom remembers …

DavidBloom.02aA Louisville native, David Bloom attended Kutz: NFTY’s Campus for Reform Jewish Teens from 2007 to 2009, and served on staff in 2010. He graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University – Bloomington in 2014 with B.A.s in Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, and French, and a minor in Modern Hebrew. A rabbinical student at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he recently completed HUC-JIR’s Year-in-Israel Program and will continue his studies on the Cincinnati campus this fall.

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Typically, I dislike clichés as their overuse detracts from the rare wonders to which they point: those precious moments in which the ordinary encounters the extraordinary. But Jonah embodied such character for me. Accordingly, when I describe Jonah as one of the most charismatic people I’ve met, I do so sincerely and with great appreciation for having known him.

Although I don’t recall how I first met Jonah, I do remember his inexplicable charisma. He had an energy about him that quite simply attracted everyone to him. Indeed, I cannot think of a single moment seeing him without friends surrounding him. Personally, I found myself drawn to him because of his humor, compassion, kindness, and generous spirit. On one occasion, for example, Jonah and a friend had set up a tightrope between two wooden posts. Jonah and his friend had a natural talent for navigating the treacherous bridge, which lay a foot off the ground. When it came time for my turn, Jonah encouraged me all the way along. Of course, I fell multiple times. But it didn’t matter; Jonah told me I’d get it eventually. In his saying so, I really gained a friend.

David & Jonah (Kutz 2008)

David & Jonah (Kutz 2008)

Of his many gifts, Jonah also possessed a great musical talent and an even more remarkable desire to share it with others. He truly enjoyed performing because it enriched people’s lives. I’ll never forget his classic Jewish rap, “Makin’ a Motzi.” If I recall correctly, I first heard it during the annual talent show. Lifting the microphone to his lips with all eyes on him, Jonah began rapping away, always returning to the refrain, “Makin’ a motzi, makin’ a, makin’ a, makin’ a, makin‘ a motzi, hey oh, hey oh!” I still marvel at how he managed to spin these words at a furious speed but always and only with deep affection for his Judaism. But that was Jonah – an artistic, energetic soul who lived life at a whirlwind to experience and to share life’s infinite beauty.



Do you have a memory of Jonah at Kutz? Share it as a comment below. And please donate to our “Summer Camp ‘15″ campaign at jonahmac.org/donate. Thanks!

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