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 the music of So Is Life and Beged Kefet," visit jonahmac.org/music.

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.


David White: Ten Years Later (Part 12)

Jonah’s death ten years ago commenced a journey for many of us that has been filled with sadness (of course) but also with love — so much love. With this campaign, “10 Years Later,” you’re invited to spend some time with some of Jonah’s best friends and teachers.

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Meet David White.

David is currently a youth director at Temple Beth El in Great Neck, NY. He is beginning his studies at HUC this summer. He has a long connection with NFTY NAR and the URJ Kutz Camp, which is how how he knew Jonah.

David writes:

As we reach ten years since losing the wonderful soul that was Jonah Dreskin, I cannot help but reminisce on the incredibly profound impact he had on my life. Jonah possessed so many qualities that pulled me to him.

I remember the first time I met Jonah. It was my first summer at Kutz Camp, a place that Jonah called home. Jonah was the outgoing one that everyone wanted to be around. He was so kind and accepting of anyone who wanted to befriend him. He had this essence that screamed I want to be your friend. These characteristics remained consistent as I entered NFTY NAR as a high school freshman and Jonah and I grew close.

Jonah was so quick to say hello to me and introduce me to his friends. His ruach and his kindness made every NFTY Kallah incredibly special. Our friendship deepened when we roomed together in 2007 at the URJ Biennial in San Diego. I was so excited to room with Jonah and even now remember the nights we sat up late talking about life.

This photograph was taken the last time I saw Jonah. It was at his final NFTY Kallah as a high school senior. We were all at a program when Jonah pulled me aside to take a picture with me. The happiness on our faces, the warmth I felt for Jonah, and my comfort in taking this ridiculous photograph with him, these all embody the friendship that we shared.

I will cherish this photo along with all the memories I have of Jonah. He might be gone, but for me will never be forgotten.


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We all miss that boy. It’ll probably always hurt that he’s gone. But he left us so much, and that’s what these writings express. Watch for them in emails and postings throughout the month. Our hope is that these stories will inspire you to make your gift at jonahmac.org/donate to help us help kids build whole, healthy lives.We continue to miss Jonah and to feel grateful: a) that we had him in our lives; and, b) that he’s inspired us to do good stuff in his name. We’re incredibly honored that you’ve joined us in our work and thank you in advance for donating to our Summer Campaign.

Very sincerely,
Ellen, Billy, Aiden, Katie and Mark
The Jonah Maccabee Foundation

ALSO ALSO ALSO … The Jonah Maccabee Foundation is so proud to now be the beneficiaries of the proceeds from four exceptional musical recordings:

“So Is Life” was recorded by (ta da!) So Is Life, which includes Dan Nichols, Josh Nelson, Cantor Rosalie Boxt and Cantor Ellen Dreskin. It’s a magnificent album and is available to you as a download and on CD (if anyone still has a CD player). You can order So Is Life right here.

And now, you can order the music of Beged Kefet (which, for you youngsters out there, was a Jewish performance group that Ellen and Billy were in for a good 20 years or so). Beged Kefet recorded three albums, all now available to you! Our thanks to the members of Beged Kefet — Beth Sher, Cantor Leon Sher, Cantor Riki Lippitz, Cantor Ellen Dreskin, Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller, Rabbi Les Bronstein and Rabbi Billy Dreskin — for allowing us to use the proceeds from their three recordings to help kids build whole, healthy lives. You can order your Beged Kefet digital downloads here. We’re also streaming, so check us out on Spotify, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to music!

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