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.


Maddie Hendricks: Ten Years Later (Part 13)

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 Maddie Hendricks.

Maddie has worked on the CW’s Jane The Virgin for the past five years, starting as the Showrunner’s assistant, then as an Associate Producer, and is currently a writer on the staff. Maddie is also a playwright whose work has been published by Samuel French. She co-created See What Sticks, a monthly workshop with an audience in LA where artists of all disciplines come together to present works in progress.

Maddie writes:

“Look at the moon, look at the moon, look at the moon!”

I can still hear Jonah saying the words, capturing the PGT audience with this loud, bellowing voice. He was acting in a production of Hair, and I was in the front row of the audience, enraptured. I had worked with Jonah many times over the years, but I remember thinking that night how he was so meant to play this part. It felt so him.

Since Jonah’s death, there have been hundreds of times that I’ve looked up at the moon and thought of him. It’s almost as if it belongs to him now. And I love that.

I still hold my memories of Jonah dearly. That time he swooped in to save our production of Once On This Island by playing an important role just two weeks before opening. Or when he played the old doctor in Grand Hotel and quietly stole the show with his sharp and specific physicality. I’ve carried Jonah with me on some of my travels; that time I went to Morocco and felt so strongly that he would love it there. I still shiver when I hear “Redemption Song” or “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” songs from his funeral that have now become interwoven with his memory.

“Look at the moon!” (June 2008)

But more than anything, for me Jonah lives on through art. Good art. Anyone’s art. The play I wrote last week. That great short film I saw this year. The cool installation at that up-and-coming gallery. Through these pieces, he lives on. I think it’s because when I was a teenager, I so desperately wanted to be an artist. Someone who held music, theater and art above everything else. And for me, that was Jonah. I wanted to be like him.

So now, I feel Jonah with me when I look up at the moon and see good art. He’s created this magical connection for me between nature and creativity. He’s there in those tingly, special, larger-than-life moments when I remember how small I am, and how big this world is. Jonah’s legacy lives on and constantly reminds me to do what I love.

For that, I’m forever grateful.


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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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