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.

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A note from Ellen … kindling creative lights for children with special needs

Dear friends,

It’s Maccabee season. At our house, we have a large collection of hanukkiyot and dreidles, and a refrigerator door filled with magnetic photos of 31 years of family Hanukkah celebrations.

At this time of year, it is particularly wonderful to illuminate the darkness around us with stories of light and the real-life heroes whose work will change our world, candle by candle. We are delighted to share with you one more of the many ways in which your donations are bringing light into the world. We hope that you’ll be inspired to join us on our journey and that you will donate to our December campaign, “Jonah-Inspired.”

The Penguin Project is a community theatre experience for children with special needs. Established in Peoria, IL, in 2004, it “provides supportive environments for children with disabilities to explore their creative talents.” In just fifteen years, it has grown to include 40 chapters in 20 states, changing the lives of over 750 young actors and their more than 800 mentors. Pretty amazing, yes?

Young artists with physical, intellectual, developmental or other disabilities or neurological disorders work tirelessly with their mentors (children of the same age without disabilities) for four months of rehearsals. The result is a fully-staged musical performance, open to the entire community. The benefits are obvious and numerous: the therapeutic value of the arts leaves everyone with increased social and communication skills, self-confidence and self-esteem; audience members are inspired and enthused by the artistry and energy, hard-work and collaboration they see coming from the stage; developmental, medical, education and theatre professionals network and collaborate; and, families of children with disabilities have a forum for support and interaction.

Our Jonah is remembered, particularly in his communal theatre work during his high-school years, as being particularly aware of and exuberantly supportive of those who did not feel that they quite “fit in” at any particular moment. We are quite sure that he would be first in line to mentor one of these young actors, to help them kindle their creative lights, and to keep his own light kindled as well.

Please contribute to our December campaign, “Jonah-Inspired.” Help us keep the lights of amazing projects like The Penguin Project burning bright. We remain grateful for the opportunity to keep Jonah’s memory alive in this way.

Wishing a warm and light-filled season to you and yours,
Ellen

P.S. Here’s a brief, excellent video that explains and presents The Penguin Project …

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