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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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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Author Archive

Silver Learnings: Marta Kauffman

These past 15 months, no matter how “hard” or “easy” any of us had it, we’ve learned a lot. Good stuff even. Our learning, you could say, has been one of the pandemic’s silver linings. To acknowledge some of those Silver Learnings, we’ve invited friends from different walks of life to share what they’ve learned from the pandemic. Our guess is you’ll hear some voices that sound like your own, and some that offer a window into a world you’ve not known but from which we can all now learn.

 


Marta Kauffman is an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning television writer, producer, and showrunner. She’s best known as a co-creator of Friends. Other projects have included Veronica’s Closet, Jesse, Dream On, Hava Nagila, and Seeing Allred. Marta is currently the co-creator and executive producer of Grace and Frankie.

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When we were confined to our homes, well over a year ago, a lot of people started making sourdough bread. Some people cleaned their closets. Some people decided to learn something new. I learned to clip the fingernails of my right hand with my uncoordinated left hand, although I’m not sure that’s what “learning something new” meant. Read the rest of this entry »

Silver Learnings: Evangelo Maniotis

These past 15 months, no matter how “hard” or “easy” any of us had it, we’ve learned a lot. Good stuff even. Our learning, you could say, has been one of the pandemic’s silver linings. To acknowledge some of those Silver Learnings, we’ve invited friends from different walks of life to share what they’ve learned from the pandemic. Our guess is you’ll hear some voices that sound like your own, and some that offer a window into a world you’ve not known but from which we can all now learn.


Evangelo Maniotis is a linguist and interpreter who was working in Japan as an assistant English teacher when the pandemic began. He’s a polyglot who has worked as an ESL teacher and interpreter both online and in various countries. He has also tutored other languages.

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My family is a closely-knit collection of Italians and Greeks, so me having most of my work in other countries means breaking a whole lot of hearts. My family certainly made no small noise when I was all by myself during a global crisis. It is, of course, thanks to that noise that I am currently home in New York and safe in their arms.

Read the rest of this entry »

SILVER LEARNINGS: June Campaign enters week #2

Our June campaign, Silver Learnings, is up and running. Thank you to those who have already contributed. Everybody else … three weeks and counting!

Why Silver Learnings? Because no matter how “hard” or “easy” any of us had it during the pandemic, we’ve all learned a lot. About the world, about ourselves, about others. Some of it was bad and, almost amazingly, a lot of it was good. That good stuff has been one of the pandemic’s silver linings. Read the rest of this entry »

Silver Learnings: Joe Casario

These past 15 months, no matter how “hard” or “easy” any of us had it, we’ve learned a lot. Good stuff even. Our learning, you could say, has been one of the pandemic’s silver linings. To acknowledge some of those Silver Learnings, we’ve invited friends from different walks of life to share what they’ve learned from the pandemic. Our guess is you’ll hear some voices that sound like your own, and some that offer a window into a world you’ve not known but from which we can all now learn.


Joe Casario is the owner and operator of Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Joe is married to Carolyn Casario. They have two children, Christopher and Victoria.

[Billy’s note: Joe and I have taken care of many families across the years. As the pandemic began, when New York was utterly inundated by what seemed to be out-of-control deaths, with bodies having to be stored in refrigerator trucks, Joe shared with me how very difficult it was for the funeral homes to keep up. They were working around the clock and were exhausted. Whereas the world was learning about and honoring first responders, these folks were the “last responders” and their service was also essential, but largely unknown. I’m honored to include Joe’s voice in “Silver Learnings.”]

Joe and his family

As a funeral director, we must always separate ourselves from the natural sadness we face each day. Beginning in March 2020, everything changed. The volume of death and sadness became overwhelming. As the leader of my team, I had to maintain a level of leadership and calmness so that morale could stay strong and our work could continue. Privately, however, things were much different. My staff arrived daily at 8 am and often didn’t go home before 10 pm. My own days usually went from 5 am until midnight. This continued for nearly two months without relief.

Read the rest of this entry »

Silver Learnings: Molly Rodriguez

These past 15 months, no matter how “hard” or “easy” any of us had it, we’ve learned a lot. Good stuff even. Our learning, you could say, has been one of the pandemic’s silver linings. To acknowledge some of those Silver Learnings, we’ve invited friends from different walks of life to share what they’ve learned from the pandemic. Our guess is you’ll hear some voices that sound like your own, and some that offer a window into a world you’ve not known but from which we can all now learn.


Molly Rodriguez has been a licensed clinical social worker since 1990, operating a private practice out of her home in Dobbs Ferry. She now works in the field of immigration, helping undocumented immigrants become permanent residents of the United States. She was also the Director of the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry at South Presbyterian Church from 2011 until this past April, which was a rewarding, heartwarming (but exhausting) experience. Molly writes …

The Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry has been serving 30-40 families a week, serving Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Irvington and Greenburgh, New York, since 2011. I’ve been very happily running the pantry since then. When the pandemic began, our numbers exploded. A couple of weeks ago we served 175 families, a 425% increase. Running the pantry has turned into a full-time job.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks to all who have contributed to our “Silver Learnings” Campaign

We are so grateful that you take the time and dollars to support our work. It’s incredibly gratifying and this list of donors to our “Silver Learnings” Campaign is a small but earnest expression of our thanks. May our shared efforts bring ever-increasing goodness into a world that so desperately needs it.

The Dreskins and Boonshofts

 


Ira Lichtiger

Louis and Kathy Bordman … in honor of the Dreskin family

The Finebergs

Sally Winter … in honor of Rabbi Billy

Jan and Lanie Katzew

Read the rest of this entry »

“Silver Learnings” Campaign Begins

Half of America is vaccinated. Things can now get a whole lot better.

After 15 months, however, we’re all wounded. 33 million of us caught Covid-19. Nearly 600,000 of us died from it. We’ve lost people we love. We’ve also lost jobs, savings, emotional and physical well-being, and more.

Hopefully, the time has finally arrived to rebuild.

The Jonah Maccabee Foundation would like to help with that.

Read the rest of this entry »

JMF Awards Grant to “Harmony Project”

We’re honored to award a grant to Harmony Project, an inspiring organization that provides high-quality music instruction and social support to children at no cost year ’round. Harmony Project motivates young people to cultivate their human potential — musically and otherwise — in California communities from Long Beach to Pasadena, and Inglewood to Boyle Heights.

Our friend Michael Skloff writes, “I’ve been on the board of this wonderful organization for a few years now. They are transforming the lives of underserved kids and their families all over Southern California and beyond!”

Harmony Project

In support of such a terrific and valuable program, and in honor of our friend Michael Skloff, The Jonah Maccabee Foundation is delighted to support Project Harmony with a grant from our Arts Fund. Learn more by visiting Harmony Project online.

Thank you for your donations that make our support possible.

George

G’ma Ida with a very little you and a very new Curious George (Jul 1991)

Dear Jonah,

I’ve been thinking about George — Curious George — that pervasive little imp who entered your life when you were only a year old, and who’s still very much here, living with us simply because stuffed bedtime friends don’t ever have to die. George continues to reside in your bedroom, which is now Mom’s study. I like to think that George is watching over your domain until you return but, hey, what do stuffed dolls know?

Curious George came into your life when your honorary grandparents, Fran and Gerry Weingast, gave him to you. They’d hoped that he would become one of those toys that a child won’t ever let out of their sight, which is precisely what occurred. From the moment you boys laid eyes on each other, you became the best of friends. George would follow you around for quite literally the rest of your life, so much so that even when you were still very young, while we were pretty sure you liked us, we knew without a doubt that you loved your monkey.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Beat the Virus” Campaign a Lifesaving Success!

You really came through for us. Well, not just for us. You came through for all of the organizations below to which we have forwarded grants that will help so many to make it through the pandemic.

Thank you.

What a privilege to join you in bringing a little more goodness into the world.

What a humbling honor to have you help us remember our Jonah, and to transform our loss into blessing.

Here are the 10 grants we’ve made. SO FAR. We’re going to keep sending money to communities across America. Transcending politics, we’re going to feed people wherever we can, for the only reason that they’re hungry.

Read the rest of this entry »

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