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.


Author Archive

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.”

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“Jonah-Inspired” … a letter to Jonah from his Dad

Dear Jonah,

So we’re running this campaign for the foundation. We call it “Jonah-Inspired.” The premise here is that when we award grants with the money that people donate, we’re selecting organizations and projects we think you yourself might have chosen, whether to donate money or to volunteer your time.

But where does that come from, this inspiration? Well, frankly, you’re kind of legendary. From the moment you disappeared, the stories about you began to surface. I mean, I knew you were a nice guy and all, but I had no idea how many individual lives you had touched in seemingly unforgettable ways.

Here are just a few of the notes that people left for you when they’d learned you were gone:

“You’ve been my hero since the day I met you.”

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Thanks to all who have contributed to our “Jonah-Inspired” Campaign!

We are so grateful that you take the time and dollars to support our work. It’s so incredibly gratifying. This list of donors to our “Jonah-Inspired” campaign is a small but earnest way to thank you. May our efforts bring ever-increasing goodness into young lives!

The Dreskins and Boonshofts


Al and Sara Dreskin

Marta Kauffman … in honor of the entire Dreskin family

Danny Siegel

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“Jonah-Inspired” … daring to dream of peace



Dear friends,

As our “Jonah-Inspired” campaign continues (and we ever-so-gently, and with unabashed desperation, encourage you to donate), we’re sharing with you some of our favorite projects, hoping to inspire you as we ourselves have been inspired … to remember Jonah by bringing increased goodness into the world.

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“Jonah-Inspired” … fighting for immigrant dignity



Dear friends,

At this moment in history, no issue is of greater importance to me than immigrant rights. You certainly know as much as I about our current government’s draconian policies. Not only have the doors to our nation been slammed shut to most but the most privileged, but mistreatment — especially of children — has become a stain on America’s record of compassionate human rights.

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“Jonah-Inspired” … a note from Ellen Dreskin



Dear friends,

As I reflect on The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s re-articulated mission, “Turning love into action,” I am reminded how 19-year-old Jonah was evolving into someone who saw himself capable of making a big difference in other people’s lives. True to his “Maccabee”-ness, he was often champion to those whose voices were not being heard, and was known for bringing lights of friendship and inclusion to all of the communities of which he was a part.

If you didn’t get a chance to see last week’s note about our work in 2019, I’ve copied it below. I hope you are moved by reading about the ways in which your donations to the Foundation have made a difference in the last twelve months, and that you will donate to our December campaign, “Jonah-Inspired.”

Were Jonah alive today, I can easily imagine him soliciting funds for these organizations, and possibly even running one himself. I believe he is proud of us all.

Thank you again for enabling us to continue to bring Jonah’s light into the world these past 10 years and into the future as well.


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“Jonah-Inspired” … here’s just how much he inspired us in 2019



We’ve kicked off our December campaign, sharing our brand new tagline, “Turning love into action,” to convey our family’s passion for how we want to continue paying tribute to the beautiful gift of Jonah’s life.

We want you to donate, but because we deeply respect the trust you place in us, here’s a list of our most recent projects. Immigration rights screamed for attention this year. Morally impossible to ignore the cries of children separated from their families, we made a whole bunch of grants to organizations we felt were doing important, significant work. We also made grants to folks who are doing great stuff in the arts and in Jewish life. Read on!

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Turning Love into Action



As we enter our 2nd decade here at The Jonah Maccabee Foundation and kick off our December campaign, we’re excited to share with you one small but profound change.

Throughout our first ten years, the words “Helping young people build whole, healthy lives” have comprised the brand tagline on all of our materials. It helped to convey our family’s passion for how we wanted to pay tribute to the beautiful gift of Jonah’s life.

Today we enter a new era as those words become “Turning love into action.”

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Thank you … to everyone who has supported our immigrant sanctuary project!

Chuck and Nancy Fishman

Jeanne and Murray Bodin

Ora Elber … in memory of my father

Sally Winter

David Cohen

Sharol Brickman

Beth Sher

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If You Build It, You’ll Hear Some Fine Music!

Greetings! We’re so very delighted to invite you to stop by our home in Ardsley, New York, on Sunday, December 22 at 7:00 pm for a wonderful evening of good company, great music, tasty desserts and a Hanukkah candle lighting.

When we learned that our old friend, Larry Milder, was coming to town, we knew we had to give y’all an opportunity to meet him and enjoy him as much as we always have.

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