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

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 …

Molly RodriguezThe 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.

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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

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“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.

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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.


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.

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“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.

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Thank you … to those who, in 2021, have provided funds so we can make a difference in people’s lives



Joe Casario … in honor of Christopher Casario

Rachel P. Kort … in honor of Ellen Dreskin for the light she brings to our world AND Beth Or community

Anonymous … in memory of Jonah

Batya Ben-David

Danny Siegel

Rabbi Jonathan and Susan Stein

Karen Steele … happy birthday, Billy!

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Just a few days left — can you help?

There are only a couple of days left to our Beat the Virus campaign. We’re going to keep helping food pantries to stock their shelves, so if you haven’t yet made your gift, please know it’ll be put to good use.

The coronavirus is everywhere, and lives throughout our nation have been upended. Because of you, we’ve been able to make these 8 grants:

  • Feeding Texas, in partnership with 21 member food banks, reaches over four million Texans each year with food and resources.
  • Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine, with its network of 500+ partners—including food pantries and meal sites—works to meet increased need during the pandemic.
  • Feeding New York State, helping the food banks of New York State ensure that every person in every community across New York State has access to good, healthy food.
  • Food Bank of Iowa, providing food for Iowa children, families and seniors, and striving to fulfill a vision of a hunger-free Iowa.
  • Community Emergency Relief Volunteers, helping families in the local community of Northfield, Vermont, to put food on their tables during the pandemic.
  • The Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund of the First Nations Development Institute, which is helping Native American families in California, New Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, New York, Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe and other Covid-19 hotspots, to get through these difficult times.
  • The Pico Union Project in Los Angeles, which is distributing free fresh produce, children’s books and household supplies every week to 2000 neighborhood families in the area known as El Pueblo de Los Ángeles.
  • Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, whose mission is, “We exist simply because people in our community struggle with meeting a basic human need—having enough to eat.” During the pandemic, that need has increased exponentially.

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We can still use your help!

Our Beat the Virus campaign has touched a lot of lives. We’ve provided somewhere in the vicinity of 2500 meals which seems like a lot of families, doesn’t it? In truth, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to how many families are in need of help while weathering the coronavirus. With about ten days remaining in our winter campaign, we’re hoping that, if you are able, you’ll donate generously. We’re going to send grants to as many states across America as we can.

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Our Winter Campaign (“Beat the Virus”) is on its way!

We’ve had a phenomenal first week for the campaign. More than seventy donations have come in, which is not only heartwarming for our family but is also going to help our team (that’s you and us together) do some real good out there for folks who are struggling to get through the pandemic.

We’ve already made these two grants:

  • The Pico Union Project in Los Angeles, which is distributing free fresh produce, children’s books and household supplies every week to 2000 neighborhood families in the area known as El Pueblo de Los Ángeles.
  • Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, whose mission is, “We exist simply because people in our community struggle with meeting a basic human need—having enough to eat.” During the pandemic, that need has increased exponentially.

Because of your generosity, we’re able (that’s you and us together!) to award these grants and assist some very wonderful community organizations in their vital work.

Won’t you please make a generous donation to our Beat the Virus Fund so we can help families across the country make it through the pandemic? We’ll identify local food pantries and other community services, providing grants to help assist folks who need a helping hand.

Thank you.

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