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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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 »

“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 »

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

Jonah.2008.04.#008a.NFTY-NAR.SpringKallah

 

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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