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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Flying High

Dear Jonah,

Yesterday, Mom and I attended the funeral service for Rabbi Aaron Panken. He died young, although not quite so young as you were. It was, of course, an incredibly sad gathering. And like many funerals, it was uplifting too. Aaron was a good guy. He was well-loved by his family and his friends. He loved his life and his work, and he loved living fully. So as we were grieving his death, we were reveling in Aaron’s good fortune to have lived such a beautiful life.

Remind you of someone? (Except for the work part.)

Aaron loved to fly. It was also how he died. Rabbi David Stern said it best, “He fell from the Sabbath sky, but oh how he loved the Sabbath sky.” At the end of the service, two cantors stepped forward and, inspired by Aaron’s love of flying, sang an Israeli tune written by Arik Einstein, “Uf Gozal – Fly Away.”

Fly, my chick
Cut the sky
Fly anywhere you want
But don’t forget
There’s an eagle in the sky
Fly away*

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JMF Acts to Support Gun Violence Prevention

With your generous donations, we’ve been able to make a grant from the Jonah Maccabee Social Justice Fund in support of the NFTY-Reform Movement Gun Violence Prevention Campaign. The North American Federation of Temple Youth has long been involved in gun violence prevention. Now, in the aftermath of the shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and in response to the remarkable activism of the teen survivors there, NFTY has upped its game. We’re honored to serve as ally to every young person who is taking a stand in this difficult but crucial struggle. Jonah would have been right there beside you.

The Nintendo Gambit

Dear Jonah,

So many of my memories of you are wrapped up in family events. I’m thinking about an amusing moment embodying the playful love that defined so much of our time together: your and Katie’s 1999 birthday gift to me.

It’s really a generation-to-generation sort of thing, and it started back in perhaps 1989 (as best Mom and I can figure). Katie, Mom and I were in Lenox, Massachusetts, visiting our dear friends Fran and Gerry Weingast as we had done many times through the years. Mom’s birthday arrived while we there and I got her a present from all of us. It wasn’t one that she’d asked for nor would she ever have asked for – the original Nintendo Entertainment System (1st released in 1983). Mom would have been happy to never see one of these in our home, but Katie had wanted it and Mom kept saying no. I’ve always been enough of a tech geek to aid and abet your, Katie’s and Aiden’s childhood wishes of this sort. Truth be told, I couldn’t wait to get some play time too.

I dubbed this “The Nintendo Gambit,” congratulating myself on how clever I was in finding such a high-spirited way to bring electronic gaming into our home. If it didn’t exactly have Mom’s endorsement, it still couldn’t have happened without her, right?

She took it well (or so it seemed) but I could tell there were wheels turning inside her head, so I shouldn’t have been surprised (although I was) when my birthday arrived and she presented me with a twinkle in her eye and a very lovely dress. It was a style she adored and, surprise, it was just her size!

Installment number two of “The Nintendo Gambit” had been implemented.

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What We Accomplished In 2017

Dear friends,

Happy new year! Our winter campaign has ended and we thought you might like to know how we spent your money in 2016. Here’s the rundown of the grants we made:

1) IsraAID is an Israeli-based humanitarian aid agency that responds to emergency crises and engages in international development around the world. Our grant supported their work with Syrian refugees.

2) Treehouse Shakers provides teacher trainings and residencies for students that focus on the art of dance and storytelling.

3) The American Indian College Fund supports Native student access to higher education. The Jonah Maccabee Foundation believes that every American has a profound responsibility to assist our nation’s indigenous peoples in building whole, healthy lives for themselves and their children. Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks to all who have contributed to our December 2017 Campaign!

We are so grateful that you take the time and dollars to support our work. It’s so incredibly gratifying. This list of December 2017 Campaign donors is a small but earnest way to thank you. May our efforts bring ever-increasing goodness into young lives!

The Dreskins and Boonshofts

 


Cantor Leon Sher

Steve Hagy

Shari and Jonathan Turell

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Our December 2017 Campaign Has Begun — Please Join In!

Thank You for Participating in Our Yemen Relief Project

Thank you for joining us in extending a helping hand to the Republic of Yemen, in the Arabian Peninsula, as it contends with violence and famine and disease resulting from six years of internal and external conflicts. 7 million people are at risk of famine, with more than a million children under the age of five suffering from malnutrition. The nation has been struck by a cholera epidemic and the national blood bank may close due to lack of funds.

We’re forwarding 100% of your donations to this project to the International Rescue Committee as its teams provide clean water, medicine, nutrition services and other urgent aid to as many people as possible.

This problem isn’t going away anytime soon, so we’ll keep this project open. To donate, just click on “Yemen Relief Project” at jonahmac.org/donate.

Most sincerely,
Ellen, Billy, Katie, Mark and Aiden
The Jonah Maccabee Foundation, Inc.


 

Don Jones

Helen Krim

Rabbi Hillel and Rita Cohn

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Thank You for Participating in Our Charlottesville Project

We’re so grateful that you’ve chosen to join us in standing up against racism, white supremacists, and hatred in our country. The Jonah Maccabee Foundation is working with organizations that are fighting the efforts of those who would reserve American soil only for those who fit the description of their choosing. We’re forwarding every penny of these donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center which always stands at the forefront of these critical battles on America’s streets and in her courtrooms.

Most sincerely,
Ellen, Billy, Katie, Mark and Aiden
The Jonah Maccabee Foundation, Inc.


 

Don Jones

Beth, Dusan and Natasha Nesic … in memory of Jane Y. Hecht

Danielle Rodnizki … in memory of Heather Heyer

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Thank You for Participating in Our Hurricane Harvey Relief Project

Hurricane Harvey has caused so much upheaval and devastation in Texas. Your donations help us to help them. Together. The Jonah Maccabee Foundation is working with Save the Children to provide needed assistance. But this is likely only the beginning of vital relief projects. First, we help with shelter and clothing and food. Down the road, folks down there may need more help during the rebuilding years. Jonah’s family and friends will lend a helping hand then too. We hope you’ll stick with us.

Most sincerely,
Ellen, Billy, Katie, Mark and Aiden
The Jonah Maccabee Foundation, Inc.


 

Jeanne and Murray Bodin

Don Jones

Ira and Julia Levin

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Ripples

Drop a pebble in the water — just a splash and it’s gone,
But there’s half a hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea,
And there’s just no way of telling where the end is going to be.


 

Dear Jonah,

At the turn of the 20th century, James W. Foley, the Poet Laureate of North Dakota (!), must have thrown his share of pebbles into water as he thought about the impact even the tiniest participants in Creation can have on the world.

I, of course, contemplate this all the time. Whenever I think about your 19 years, I want to know that your short life meant something, and that it made a difference to have you among us.

Recently, I discovered a ripple of yours that has continued reverberating through the universe even eight years after your death. What’s magnificent about this particular ripple is that it only reached me a few weeks ago.

These events started more than ten years ago. Who knows how much of the story we got right, but there are enough people who have told me it seems to have happened this way that I feel comfortable setting it down for posterity — because if you didn’t do this, Jonah, you were certainly capable of it!

As one of my favorite Hasidic stories concludes, “They don’t tell stories like this about you or me.”

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