We thought you might like to know how we spent the money you donated to The Jonah Maccabee Foundation in 2018.
Here’s the rundown of the grants we made:
1) California Fire Foundation: The wildfires in California devastated so many lives. California Fire Foundation’s SAVE program provides financial assistance and other support services to survivors struggling to put their lives back together.
2) Families Belong Together: As we continue to witness America’s betrayal of its long-standing passion for being a nation of refugees, some 250 organizations representing Americans from all backgrounds have joined together to fight family separation and detention, seek accountability for the harm that’s been done, and to reunite all families who remain torn apart.
3) RAICES: The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services in Ft Worth, TX, provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees at our southern border. RAICES is also working to secure safe passage for the migrant caravan, especially LGBTQ+ migrants who face additional hurdles as they seek asylum from bigotry and persecution.
4) Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation: Michael Kamen, composer for the film Mr. Holland’s Opus, was inspired to create an organization that gives young people the opportunity to learn and play music in schools that lack the means to do so themselves.
5) 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. With only 14% of American Indians earning college degrees (less than half the national average), AICF empowers 4000 American Indian students annually to start and stay in school, complete degrees and launch careers.
6) URJ Kutz Camp Scholarship Fund: From the 1970s onward, someone in the Dreskin family has spent part of most summers at Kutz Camp, a Jewish teen leadership program that helps young people develop passions for Jewish life and values. Jonah adored his summers there (he spent pretty much of his entire life as either a fac brat, program participant, or staff member).
7) Drink4Life: With the knowledge that 663 million people worldwide lack safe drinking water, Drink4Life hopes that, by 2030, they will provide water for more than six million men, women and children in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
8) National Association of Black Journalists’ Student Education Enrichment and Development (SEED) Program: NABJ provides quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of black journalists worldwide. It awards annual scholarships to deserving high school and college students interested in pursuing journalism careers.
9) Southern Poverty Law Center: America’s premier gladiator fighting the good fight against bigotry and hate. As our nation continues to struggle with a precipitous rise in hate activities, SPLC works to make our country safe for every child, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
10) The Religious Action Center (RAC) of Reform Judaism strives to bring the values we’re taught in religious school and in our rabbis’ sermons to bear on the legislative work being done in Washington, DC. Teens from across North America visit the RAC to learn the mechanics of creating Federal laws and the role each of them can play in shaping those laws. The Rabbi Marcus Burstein Fellowship strengthens the group of college students and young professionals who lead the L’taken social justice training seminars. Marcus was a wise, beautiful human being who died far too soon. We’re honored to support this incredible program and remember Marcus’ life.
11) Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killing was established in 2015 as a way to put eyes on our cities’ streets, to interrupt violence and crime, and to teach children to grow up as friends rather than enemies. JMF feels privileged to support the loving, impassioned efforts of friends and family to make their streets safer for all.
13) Catholic Charities’ Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, TX, is frequently the 2nd stop for those entering our country. After processing at the U.S. Border Patrol immigration processing center in McAllen, men, women, children and infants are released to the Respite Center for food, a shower and other care until they move on to join their family or sponsor, awaiting their date in immigration court where they will be granted or denied their asylum claim.
14) The United Negro College Fund awards more than 10,000 students scholarships annually, provides financial support to 37 historically black colleges and universities, and serves as the nation’s leading advocate for the importance of minority education and community engagement.
15) Once a year, at numerous theaters across the country, a group of children in a program called The Penguin Project perform a modified version of a Broadway musical. The roles are filled by young artists with developmental disabilities including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other neurological disorders. They are joined on stage by a dedicated group of “peer mentors” – children the same age without disabilities who have volunteered to work side-by-side with them through 4 months of rehearsals and through the final performance. The Penguin Project demonstrates that the special challenges of a disability should not handicap a child’s ability to participate in life’s experiences.
16) After the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, students have come together to ensure that these shootings come to an end. Millions came together for the March for Our Lives, the largest global protest in history to remind the world that young people have the power to drive real change. The work continues everyday.
17) In war-torn Yemen, 24 million need humanitarian aid, a deadly famine is looming, and cholera remains a threat. The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.
4) Play Group Theatre does much more than create great theatre. It provides a safe space for young people to grow while they move through the turbulent years of adolescence and their teens. We’ve not only helped build a small theatre now named The Jonah Mac, we’ve also underwritten scholarships for kids from a variety of social and economic backgrounds whose families cannot afford to provide quality and long-lasting creative opportunities for their children.
8) Rethink the Conversation focuses on issues of serious concern such as mental health and suicide, that have been tinged by stigma, misinformation, lack of attention, or indifference, and brings them to the fore of social consciousness and activism.
We hope you feel as good about these grants as we do. Thank you so much for supporting us. We’re grateful to have you with us as we carry forward Jonah’s legacy — his zest for living and his passion for goodness — and, together, work to improve the lives of young people everywhere.
Wishing you every goodness,
Ellen, Billy, Katie, Mark and Aiden
The Jonah Maccabee Foundation