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Thanks to all who have contributed to our “Our Second 10 Years!” Campaign

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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 “Our Second 10 Years!” 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


Morris L. Kramer

Mayta Cohen

Phyllis Opochinsky … in memory of Jonah Dreskin

Robbie Harris

Jeanne Weiland and Jay Moskovitz

Scott B. Cantor and Lisa E. Stone

Gail Nalven and Pat Rudden

Cantor Benjie Schiller and Rabbi Les Bronstein

Rabbi and Mrs. Norman Cohen … in honor of Ellen and Billy Dreskin

Vivian and David Singer

Jonathan Slater

Mary Ann Shamis

Rob Berliner … in memory of Jonah

Ilene Berger

Jessica and Chuck Myers

Sara Steinberg

The Hacker family

Barbara Stambler

Linda A Harvey

Rabbi Larry Milder

Anonymous

The American Jewish Archives, Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director

Michael Dreskin and Carol Williams … in honor of his favorite brother Billy (which Michael did not say but since Billy controls this page, he figured why not)

Arnie Sleutelberg and Robert Crowe

Louis and Kathy Bordman … in honor of the Dreskin family

Dr. Madelyn Katz … in memory of Micah Bycel

Ken and Liz Blum … in memory of Hilda Blum, and in recognition of Rabbi Mara’s beautiful, touching funeral service

Corey Friedlander

Corey Friedlander … in memory of Hilda Blum, mother of Ken Blum

Lois and Jay Izes

Anonymous

Beth Sher

Jeremy Wolfe

Steve Hummel and family … in memory of Jonah

The Pomer Family

Rabbi Larry and Rhonda Karol

Jan and Lanie Katzew

Rochelle Novins … in memory of Jay and Kevin Novins

Rabbi Norman M. Cohen

Al and Sara Dreskin

Susan and David Berger

Madeline Hendricks

Sally Winter

Rabbi Hillel Cohn

Paul Flexner … in honor of Billy

Lew Wyman and Susan Newman

Liza Pincus and Elie Salamon

Barry and Joanne Citrin

Michael Mellen

Molly Rodriguez

Rebecca Schwartz

Roberta Grossman

Roberta Roos

Jamie and Joey Carroll … in honor of Katie Dreskin

Ruth Rugoff and Joe + Annie Potischman … in memory of Jonah Maccabee Dreskin

Karen Steele

Norman E. Friedman

BillyThanks to all who have contributed to our “Our Second 10 Years!” Campaign
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With Your Help, Here’s What We Accomplished In 2022

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Dear friends,

We thought you might like to know how we spent the money you donated to The Jonah Maccabee Foundation in 2022.

Here’s the rundown of the grants we made this year:

  • MindLeaps … creates educational paths for vulnerable children by engaging them in fun dance classes that are part of a carefully crafted curriculum to develop key cognitive and social-emotional skills vital to success in school and work.
  • American Indian College Fund … supports Native student access to higher education. 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.
  • Yes We Can … provides full time bilingual education and safe spaces for migrant children at U.S.-Mexico border who have no permanent address to attend school.
  • League of Women Voters … working to protect and expand voting rights through advocacy, education and litigation at the local, state, and national levels.
  • IsraAid … supports Ukrainian refugees in Moldova and supplies humanitarian aid to southern Ukraine
  • Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center … provides free outdoor educational programming to low-resourced communities in the Boston Public Schools
  • The Penguin Project … provides theatrical outlets across the country for young artists with developmental disabilities, joined onstage by children without disabilities who work side-by-side through rehearsals and performances
  • United Negro College Fund …awards more than 10,000 students scholarships annually, and provides financial support to 37 historically black colleges and universities
  • “Songleading: A Work of Art” … the Foundation has underwritten this important book that promotes the training of a new generation of capable, effective leaders of communal singing.
  • The PICO Union Project … distributes free, fresh produce, mentors high school students, plants gardens and trees, and provides art programs to lift the minds and spirits of the immigrant communities living in the El Pueblo district in Los Angeles
  • The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project … provides free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in Arizona who face immigration removal proceedings, endeavoring to ensure each immigrant has access to counsel, understands their rights under the law, and is treated fairly and humanely
  • Harmony Project … provides no-cost, high-quality music instruction and social support to underserved children in low-income communities, motivating them to cultivate their human potential
  • The Reform Movement’s Racial Justice Campaign … combats voter suppression, addressing systemic racism by demanding policy change on both a state and federal level
  • Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights … advocates for the rights and best interests of immigrant children, from custody and release to the ultimate decision about whether the child will be allowed to remain in the U.S.
  • Play Group Theatre … “preparing kids for every stage in life,” PGT understands that the show isn’t what’s most important when kids do theatre. Learning collaboration, sharpening listening skills, embracing creativity, and treating one another with honor … these are what PGT is all about. We love that!
  • National Diaper Network … provides basic necessities required to build the strong foundations all children, families, and individuals need to thrive and reach their full potential
  • 6 Points Creative Arts Academy … a summer camp that strives to create holistic, meaningful experiences for young artists in a living laboratory for learning and performing
  • The Tali Fund … in memory of Talia Faith Agler, supports Tali’s ongoing work and dreams, helping fund the Talia Agler Girls Shelter in Nairobi, Kenya
  • 52nd Street Project … creates and produces new plays for, and often by, kids ages 9-18 who reside in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City
  • Lifting Up Westchester Summer Camp … gives children who are experiencing homelessness in Westchester County, New York, a safe space filled with fun and games, plus literacy activities that help them retain the past year’s school lessons, preparing for success when the new school year begins.

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

BillyWith Your Help, Here’s What We Accomplished In 2022
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Performing THIS SUNDAY @ Our 10th Anniversary Event!

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The show starts this Sunday (June 26) at 7:00 pm (7:30 if you’ve signed up to attend online). And here’s the fantastic lineup we’ve got for you:

The Levins — Ira and Julia Levin are true national treasures, both in the folk music world and in human civilization. Their music is lovely, loving, and thoughtful. And so are they!

Kenny Green spends most of his time singing with kids all over Westchester. In his spare time, he studies an exotic instrument called the Chapman Stick. To hear him play is a wonder indeed. Kenny is another of the world’s nicest people and we’re honored to have him with us.

Michael Skloff is a composer, pianist and songwriter from Los Angeles who’s coming to New York just to be with us for the 10th Anniversary Event. You might recognize his name from the TV show, “Friends.” Michael wrote the theme song. As a friend and as a super-talented musician, we’re so glad he’ll be with us.

Five Jewish professional singers will be singing together at our gathering. They include Cantor Danielle Rodnizki, Cantor Jenna Mark, Merri Lovinger Arian, Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller and, of course, Cantor Ellen Dreskin! This will be a musical moment to behold indeed!

And lastly, the young Cabaret performers from Play Group Theatre itself (where our event is taking place) will be presenting. This is always a highlight of the PGT season and we’re delighted to share these kids with you on Sunday.

Add a couple of consummate storytellers into the mix — Rabbis Les Bronstein and Jeffrey Sirkman — and our anniversary evening together is shaping up to be a wonderful time for everybody.

We’d love to see you there in person or to have watch online. Either way, please sign up at jonahmac.org/ten.

BillyPerforming THIS SUNDAY @ Our 10th Anniversary Event!
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Jonah’s Trading Post … Our Featured Artist: NOAH BUDIN

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Noah Budin’s been making great folk music for a whole lot of years. And those of us who love his music wait a long, long time for him to release a new album. Well thankfully, one’s coming out soon.

But before that happens, Noah has given exclusive distribution to JMF for a brief while of one track, “Only Love.” For a donation of any amount, you can hear it before the album comes out. How cool is that!

Noah was so inspired by the work we’ve been doing that he came to us and asked if he could help out. We’re really grateful to him just for sharing his music with the world. Sharing it through the Foundation is about as great as it gets!

Please download your copy of “Only Love” today. Just visit Jonah’s Trading Post.

BillyJonah’s Trading Post … Our Featured Artist: NOAH BUDIN
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“We’re 10 Years Old!” (our June campaign marches on)

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If you’ve not yet donated to our anniversary campaign, we’d be honored to have you do so here. Ten years of remembering Jonah by helping others — that’s a moment worth marking by helping us make our second decade a success as well. Thank you!


Geri Pell has been a Dreskin friend for nearly 30 years. Her son grew up with Jonah. And she has looked out for all of us from then right up to today. Geri writes:

I remember a lot of things about Jonah Maccabee Dreskin. I remember what good friends he was with my son Ben, the things they did together, the sleepovers, and the play dates when Aiden came along. But I think what I remember most was his love of music. One day, when Jonah was about 11, we were in the car together and he looked at me and said, “You know, Geri, I have a really good voice. Do you want me to sing you a song?” And so he did, and he was indeed very, very good. This leads to so many memories of Jonah performing in shows and going to see him both in community shows and at Play Group Theatre.

When Jonah was around 17 years old, many of us went to the URJ Biennial that year in San Diego. One evening there was a late night show at about 11 pm, and Josh Nelson was performing. I had never heard the amazing Josh Nelson before, but I was completely blown away by his evocative music and how it made me feel.

But more than how it made me feel, there was a group of kids at the very front near the stage, jumping up and down and hugging and loving the Jewish music. I watched as it surged to Jonah‘s blood. I marveled at how much he enjoyed his friends from camp and the Jewish music they had all came to love. I thought of what a wonderful legacy it was that Billy and Ellen had brought to him, along with the URJ and Eisner Camp.

Full circle, this is what the Jonah Maccabee Foundation means to me. It’s about carrying on Jonah’s legacy and how much Jewish camping and Jewish music meant to him. It was a way to light up Jonah‘s heart and face. I loved watching that glow. And I love watching it in every new person we bring to Jewish music and every person who’s heard it before and gets to hear it again and again.

Through its Arts Fund and Jewish Life Fund, the Jonah Maccabee Foundation has been so important to me these past ten years. I love that we have helped so many access the big ball of Judaism. There is a big spirituality in that, and it’s beautiful. I love watching the faces of people who have never heard the music before or participated in Jewish Life and are suddenly touched and infused with a new point of light in their Jewish souls.

And for this and more, his memory is a righteous one.


Jerry Wishner, along with his wife Barbara and three daughters, were part of the Dreskin’s synagogue going on twenty years. Jerry writes:

I didn’t know Jonah very well. This wasn’t unusual as I was much older, and our paths didn’t cross very often.

My three daughters did know Jonah. This seems unusual since he was between five and eight years older than them and you wouldn’t think their paths would have crossed much either. Despite the age difference, however, they remember him well from their days at Woodlands, particularly religious school. As one of my daughters explained, “Jonah was a force with limitless energy and enthusiasm. He lifted the entire room”

Still, while it may not be unusual that I didn’t know Jonah, it is my loss.

Making the world a better place isn’t always easy. If you are looking for ways to do it, hitch your cart to Rabbi Billy and the Dreskin family. Their commitment to healing the world was evident the very first time we met. Social justice, Jewish life, art and music, they have it covered. I can’t think of a better guide on this journey.

It has been a privilege to be able to support the Jonah Maccabee Foundation over the years, making the world a better place in ways that are an extension of who Jonah was and keeping his spirit alive. Supporting the foundation gives me a second chance to be in the room he lifted and helps me get to know Jonah a little bit better.


We’re so grateful for wonderfully kind donors like Geri and Jerry (homonyms!). We hope you’ll be inspired by them to donate to our June campaign.

Thank you for caring.

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

Don’t miss us on Facebook and Twitter!

Billy“We’re 10 Years Old!” (our June campaign marches on)
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With Your Help, Here’s What We’ve Accomplished So Far In 2022

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Dear friends,

We thought you might like to know how we’ve been spending the money you donated to The Jonah Maccabee Foundation.

Here’s the rundown of the grants we’ve made so far during 2022:

  • IsraAid … supports Ukrainian refugees in Moldova and supplies humanitarian aid to southern Ukraine
  • Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center … provides free outdoor educational programming to low-resourced communities in the Boston Public Schools
  • The Penguin Project … provides theatrical outlets across the country for young artists with developmental disabilities, joined onstage by children without disabilities who work side-by-side through rehearsals and performances
  • United Negro College Fund …awards more than 10,000 students scholarships annually, and provides financial support to 37 historically black colleges and universities
  • “Songleading: A Work of Art” … the Foundation has underwritten this important book that promotes the training of a new generation of capable, effective leaders of communal singing.
  • The PICO Union Project … distributes free, fresh produce, mentors high school students, plants gardens and trees, and provides art programs to lift the minds and spirits of the immigrant communities living in the El Pueblo district in Los Angeles
  • The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project … provides free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in Arizona who face immigration removal proceedings, endeavoring to ensure each immigrant has access to counsel, understands their rights under the law, and is treated fairly and humanely
  • Harmony Project … provides no-cost, high-quality music instruction and social support to underserved children in low-income communities, motivating them to cultivate their human potential
  • The Reform Movement’s Racial Justice Campaign … combats voter suppression, addressing systemic racism by demanding policy change on both a state and federal level
  • Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights … advocates for the rights and best interests of immigrant children, from custody and release to the ultimate decision about whether the child will be allowed to remain in the U.S.
  • Play Group Theatre … “preparing kids for every stage in life,” PGT understands that the show isn’t what’s most important when kids do theatre. Learning collaboration, sharpening listening skills, embracing creativity, and treating one another with honor … these are what PGT is all about. We love that!
  • National Diaper Network … provides basic necessities required to build the strong foundations all children, families, and individuals need to thrive and reach their full potential
  • 6 Points Creative Arts Academy … a summer camp that strives to create holistic, meaningful experiences for young artists in a living laboratory for learning and performing
  • The Tali Fund … in memory of Talia Faith Agler, supports Tali’s ongoing work and dreams, helping fund the Talia Agler Girls Shelter in Nairobi, Kenya
  • 52nd Street Project … creates and produces new plays for, and often by, kids ages 9-18 who reside in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City
  • Lifting Up Westchester Summer Camp … gives children who are experiencing homelessness in Westchester County, New York, a safe space filled with fun and games, plus literacy activities that help them retain the past year’s school lessons, preparing for success when the new school year begins.

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

BillyWith Your Help, Here’s What We’ve Accomplished So Far In 2022
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Our 10th Year Anniversary Event is Now Just 2 Weeks Away!

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Well, folks, our 10th Year Anniversary Event is only two weeks away. We’re so excited to be hosting this event.

Will there be music, you ask? Oh yeah. The Levins will be there. Kenny Green will be there. Michael Skloff will be there. And a quintet of cantors too!

Will there be storytelling, you ask? Yes yes yes. Rabbi Les Bronstein and Rabbi Jeffrey Sirkman. Two of the very best.

Will there be anything to eat? Only if you want something delicious and heartwarming.

So please join us — online or on-site in White Plains, NY.

The event is FREE but reservations are necessary.

There will be NO donation requests during the event. We really want this night to be a big thank you to YOU for making everything we do possible.

It all happens at Play Group Theatre (1 North Broadway, White Plains, NY). We’ll gather at 7:00 pm for hors d’oeuvres, followed by an hour of entertainment and tributes, and conclude with a dessert reception. It’s a school night (that’s “work night” for all you adult types) so the formal part will end by 9 pm. Feel free to hang with us a while, if you like.

Please visit jonahmac.org/ten, and let us know you’ll be with us online or on-site for our June 26 event.

If you have any questions, give us a holler. We sincerely hope to see you there!


And don’t forget, our “We’re 10 Years Old!” campaign runs throughout the month of June.

Please stop by jonahmac.org/donate and, as they say, give til it feels good.

And please know how much we appreciate each and every gift.

Thank you.

BillyOur 10th Year Anniversary Event is Now Just 2 Weeks Away!
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Grand Opening of Jonah’s Trading Post!

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We are so excited to announce the GRAND OPENING of Jonah’s Trading Post!

Our shelves are fully stocked with mp3 recordings, guitar lead sheets, piano-vocal scores, choral arrangements, and even some full band arrangements!

There’s music by Billy Dreskin, Beged Kefet, So Is Life, and Craig Taubman.

And THERE ARE NO PRICES ON ANYTHING! Any music you decide to bring home is yours for the taking. Our hope is that you’ll make a donation to the Foundation on your way out the door.

To whet your appetite, here’s a piece called OR ZARUA that Billy wrote. He only recently finished recording it with Ellen and with The Levins. Ira and Julia Levin are two of this country’s precious folk-singing gems and we were honored to make music with them. “Or Zarua” is a text from Psalms that basically proclaims it a wonderful idea to do good things for others. Give it a watch and a listen …

Okay, so let’s assume you really like OR ZARUA. Now you can go to Jonah’s Trading Post and see what we have for you there. First, you’ll see icons for all of Billy’s music. Scroll down and click on OR ZARUA. Then just beneath the title, click on the dropdown for Download Format and you’ll see all of your choices: for this item, MP3 Audio and Vocal-Cello-Guitar Score (pdf). Choose one, tell us how much you’d like to donate, then Add to Cart. Keep shopping or move on to checkout. That’s it!

Every piece of music in Jonah’s Trading Post has a player that lets you listen. You can do that all you like, everyday if you like, without ordering any music. We’re just happy to have you come listen.

And that’s Jonah’s Trading Post, where your donations to the Foundation become our gifts to you. How fun is that!

If you have any questions, give us a holler.


And don’t forget, our “We’re 10 Years Old!” campaign runs throughout the month of June.

Please stop by jonahmac.org/donate and, as they say, give til it feels good.

And please know how much we appreciate each and every gift.

Thank you.

BillyGrand Opening of Jonah’s Trading Post!
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Our June Campaign is up and running: WE’RE 10 YEARS OLD!

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Our June campaign is out the starting gate. And we hope you’ll want to participate.

For a decade now, your faith in our family’s desire not just to remember Jonah but to honor his memory by bringing as much good into the world as we can, well you’ve made that happen.

And you can make that happen again.

Here’s what longtime donor Sally Winter recently wrote us:

I never was lucky enough to know Jonah. You might ask then why have I continued to support this foundation? I didn’t know Jonah but I have had the opportunity to learn with Jonah’s mom at URJ kallot. I have had the chance to watch Jonah’s dad lead services and listen to him teach. I think one of the most difficult experiences in life must be losing a child. Billy and Ellen have turned their tragedy into a beautiful remembrance. The Jonah Maccabee Foundation continues to honor Jonah and do so much good in areas that were important in his life. To me, action is important. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said: “For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. [For me,] our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.'” I feel that by continuing to support this foundation, I am praying with my feet. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to do so.

It is we who are honored and privileged to have each of you marching with us. Your donation to our “We’re 10 Years Old!” campaign will be used in the coming year to help in so many different ways. [If you’d like to know how we spent this past year’s donations, please visit https://mailchi.mp/jonahmac/10-years-old.]

Thank you for caring and for supporting our “We’re 10 Years Old!” campaign.

And don’t forget …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10th Anniversary Event                                                  Jonah’s Trading Post
https://jonahmac.org/ten                                             https://jonahmac.org/trading-post

BillyOur June Campaign is up and running: WE’RE 10 YEARS OLD!
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Our 10th Year Anniversary Event is Only 3 Weeks Away!

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This is the month! Our 10th Year Anniversary Event is only a few weeks away. And we’re really hoping you’ll join us — online or on-site in White Plains, NY.

The event is FREE but reservations are necessary (so we’ve got enough chairs and food and that sort of stuff).

And in case you’re wondering, we’re not going to ask you to donate any money while you’re there. We really want this night to be a big thank you to YOU for making everything we do possible.

So please join us on June 26.

The celebration will take place at Play Group Theatre (1 North Broadway, White Plains, NY) which is where Jonah pretty much grew up, discovering show biz, his love for being a ham, and where he learned how to care for his fellow actors both onstage and off. We were delighted and humbled when Jill and Steven Abusch, proprietors of said theatre, opened their doors to us.

We’ll gather at 7:00 pm for hugs and hors d’oeuvres, enjoy an hour of entertainment and tributes on PGT’s mainstage, followed by a dessert reception. Part of the evening will take place in our very favorite space at PGT, the Jonah Mac Theatre (yep, named for that Jonah Mac).

So won’t you come be with us? After all, you’re the ones who made all this happen. And you deserve some great music, stories, and delicious hors d’oeuvres!

Okay, there is one $$$ ask. With the war in Ukraine dragging on, we want to do what we can to help them out. When you register, you’ll be invited to kick in a few bucks to help with Ukrainian relief. Those folks have been putting everything on the line, and we want to let them know we’ve got their backs. Thank you in advance for that.

‘Nuf said. Time for you to visit jonahmac.org/ten, and let us know you’ll be with us online or on-site for our June 26 event.

If you have any questions, give us a holler. We sincerely hope to see you there!

BillyOur 10th Year Anniversary Event is Only 3 Weeks Away!
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