As of May 5, 2019, adorning a doorway to the children’s oncology unit at Shaare Tzedek Medical Center (in Jerusalem), a highly colorful, laminated poster board will now greet the kiddies. A snippet, with its surrounding chess pieces, can be seen above. A full-on view can be found below – for all those who wish to partake in lessons & more! Frank, z”l, whose life-long “sport” was chess, would be grinning from ear to ear! And it is its cheerful overtone which sets the stage for the establishment of “FRANK KUTNICKI’S CHESS CORNER“; dedicated to a man whose sunny disposition could light up a room.
In this regard, it is with a deep sense of gratitude and humility that I present the first visual aids of this most worthy endeavor at Chaiyanu’s (Chai Lifeline in Jerusalem) Facebook Page. Click on for its full effect! In addition, Chaiyanu’s website and Jeruchess Club (see below) will house the program too, once uploaded to their sites. In the meanwhile, first in Hebrew, then in English:
אנו מאוד מתרגשים להודיע לכם על פרוייקט ״פינת השחמט של פרנק קוטניקי״ בשיתוף פעולה עם @Jeruchess Club. פרויקט זה הוקם ע״י עדינה קוטניקי ומעניק לימודי שחמט לילדינו היקרים בבית החולים.
We are very excited to announce a new project: “Frank Kutnicki‘s Chess Corner” in collaboration with Jeruchess Club . This project was started by Adina Kutnicki with the wish to brighten our children’s hospital visits by teaching them chess.
As stated at my personal Facebook Page: Yippee….”FRANK KUTNICKI’S CHESS CORNER” brings a smile to this little girl’s beautiful face! With G-d’s help, it is now in full swing at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem!! See here…..
May the kiddies go from strength to strength and continue to smile – with a little assistance from the warm embrace of “FRANK KUTNICKI’S CHESS CORNER”, as seen from the unit’s doorway!
In the run-up to the launch of “FRANK KUTNICKI’S CHESS CORNER“ – under the proverbial wings of Chaiyanu/Chai Lifeline’s Jerusalemumbrella – many thoughts have been (and still are) swirling inside this head. Mind you, “some” may be inclined to raise their eyebrows at the prospect of these wheels turning, knowing that when said laser focus zeroes in on this and that, well….
Be that as it may, the aforementioned thoughts revolve around ways in which this (unique and first-time) program can best serve the needs of children who are suffering from cancer and other devastating illnesses. As excerpted on February 18, 2019:
Overarchingly, it is my utmost hope and prayer that “FRANK KUTNICKI’S CHESSCORNER” will bring a bit of comfort, relief, normalcy, and distraction to the most vulnerable of all, the kiddies, as they undergo a host of frightening and painful rounds of cancer treatment(s). As a knock-on effect, it may become a fun activity and inspiring too. Who knows, chess may become a lifelong passion, as it was for the program’s namesake.
So, as a kick-start, my initial (and ongoing) charitable contribution will be targeted towards two clear benchmarks. Of course, this program will conform to Israel’s non-profit (AKA amuta/עמותה) guidelines. The following are said benchmarks, however, they can be augmented, if circumstances warrant:
Firstly, a suitably patient (that would exclude me – admittedly, a “Type A” personality, even if I knew how to play and lived nearby!) Chess teacher will be hired. This professional will initiate the lessons at Shaare Zedek Hospital. The goal is to make it available at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, once the program gets off the ground. Both are located in the heart of Jerusalem, and in close proximity to Chai Lifeline’s headquarters in Israel.
In tandem, a few informal gatherings will be planned for the “students” to show off their newly acquired “skillz.” Meanwhile, they will compete for prizes/trophies, just like their peers who are not undergoing treatment.
“FRANK KUTNICKI’S CHESSCORNER” is a project geared towards enriching the lives of the children who have been taken under Chaiyanu/Chai Lifeline’s wings, as they courageously battle various childhood illnesses during their hospital visits. The hope is that through the wonders of chess, a game which is fun, challenging, and known to build self-confidence, the soon-to-be players will find some relief, peace, and comfort from the time spent at their special corner of refuge.
This project came to fruition via Adina Kutnicki, and its essence can be read here.
Although FRANK KUTNICKI, z”l (an avid chess player) never lived to become a saba, no doubt, he would take great comfort in knowing that his warm embrace is enveloping the kiddies within this very cozy corner, created just for them.
May they go from strength to strength – physically, emotionally, and spiritually!
In concert, as this project progresses, timeless words of wisdom from Judaism’s texts are coming to the forefront of my mind. As such, passages from Chapter 3within the book of Kohelet AKA Ecclesiastes (written by King Solomon, 450-200 BCE), one of 24 books of the Hebrew Bible, are particularly resonant.
1Everything has an appointed season, and there is a time for every matter under the heaven.
Indeed, it is at this juncture that it should be emphasized: the game of chess teaches children important life skills – some of which can be applied during highly challenging times.
Chess teaches strategy and this creates thinking about two or three moves in advance instead of focusing only on what the next move of your chess piece will be. This changes the usual concentration of only thinking about what is going to happen in the next five seconds. This instructs children to look beyond the first move and the immediate future. This is an enhancement to their planning skills.
Chess is a healthy distraction from present trauma that children may be experiencing. If her parents are going through a hostile divorce or if she has witnessed extreme violence, concentrating on chess will provide a meaningful respite from the pain that surrounds her life. Chess will teach them that they have a choice of distancing themselves from their agony through healthy means such as chess or unhealthy escapes like drugs and alcohol.
Alas, it is with all of the above (and so much more) in mind that I invite the public to support this most worthy project. By the act of clicking here (https://www.jgive.com/new/en/usd/donation-targets/15400), this program will “go from strength to strength”….as it is written in Psalm 84:8…יֵלְכוּ, מֵחַיִל אֶל-חָיִל .
On a practical level, those in the U.S. who wish to contribute are able to deduct said donation via Chai Lifeline’s U.S. status as a non-profit 501 (c) (3), and through its reciprocal tax exemption agreement with Israeli non-profits/amutot.
According to the U.S. Israel Income Tax Treaty, U.S. donors may deduct contributions to Israeli charities as long as the charitable organization would have qualified for exemption according to U.S. standards. Article 15A of the Protocol to U.S. Israel Income Tax Treaty is the supporting document.
Our mission is to give ill children and their families whatever they need to thrive during the long months and years from diagnosis through treatment, recovery, and beyond. Partnering with medical centers and hospitals throughout the country, Chaiyanu/Chai Lifeline Israel ensures that children and families have the necessities of life, activities to escape the ever-present stress of living under the threat of war, and opportunities for pure enjoyment and family fun.
Since incorporation in 1988, the mission of Chai Lifeline, Inc. (“Chai Lifeline”) has been to restore the light of childhood to children whose innocence ended when life-threatening or lifelong illness was diagnosed. Through programs that address the emotional, social, and financial needs of seriously ill children, their families, and communities, Chai Lifeline restores normalcy to family life, and better enables families to withstand the crises and challenges of serious pediatric illness. Chai Lifeline has been granted exemption from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and has been held to be a publicly supported organization, and not a private foundation under Section 509(a). Chai Lifeline is supported primarily by contributions and special event revenues.
Most significantly, leaving aside the personal connection to the formation of this first-time project (housed at an exemplary, blessed, and well established international non-profit), the fact is that the beneficiaries will be those who, in their young lives, face challenges that even adults would find more than daunting. Frightening.
Thus, for the sake of these courageous kiddies, no donation is too small – or, for that matter, too large!
L’chaim. To Life. And, to the success of “FRANK KUTNICKI’S CHESSCORNER” –under the proverbial wings of Chaiyanu/Chai Lifeline in Jerusalem!