The Black & White Sukkah Party takes place Sunday, Oct. 16, at noon at the ChabaD building.

ChabaD of Greater Downtown Detroit’s upcoming Sukkot event and its new, separate initiative are tied together by the ultimate game of strategy: chess.

For Sukkot this year, ChabaD is holding a Black & White Sukkah Party, which will feature a chess theme.

“We’ve had many friends and supporters who are into chess,” said executive director Rabbi Yisrael Pinson. “We didn’t want to do it “too-chessy” because we wouldn’t want people who aren’t into chess to feel it’s not for them. We did an event about five years ago called Black & White Shabbat and figured we’ll do that again.”

At the event will be caricature artists and black and white food and desserts, with a chess tournament going on at the same time. ChabaD’s “world-famous” shipping container sukkah is going to be around while also having a second black-and-white sukkah to fit the theme.

The Black & White Sukkah Party takes place Sunday, Oct. 16, at noon at the ChabaD building (278 Mack Ave. in Detroit). RX Specialties is sponsoring the event.

The party ties into a new initiative being launched by Pinson and Yuliy Osipov — Chess for Charity, a way to raise money for the charity of one’s choice by playing chess.

Two people are paired up and each picks a charity. The individuals decide on a wager. Whoever wins, that person’s charity receives a certain amount of money from the other player.

“Let’s say we bet $36. My charity is ChabaD, your charity is Yad Ezra, we play together. I win, you give $36 to Chabad. If you win, I have to give $36 to Yad Ezra. It’s a friendly wager,” Pinson said.

Participants can decide to give money to both chosen charities, but more to one charity versus the other depending on the match outcome.

The idea for Chess for Charity is to eventually work with an online chess platform and bring onboard any charities that want to participate. Those plans are still in their early stages.

Pinson notes there’s a big interest in chess right now — between the Netflix hit The Queen’s Gambit and the current scandal unfolding in the chess world where world champion Magnus Carlsen explicitly accused fellow grandmaster and rival Hans Niemann of cheating.

“There’s a lot happening in the chess world,” Pinson said. “We think it’s a good thing to bring a human angle to it by bringing it to the sukkah event but also to create an opportunity for people to raise money for their favorite charities and do something good for the world.”

If you play chess and want to be part of a select group that will pilot the Chess for Charity project, reach out to To sign up for the Black and White Sukkah Party, visit

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