Bennett Katz founded AZChess4Charity in 2013 as a mitzvah project for his bar mitzvah. The program is still going strong.
Bennett started with a benefit chess tournament at Temple Chai to raise money for starting a weekly chess club at UMOM and to give scholarship to underprivileged kids at the Ramat Gan Etude Chess club in Israel. The chess tournament raised several thousand dollars, which has funded the weekly chess club since then. Additionally, the family presented a check at a tournament in Ramat Gan when Bennett became a bar mitzvah with a celebration in Israel.
The chess club has been meeting weekly since May of 2014 with a professional coach. On average, 20-30 kids and adults attend each week.
“The kids and parents say that they love it because it ‘makes them smart’ and is a free activity to do with their family that promotes quality family time,” says Beth Katz, Bennett’s mom and principal of katzdsigngroup.com.
Now 14, Bennett is a freshman at Chaparral High School.
“He founded it and we are still going strong with his philanthropy,” says Beth. “We are running low on dollars and need to fundraise again.”
Donations can be made on his website: azchess4charity.com.