Growing in Chess and Judaism

By Premier Chess CEO National Master Evan Rabin 

 

I was born and raised on the Upper West Side as a reform Ashkenazi Jew. I had my bar mitzvah at Stephen Wise Synagogue and went to Churchill and Dwight. In 2008, thanks to some inspiration from Alanna Katz, I went on an Oranim Taglit trip. While on the trip, I quickly developed a longing to learn more about Jewish roots and Judaism. Soon after I started regularly attending Peretz and Chanie Chein’s Chabad of Brandeis University

Dancing at Chabad of Brandeis Gala, 2009

and studied abroad with Masa Israel at Tel Aviv University in 2011.

While representing Masa Israel at the 2016 Israeli American Council Conference, I experienced an instance of divine providence as I sat on a table at the gala dinner with a JIC Board Member who a few minutes later introduced me to Steve Eisenberg. After the conference, I started regularly attending JICNY events and went on Steve’s Israel Recharge trip in 2017.

 

Since then, in between my ‘day job’, running Premier Chess, which does corporate classes, school programs and private lessons, full-time, I have spent a lot of time growing in Judaism, in Steve Eisenberg’s Torah classes and the Manhattan Jewish Experience fellowship/senior fellowship.

 

For more about my growth in Judaism and experiences with JICNY, check out my reflection of Founder Jodi Samuels’ book Chutzpah, Wisdom and Wine.

 


Whether it is chess, business, life or anything you would like to improve on, you should realize there are transferrable skills on all of the above. A good coach does not just teach his trade but rather demonstrates life skills like confidence, thought process, evaluation methods and more. Therefore, all of the experiences referred to above may have not taught me any openings, middlegames or endgames but they all have helped me improve a chess player.

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