About me and why I paint Chai's



Hello my name is Gonny Rijsdijk and I am an artist.


What does it mean to be an artist? It is the manifestation of the processes that live inside my psyche and soul.

I enjoy meeting many people through whom I have found my passion in life.


Countering Anti-Semitism has become very important in my life. For example, I translated a book about the often hidden causes of Anti-Semitism. Translating the book has become one of the results of my own experience with Anti-Semitism. It was then that I started painting Chais alongside my other paintings.


Chai means Life

A Chai is often worn as a pendant suspended from a chain or charm in a (mostly Jewish) cradle. It consists of two Hebrew letters, chet and yod. The letters also represent numbers in the Hebrew language.The chet has a numerical value of 8 while the jot has a numerical value of 10. Together they form the number 18, and the number 18 symbolizes life.

Life is the opposite of death.

Chai is a very positive symbol to give or receive as a gift. One can give it to the sick as a sign of hope for recovery, or one can celebrate an event, such as a marriage or if someone has reached a milestone in their life. In addition, it is a means to get in touch with each other in a beautiful way and to wish each other life, or to reflect on the life of a loved one who may no longer be with us.

Purchase a chai as a gift for someone or for yourself that resonates with the other or you!

If you do not see one that meets your heart’s desire, as in color, size, etc, contact me and together we can decide on something beautiful!

I shall custom paint your Chai in the colors you'd like to totally fit your life or the life of another .... and in this way, you too can speak out for life! The Chais can be hung in a window, on a wall, or they could just as easily be freestanding on a shelf or table. Wherever you choose to place your Chai, you are certain to receive a positive response, and when asked what it means, you too can talk about Life.

Please feel free to browse my site and be inspired.


"L’Chaim" is a term that many recognize as a toast. You say it when you lift a glass and have a drink together. Amsterdam's term: "there you go" when lifting the glass is directly derived from this.

L,Chaim…..To Life,

Warm regards, Gonny.