The latest posts and news…

Cinderella Spinderella – Live at Classical High School

Far from being “an old chestnut” the story of Cinderella is edgy and exciting and relevant to listeners of all ages. This is an excerpt from a performance for high schoolers, who are by most […]

Cinderella Spinderella - Video from Classical High School

Chiri Bim

Where did the tune “Chiri Bim” Come from? The village of Chelm, of course!
This video was recorded live at the National Yiddish Book Center in front of a multi-generational audience.

For more than 20 years, Mark Binder’s original tales of Chelm have been touching readers and listeners around the world.  Mark’s Chelm stories have been printed in nearly every Jewish newspaper and magazine around the world, and many non-Jewish publications as well.

Chelm, if you don’t know, is a village of fools, but Mark’s stories are warm and heartfelt. Each character lives and breathes and grows over time.

Mark Binder’s first Chelm collection, A Hanukkah Present, came in second for the National Yiddish Book award for Family Literature. Other books in the series include, Matzah Mishugas and The Brothers Schlemiel as well as the audio books, A Chanukah Present and The Brothers Schlemiel From Birth to Bar Mitzvah.

While the story is designed for a live audience, a printed version of “Chiri Bim” is included in the book Stories for Peace.

“I began writing stories of Chelm when I was working as the editor of the Rhode Island Jewish HeraldOne day a reporter failed to submit a story, so I wrote one on deadline.

“Frequently I wonder where did this idea come from? And after ruminating for a while I find it’s almost always from one or the other villagers in Chelm.
—Mark Binder

As easy as falling off a cliff… (An American Storyteller on Tour in Europe – part 1 of 3)

Part One — Looking My wife, Heather, gave me an ultimatum: either get my shit together and book the world tour I’d been talking about for years, or shut up. I’m a storyteller. We don’t […]

As easy as falling off a cliff… (An American Storyteller on Tour in Europe – part 2 of 3)

Part Two – Leaping I wasn’t even through airport security when I began telling my first story. Heather had dropped me at Logan, gave me a kiss, and sped off. I had booked my travel […]

As easy as falling off a cliff… (An American Storyteller on Tour in Europe – part 3 of 3)

Part Three – Crashing and Landing When you come off the plane and they have a sign with your name on it, you know you’ve made it. Storyteller Aideen McBride had a bright smile as […]

Here’s my annual Hanukkah Story

eight_lights-241x300an optimistic tale of Seasonal Affected Disorder in the village of Chelm—with a heartwarming conclusion
by Mark Binder

“I’m sick of Hanukkah,” Reb Cantor, the merchant of Chelm muttered.

     His wife, Shoshanna, looked up with surprise. “What’s wrong with it?”

     “Did I say that aloud?” Reb Cantor paused and frowned. “But now that you ask…