Life in Chelm


“Chelm is a small village that is considered by many to be the source of all foolishness and idiocy in the world. Naturally, the people who live there disagree. Sometimes I wonder why I spend so much time writing about Chelm. Then I read the newspaper and realize that we all need to lighten up. By the way, to steal from one of my favorite commercials, ‘You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Chelm…'”
—Mark Binder

Mark began writing stories and books of Chelm nearly 20 years ago as the editor of the Rhode Island Jewish Herald. Since then he has written more than 100 stories and a novel.

The novel, The Brothers Schlemiel was originally serialized over two years  in 100 weekly installments in The Houston Jewish Voice. The book was published in a severely abridged hardcover edition by Jewish Publications Society. The current edition restores the complete adventures of Abraham and Adam and follows them through the entirety of their lives together. To learn more and to buy copies, please click here.

hanukkah_book_cover hanukkah_cd_coverA Hanukkah Present! is both an award-winning book and an award-winning audio album. Where did Hanukkah Presents originate? How did Joseph win his bride with the spin of a Dreidel? The book was the finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for Family Literature, and includes eleven stories and a novella of Chelm. The album is eight intertwined tales, plus a modern story that was revised in the printed book. Confusing? Well, it wouldn’t be Chelm otherwise. Learn more, please click here

matzah_book_coverMatzah Mishugas includes eight more tales of Chelm centered around the holiday of Passover. Learn about Mrs. Chaipul’s lead sinker matzoh balls. Find out what happens when Mark Twain accidentally ends up in Chelm. Learn more, please click here