Jewish storytelling for everyone that transmits joy

Visit Chelm, the village of fools…

Meet Reb Stein the baker. Nosh with Mrs. Chaipul the caterer. Study with wise old Rabbi Kibbitz. Laugh with Doodle and Rachel Katz…

Mark Binder’s Jewish Stories are for ALL Affiliations and Generations
Reform, Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Chabad, Unaffiliated, Blended…
…Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, Quaker, Athiest…
Children, families and adults!

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. Check out his books and stories of Chelm here

Write it up!

how-to writing workshops for students, teachers, and adults

Don’t just write it down… Write it Up!

What if anyone could just sit down and write a story? Many people—young and old alike—struggle with creativity, especially when they’re stressed or pressed for time. If you would like your students to learn a revolutionary method to unlock creativity without sacrificing structure, this workshop is for you. (And it works for essays, too!)

Don’t struggle — create!

All participants will create characters, set a scene, unfold a plot—and write. Over the course of the session(s), every single participant will begin to craft a complete story.

This is not a workshop for tips and tricks.
It is hands on, pens on paper, and energetic!

In just one class period, Mark teaches…

  • Story structure
  • Elements of narrative
  • How to integrate and reincorporate ideas
  • The importance of rewriting and revision
  • How to overcome the blank page/writer’s block
  • Improvisational creativity in written form
  • In that same period, students will begin—and many will finish*—writing a story!*

*Finishing a story depends largely on the length of the class time. In a 60 to 90 minute session most students will have completed a first draft. In a 45 minute session, fewer will.

Mark will also:

  • Tell stories
  • Discuss and distinguish the differences between the written and oral traditions
  • Answer questions
  • Provide coaching and support
  • Explain how structure applies to non-fiction essays
  • This workshop can be presented in a number of formats based on your organization’s needs and daily schedule.
  • Single day, multiple days—45/60/90 minute options.
  • Grades 3 to 12 and adults

Sample Full Day Writing Workshop Residency Schedule for elementary or middle schools

8:45-9:45 – Assembly with all classes to outline and teach methodology
10am – in classroom question/answer, coaching, modeling, and student writing.
11am – in classroom q/a, coaching, modeling, and student writing.
1pm – in classroom q/a, coaching, modeling, and student writing.
2pm -in classroom q/a, coaching, modeling, and student writing.
Day Two (optional – repeat until all classes handled)

Continued in classroom work
Editing and revision work
Note: This schedule will be adjusted based on school bell timings.

Sample Half Day Schedule

9am to 10:15 am – in classroom lesson, storytelling, in classroom q/a, coaching, modeling, and student writing.
10:30am-noon- in classroom lesson, storytelling, in classroom q/a, coaching, modeling, and student writing.
Requirements: Desk space, paper and pencils for all students. White or chalk board.

Click here for the teacher’s guide
Click here for Tips for Young Writers

To read an article in the Cranston Herald about the workshop, please click here

Where does the workshop fit in the Common Core Standards? Click here for more info
Workshop variations include…

Speak it up!
From inspiration through craft to performance

60-90 minutes. Grades 3 and up.
Spoken-word storytelling and creation for Elementary and Middle Schools. This workshop focuses on the process of developing, shaping, editing and refining a story. The program includes both storytelling, audience participation, and writing exercises.

ADULT Program: Like Improv… but written down!

What if you could sit and dash off a short piece of fiction? You don’t need to suffer about every word or idea. This workshop will give you access to your instant imagination in a way that you never thought was possible. By the end of the session, you will have completed, or be well into, a first draft of a short story. (90, 120 minutes)

“What a terrific challenge. More than I expected!”
“This was the ‘seed’ I needed to help push me to start my own stories. Thanks so much!”
– Feedback from adult workshop presented at “Sharing The Fire”
Eureka! Math Workshops for Educators of Adult Learners and Youngsters

How can story and storytelling break through the barriers that adults and young people have about math? Storytelling can help reduce math anxiety, and reach the people who think “I just can’t do math.”

This 90 to 120 minute workshop includes stories, theory, and practical methods to develop and tell stories in classroom settings. Can be presented in conjunction with Eureka! Math story program.
Developed with funding from the Rhode Island Department of Education Innovative Project Grant

Festivals and Theaters

From storytelling concerts for families and children to “spoken word with a humorous edge” for adults, Mark Binder’s stories captivate and enthrall.

Whether he’s touring Europe, performing in a theater, a smoky room, in a field, or telling stories in your neighborhood school’s classroom, Mark has the knack of selecting the right tale for listeners of any and all ages.

Stories & Monologues & Workshops •  Storytelling Concerts
audience sizes 50-400+

Programs include…
Silly Stories • The Zombie Cat Ate My Sister • Cinderella Spinderella… tales of diversity • Halloween Horror • Stories for Peace • Tales from Rogue’s Island • Life in Chelm (Jewish folktales)
And many more…

Awesome Fun at Camp!

Campfire Tales • Spooky Stories • Tall Tales
Fun, funny, exciting, entertaining and excellent!

Sitting around the fire, hearing stories… Isn’t that what camp is all about?
Even if you don’t have a fire, Mark’s stories keep campers enthralled!




Library Programs

storytelling (and songs) from an award-winning author!

Mark Binder is a dynamic author and storyteller who knows how to read and tell stories that connect everyone in the room. His storytelling engages children and adults ages 3 to 103. Whether it’s a song to catch the attention, an updated classic that takes you for an adventure, or an original tall tale that holds every listener breathless, you and your patrons will be captivated.

Start planning now for autumn, winter, spring, and next summer.

Other programs include:

A HOLIDAY PRESENT!  Multicultural Tales from Around the World

SPOOKY COMEDY –Silly, Spooky, Creepy, Scary. For halloween, autumn or any time

READING AND TELLING STORIES WITH CHILDREN:  an inspiring program encourage parents and caregivers with fun tips and tricks

SILLY STORIES (AND SONGS): Autumn, Winter, Spring or Summer — listening to stories is fun and builds the foundation for reading

STORIES FOR PEACE:  How can we resolve conflicts? How can we handle bullies?

Early Learners love Mark’s

Author visits…  Storytelling Events… and Family Engagement

It’s always astounding to see a group of 3-5 year olds laughing and listening and sitting still for 30 or 45 minutes. Mark Binder’s stories for the younger set are engaging and fun!

Mark’s programs are appropriate for listeners with early learning language skills ages 3-103.

With a younger crowd, he typically blends stories with songs (and song-stories), as well as audience participation.
He can tell stories with groups of all sizes, and will work to personalize a program for your center.

Mark also offers training program for teachers and parents, as well as evening family “story concerts”.

For Middle Schools

Inspiring  and Educational Spoken-Word, Author Programs and Workshops

Stories hook the attention of young people in middle schools, and keep them engaged.

Mark Binder’s lessons and tales are designed to get under their radar, and invite them to participate.
Students (and teacher) listen with smiles on their faces, ask great questions and are always eager to hear more.

Middle School Programs include spoken-word storytelling, author visits, writing and storytelling workshops and residencies and family engagement “concerts.”

 “I found Mr. Binder professional, responsive and flexible. He helped us tailor a day of activities that specifically addressed our building needs and curriculum goals. He devoted the entire school day to our students, only taking a thirty minute break for lunch. Without a doubt, we ‘got our money’s worth.’”
–Durgee Junior High School

Elementary School Programs

awesome author visits, writing workshops and storytelling

Whether in large assemblies or small groups, Mark is equally comfortable reading and telling stories to a single class, or to a wide variety of grades.

He uses storytelling, song, question and answer, and audience interactions to connect with K*, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 grades.

educational, energetic, inspiring and fun

enrichment for all grades, ages and abilities

*If you’ve got a small PK, ask about a short and separate session, too.

Around the World Tour with Stories For Every Generation

  • connecting listeners of diverse ages and backgrounds
  • teaching concepts and ideas on a deep and profound level
  • capturing the attention and imagination and hold attention
  • transmitting joy with fun, funny, exciting, educational and entertaining tales

In SCHOOLS  – elementary, middle and early learning schools

  • Transfixing Tales!
  • Students listen and learn
  • Connects with curriculum
  • Workshops, residencies, and “concerts”
  • Author and Reading Week Visits
  • Celebrate literacy
  • Deepen Understanding
  • Topics include: A Holiday Present • Stories for the New Year • Read A Little Every Day • The Art of Peace • and many more
Click here for Mark’s School/Library Brochure

“To say the students were hooked is an understatement! We would love to have him back!”
–American School of Paris (grades 6-8)


Mark has performed at festivals and theaters around the world. From Providence to Dublin. From London to Paris. From Kalamazoo to Fall River.
For families or adults-only.


  • Books and audio families love
  • Connect reading and storytelling
  • Inspires literacy and connects families
  • Seasonal programs for Halloween, Holidays, vacations
  • Summer reading


  • Awesome fun for campfires and circles.
  • Perfect for rainy or sunny day.
  • For campers of all ages
  • (He’s got loud voice, and a battery powered sound system for out door work, as well as an awesome Bose system for larger horsepower events.)

Write it up! (making stories workshop)

Mark is an amazing teacher, able to inspire an entire class in a short period of time. He loves helping writers and storytellers understand story structure and unlock the power of their creativity. (grades 4-12, adults, teachers)

Any religion… Jewish, Catholic Muslim, Buddhist?

Mark offers programs that embrace and bridge faith barriers. Most folk want Stories for Diversity, Tales of Chelm or The Art of Peace

How can we reconcile differences in a chaotic world?

Stories. Laughter. Challenging questions? and then more stories and laughter.

Anywhere !

Mark has also performed in senior centers, community centers, religious centers, epicenters (well, not really), and parking lots.

He has several sound systems to accommodate any venue, indoor or outdoor. And as a professionally trained actor, he can be real loud.

Stories and Books for Elementary Age

Cinderella Spinderella

Cinderella SpinderellaWicked Stepsisters, a rocking fairy godmother, and a very unusual chauffeur!

Cinderella Spinderella will be a family favorite for years to come.
You and your children will enjoy the story that has enthralled thousands upon thousands of listeners of all ages and backgrounds for more than a decade!

“Eleanor lived alone with her two stepsisters… even though she was in a wheelchair, they made her sleep downstairs in the basement!”

Digital Book World Finalist!  Ben Franklin Silver Award
“Marvelously told, beautifully illustrated.” -A.V. Club News

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Kings, Wolves, Princesses and Lions

Kings, Wolves, Princesses and LionsClassic stories retold with new energy and new tales that seem timeless
An excellent primer for young readers…  28 Stories for you and your family
Grades 1-3 and parents/caregivers.

Aesop and Anansi, Rapunzel, The Brave Little Tailor, Stone Soup, at Valley Forge and many more…

If you liked The Bed Time Story Book you’ll love, Kings, Wolves, Princesses and Lions. (You also will enjoy, Genies, Giants and a Walrus…)

These are stories children will enjoy reading by themselves, or with parents and caregivers. And the grown-ups will enjoy reading them, too. Includes dozens of evocative and humorous old-school and wood-block style illustrations.Award-winning children’s author, Mark Binder presents this collection of stories with the ear of a professional storyteller and the love of a parent reading to his family.

Part of the best-selling “Bed Time Story Book” series, this volume starts with simple stories for early readers, and then allows youngsters to stretch their skills. Bonus tips for reading-aloud at bed time!

Author and storyteller Mark Binder reworks, revises and invents stories that feel fresh while maintaining a strong connection to the past.

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Tall Tales, Whoppers and Lies – recorded live at the New England Folk Festival

Tall Tales CD CoverMark’s first live recording. All ages. And Story lovers..

53 minutes.
The Challah that Ate Chelm • Paul Bunyan Meets Babe the Blue Ox • The Tale of Bad Breath Bill • The PI Kid • Goldilocks and the Three Bubbes • The Brave Little Tailor.
Includes a bonus demo: The Two Monks and the Gross Slimy Monster: League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling Olio Winning Story

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A Holiday PresentA Holiday Present - Audi Book Cover

Who threw the first holiday party? What happened in the bakery on New Year’s eve?  What did Jack really get from the magic man?

Seven stories from around the world: Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Ramadan, Diwali, Solstice and the New Year. Plus an awesome multicultural song!

Recorded live before an audience of K-5, this is a perfect non-denominational celebration of the holidays.

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