Chelm for the Holidays

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What the Book is About:

This well-written collection of ten stories features various foolish characters of Chelm as they celebrate Jewish holidays. Suitable for both independent reading and family read-aloud time, kids and adults will be highly entertained by the silliness while appreciating Jewish holiday traditions.

Jewish Content and Values

  • Each of the stories focuses on a Jewish holiday, including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chanukah, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Passover, Lag B’Omer, Shavuot, and Shabbat. 
  • Many of the stories emphasize positive Jewish values such as giving charity to the poor (tzedakah), helping your neighbors (gemilut hasadim), and serving the community (Arevim Ze La’ze).

Positive Role Models

  • Despite the foolishness, the Rabbi and Elders of Chelm are kind to one other and to the members of the community. 

Content Advisory

  • None.

Talk it Over

The people of Chelm solve problems in their own unique way. Do you think there are different ways to problem-solve, or is there a definite right and wrong solution for every problem?

More for You

Although the stories are completely fictional, Chelm is a real city in eastern Poland, and many of the classic Chelm stories have origins in European folklore. Published in Yiddish from the 1700s and made famous by writers such as Issac Bashevis Singer, the comedic foibles of the Elders of Chelm, very wise men completely lacking in common sense, are still popular and entertaining today. 

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