The Chelm Project is a pro bono endeavor. Your donation is greatly appreciated. Your support helps balance overly conflict-driven news that warps perceptions of Israel.

Donate in Shekels


Donate in Dollars

Subscribe to our list

Email Format

Join us!

Are you a publisher or literary agent?

Click HERE

Savor Classic Oldies from 1987-2007
Click HERE

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn



Stories about Israelis who discover a winning lottery ticket while doing their Passover cleaning is old hat. The ultimate Passover jackpot belongs to a forgetful shopper who last year erroneously lost a small shopping bag with some fabric and sewing materials for a new dress…and 60,000 NIS ($15,789) in cash in the bottom, while out doing errands. Unfortunately, the absentminded fellow, totally at a loss as to where he'd left the bag, was left with no alternative but to report his loss to the police – basically a dead loss, short of a miracle. . .

            In fact, the loss had been found the same day by employees at a major food chain called YESH! (Walla!), but rang no alarm bells, since employees failed to notice the cash – only the fabric.  So the little bag sat for a full year on a shelf in the Lost and Found until someone decided to tidy up for Passover, discovering the tidy sum in the process…

            Luckily there was a bank withdrawal statement inside the satchel, which allowed the finders to make up for lost time, reuniting the lucky looser and his lost property in no time. 




There isn’t anyone over 65 who hasn’t been left open-mouthed at one time or another at the vitality and energy levels of President Shimon Peres – who like the Energizer™ Bunny never seems to run out of juice.  Fit as a fiddle, mentally agile and inquisitive, adventurous, unflappably optimist and constantly on the go, Peres is a walking marvel.

When the President visited a DNA genetic-sequencing research and analysis facility in Katzrin during a tour of the Golan Heights – Galilee Genetics Analysis Laboratories' chief geneticist Professor Dov Berkowitz  volunteered to map the president’s entire genome* to see if his team can home-in on a “Shimon Peres Gene” that keeps Peres 88 years young.        


* an endeavor that would take three months to complete




An April Fools joke boomeranged, landing two young jokesters in the pokey after the hoaxers held up their buddy's Beit Shemesh koyosk at gunpoint, taking off with 4,000 NIS ($1,053) in cash.  They returned the take to its rightful owner soon afterward, but not soon enough it seems.

            The kiyosk owner had already called the cops.

The police, far from amused – and unimpressed that the pistols were fakes and the make-believe robbers were the victim’s best friends, threw the two in the cooler and are determined to press charges.  In the meantime, the judge let them off on bail – apparently hoping the cops will cool off by the time the case goes to court. 




Israel's 64th Independence Day — which falls unseasonably early this year, on April 26th – is just around the corner. The Road Safety Authority has decided to put an end to the annual vogue of teenagers weaving in and out among vehicles at every traffic light, hawking Israeli flags that attach to car windows the week before Independence Day.*

            The Authority is urging parents to keep their kids off the roads, exhorting motorists not to buy such flags, and calling on the head of the highway patrol, the chief rabbi…and ZAKA (!) to 'think of something creative' to put an end to the menace.

            The Road Safety Authority didn't say anything about adults weaving in and out among vehicles at traffic lights and busy interchanges at all other times, selling floor rags, popsicles and even Turkish water pipes to passing motorists. 




As if Israel Railways' wildcat strikes and technical glitches that have stopped trains in their tracks aren't enough to disrupt train service and dissuade the public from taking the train!

            When Israel switched to Daylight Saving Time just before Passover, the train (quite miraculously) actually ran on time, but alas someone at headquarters lost track of the time.  While the rest of the country moved their clocks forward by an hour, train schedules were left totally off track and out of whack - stuck in Standard Time…if anyone asked. Thus, passengers checking online schedules or text messaging to Israel Railways for information, asking at 2 PM – 'When will the next train to Benyamina depart?" were virtually thrown for a loop – told the next train would depart at 1:22 PM, then 1:42 PM adding a new meaning to the concept of 'double timing.'




            In 1987, – back when Chelm-on-the-Med© was called Gleanings* – we reported the story of Moran Kadosh age four who was on her way to London for an emergency liver transplant. When the child's plight became known to fellow passengers on the flight... and that her parents had a mere $4,500 in their pockets to pay for the operation, the flight crew organized a spontaneous collection. The captain of El-Al Flight 316 personally conducting an in-flight fund raiser from the cockpit, interspersed with music as the aircraft sped its way toward the British Isles. By the time the jumbo landed at Heathrow, 400 passengers and crew had collected the $60,000 needed to save Moran's life.

Now twenty-four years later, Moran (nee Kadosh) Freeman has had the incredible bad luck to be struck by a rare form of cancer, her life hinging on a biological drug with an 80 percent success rate.  The state-of-the-art pharmaceutical, however, costs 60,000 NIS ($22,316) a month that isn't covered by National Health Insurance. Those who want to help the 28 year old (who just got married) can send a contribution to Bank Leumi, Branch 856, Account # 299459/91.

Citing a bank account number in the closing paragraph of a bona fide news article about someone in distress is common in Israel's Hebrew press. 


* See FAQ #2 for more on Gleanings.