Welcome to Chełm
Chełm is about 70km east of Lublin, 25km from the Ukrainian border. Interestingly, the town sits on an 800m-thick layer of almost pure chalk, a natural phenomenon that has both wreaked havoc and been the source of the town’s economic development. It has since been tamed into a tourist attraction. There is also a cathedral sanctuary, which is a pleasant place for a stroll.
Though Chełm’s Jewish population was lost during WWII, the Jewish community has left its legacy in various ways. Curiously, the people of Chełm once played the role of the good-natured hick in the rich tradition of Eastern European Jewish humour. Back in the day, many a joke sure to end in lots of laughter would start out ‘there once was a rabbi from Chełm…’.