Meet The Clowns Changing How Syrian Refugees See Israel

A pair of Israeli medical clowns embody the best of Israel! Not only do they help kids in hospitals to laugh away their anxiety and be happy, but they comfort Syrian refugee children and their families who are receiving humanitarian assistance, all while breaking socio-political boundaries and stereotypes along the way.


A lot of us have some slightly creepy feelings about clowns.


(In fact, while looking for this image online, we actually got even more creeped out and had to go shake it off with a cup of coffee.)

But there is a special group of clowns that give zero heebie-jeebies to anybody, and are all about making everyone around them feel happy and awesome. Medical Clowns!

As it turns out, medical clowns are no laughing matter (badum-ching!).

Their main work is providing some welcome comic relief to kids and their families who are facing serious and scary hospital tests and procedures. This work actually helps people - especially kids - avoid anxiety or depression whilst in hospital, participate more cooperatively, and even heal faster (don’t believe us? Click here.)

The adventure is narrated by JerusalemU Film Director Micah Smith, who has already taken you on some pretty cool adventures with some pretty cool Israelis (see makeup blog, Jumbush/Oud blog, Matzah recipes blog, and click here for all the videos).

Micah introduces us to medical clowns Shoshi and Johnny, who crack kids up at a hospital in Israel’s north.

Israeli Medical clown Dr. Nonsense in action.

Shoshi and Johnny get their funny on at this hospital daily, helping kids feel that a trip to the hospital might not be so bad after all.

It’s actually a very Israeli way to approach the issue. As a country, Israel is often in the news because of conflict...

Yet Israelis are among the happiest people in the world!

How can this be? It doesn’t seem to make sense.

But it does. Israelis share a set of core similarities that are the key to their national and personal success (you can access those qualities in yourself, too! Don’t miss your chance).

So it stands to reason that Israelis would see children in a tough situation and develop ways to get them through it in the happiest and healthiest way possible.

Sometimes life throws you some incredibly tough challenges. As a Jewish country in a Muslim Middle East, Israel itself is literally surrounded by animosity, and is constantly monitored and impacted by a host of countries. This fact makes its way into the lives of average Israelis, and has an impact on the whole region.

Israel’s ability to stay positive, and turn an adversity into an advantage, plays out in lots of ways.

What you need to know is that while Shoshi is an Israeli Jew, Johnny is a Christian Israeli Arab. Together, they are smashing stereotypes and spreading love in a place where being Jewish or being Arab or being Christian might come with a lot of (sometimes negative) preconceived notions.

Israel's medical clowns bring a smile to a young patient.

But that’s not all.

Because THIS hospital, located far to Israel’s north, it treats more than just Israeli patients.

It also takes in hundreds of wounded and helpless Syrian refugees affected by their country’s long and bloody civil war.

They flock to Israel’s border in droves to receive humanitarian aid and medical assistance - even though Syria considers Israel an enemy nation!

What Shoshi and Johnny have to say about helping to calm and cajole Syrian children - who sometimes arrive with horrible, disfiguring injuries - will really open your eyes and warm your heart. Because not only are some of these kids suffering from wounds which will last a lifetime, but their treatment is happening in a country they have been taught all their lives to despise.

When Shoshi and Johnny strap on their big red noses, they may not just be bringing happiness and hope to these young victims, but practically pulling a rabbit out of a hat for the future of the entire Middle East.

Does this clown look scary to you now?

Scary Clown

Quite the opposite.

If you haven’t already, watch these clowns in action now.

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Tags: Israel, syria, Refugees, Syrian Refugees, Clowns, Hospital, medical clowns, happiness, health, stereotypes, Anxiety