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Israeli OutFoxes Thousands With Back to the Future Prank

Great Scott! And great prank!

Last week, thousands of Jews in Israel and beyond responded to a plea for help in identifying a couple pictured in a yellowing photograph from 1955.

“Everyone, I need help. I found this picture on a Tel Aviv street,” Ariel Plavnik, a 43-year-old tourism salesperson from Kfar Saba, Israel, wrote in Hebrew and Spanish in a Facebook post with the photograph. “I want to return this old, beautiful photograph. If you share it, maybe we can find the owners! Thanks to all.”

More than 7,000 people shared the photograph, a portrait whose many blemishes do little to dim the radiant smile and beauty of the young woman in it. She leans against a man with confident eyes, his cheek pressed to hers.

Perhaps demonstrating world Jewry’s preoccupation with genealogy, several Jewish Facebook groups devoted to the subject posted the picture on their pages. So did my aunt, a 64-year-old teacher from Israel who takes high school students on tours of former death camps in Poland.

It was a good thing she did because I was able to identify almost immediately the mystery photo subjects. I doubt they’ll care much, though — the couple are the actors who portrayed the parents of Marty McFly, a character from the 1980s sci-fi comedy trilogy “Back to the Future.”

https://www.facebook.com/ArielPlavnick/posts/10158566817909948

The people who shared or commented on the photo had various ideas about it. One said he believed the man (who is actually the actor Crispin Glover, with Lea Thompson playing his wife) displays a family resemblance to Dan Kaner, a television presenter from Israel. Another gave a positive identification, declaring the mystery solved: Pictured are Nechama and Moshe McFleishman, dear friends of his uncle. Others who got the joke suggested that Plavnik get in touch with Michael J. Fox, the actor who played the film’s lead character.

To date, over 8,000 people have shared it — including in posts revealing it’s a hoax.

But it does get me thinking that social media would be a great way to track down a long-lost relative of mine.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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