Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat's Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area

Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat's Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area

by Phil Brown
     
 

ISBN-10: 1592131891

ISBN-13: 9781592131891

Pub. Date: 05/28/2003

Publisher: Temple University Press

Acentury ago, New Yorkers, hungry for mountain air, good food, and a Jewish environment combined with an American way of leisure, began to develop the Catskills resort area. By the 1950s, this summer Eden of bungalow colonies, summer camps, and over 900 hotels were attracting over a million people a year. Born to a small hotel-owning family who worked for decades in

Overview

Acentury ago, New Yorkers, hungry for mountain air, good food, and a Jewish environment combined with an American way of leisure, began to develop the Catskills resort area. By the 1950s, this summer Eden of bungalow colonies, summer camps, and over 900 hotels were attracting over a million people a year. Born to a small hotel-owning family who worked for decades in hotels after losing their own, Phil Brown tells a story of the many elements of this magical environment. Catskill Culture recounts the life of guests, staff, resort owners, entertainers, and local residents through Brown's own memories and archival research, and the memories of 120 others. The Catskills resorts shaped American Jewish culture, enabling Jews to become more American while at the same time introducing the American public to immigrant Jewish culture. Today most of the hotels and bungalow colonies are gone or in ruins, while other communities, notably those of the Hasidim, have appeared. The author includes an appendix listing over 900 hotels he has been able to document and invites readers to contact him with additional entries.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592131891
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
05/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.62(w) x 9.82(h) x 0.88(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
1.Returning to the Catskills1
2.How the Jewish Catskills Started23
3.Kuchalayns and Bungalow Colonies45
4.Hotel Life62
5.Entertainment107
6."Mountain Rats": The More Skilled Workers and Other Veterans128
7.Young Workers: Waiters, Busboys, Counselors, Bellhops, and Others163
8.Guests181
9.Resort Religion and Yiddishkeit217
10.Decline, Present, and Future231
11.What Made It So Special?251
AppendixHotels of the Catskills271
Notes281
Bibliography287
Index291

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