In the Catskills: A Century of Jewish Experience in "The Mountains"
Through fiction, memoir, music, photography, and art, In the Catskills highlights the Catskills experience over a century and assesses its continuing impact on American music, comedy, food, culture, and religion. It features selections from such fiction writers as Isaac Bashevis Singer, Herman Wouk, Allegra Goodman and Vivian Gornick; and original contributions from historians, sociologists, and scholars of American and Jewish culture that trace the history of the region, the rise of hotels and bungalow colonies, the wonderful flavors of food and entertainment, and distinctive forms of Jewish religion found in the Mountains.
What was lifethe work, the play, the food, the romancelike at Catskills Mountains resorts? These very personal recollections capture the special sense of community and real sense of freedom that developed. Far from the welter of the city, Jewish families learned to vacation and enjoy themselves, to savor the social mobility and cultural space the resorts afforded, and to nourish their culinary and comic traditions. From "Bingo by the Bungalow" by Thane Rosenbaum to "Young Workers in the Hotels" by Phil Brown to "Shoot the Shtrudel to Me Yudel" by Henry Foner, this charming anthology captures an era that has had enormous impact on the Jewish experience and American culture as a whole.
"Whenever I speak about the Catskills," observes editor Phil Brown, "I am struck by the strength of people's desire to relive their experiences in the Mountains." If you've visited the Catskills yourself, or heard stories from your parents or grandparents, or are just interested in this extraordinary time and place, pack your bags and prepare to enjoy your stay In the Catskills.
Introduction, by Phil Brown Part 1: History Jewish Farmers of the Catskills, by Abraham Lavender and Clarence Steinberg Hotels and the Holocaust, by Reuben Wallenrod The Catskills at the End of World War II, by Martin Boris Part 2: Boarding House, Bungalow, and Kuchalayn Life The Yearning Heifer, by Isaac Bashevis Singer Grine FelderA Place in the Country, by Martin Boris Bingo by the Bungalow, by Thane Rosenbaum Bungalow Colony Life, by Irwin Richman Part 3: Hotel Life Dinner at the Rigi Kulm House, by Abraham Cahan Old Stock, by Hortense Calisher Young Workers in the Hotels, by Phil Brown The Pool, by Eileen Pollack Growing Up at Grossinger's, by Tania Grossinger Reflections on the Delmar Hotel and the Demise of the Catskills, by Jerry A. Jacobs Part 4: Entertainment Comics, Singers, and Tummlers, by Joey Adams (with Henry Tobias) The Social Director in the Adult Summer Camp, by Moss Hart The Casino, by Harvey Jacobs The Fine art of Mountain Tummling, by Joyce Wadler Shoot the Shtrudel to me Yudelmusic and lyrics, by Henry Foner Part 5: Romance Miss Tevkin, by Abraham Cahan Forbidden Fruit, by Harvey Jacobs Amy Lourie, by Terry Kay Part 6: Religion Bungalow Summer, by Robert Eisenberg The Shul in Kaaterskill Falls, by Allegra Goodman Food Eating at the Hotel, by Sarah Sandberg The Catskills Remembered, by Vivian Gornick Bungalow, by Elizabeth Ehrlich