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Encyclopedia > Borscht Belt

Borscht Belt is an informal term for the summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in Sullivan and Ulster Counties in upstate New York which were frequented by Ashkenazi Jews. Borscht is a kind of beet soup popular with people of Eastern European origin. The term Borscht Belt can also refer to the Catskill region itself. In late August each summer, the Catskills Institute (based at Brown University) holds a two-day conference examining Jewish culture in the Catskills. Image File history File links Map of New York highlighting the Borscht Belt File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Catskill Mountains (also known as simply the Catskills), a natural area in New York State northwest of New York City and southwest of Albany, are not, despite their popular name, true geological mountains, but rather a mature dissected plateau, an uplifted region that was subsequently eroded into sharp relief. ... Sullivan County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. ... Ulster County is a county located in the state of New York, USA. It sits in the states beautiful Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. ... The areas highlighted in YELLOW and GREEN are those which are considered to be a bona fide part of Upstate New York from the perspective of New York City. ... Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim (אַשְׁכֲּנָזִי אַשְׁכֲּנָזִים Standard Hebrew, Aškanazi,Aškanazim, Tiberian Hebrew, ʾAškănāzî, ʾAškănāzîm, pronounced sing. ... It has been suggested that Barszcz czerwony be merged into this article or section. ... Map of Eastern Europe Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium orange),members of the Warsaw pact (light orange), and other former Communist regimes not aligned with Moscow (lightest orange). ... Brown University is a private university located in Providence, Rhode Island. ...

Contents

History

Borscht Belt hotels, bungalow colonies, summer camps, and kuchaleyns (a Yiddish name for self-catered boarding houses) were frequented by Jewish New Yorkers, particularly in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Because of this, this area was also nicknamed the Jewish Alps and Solomon County (a modification of Sullivan County), by many people who visited there. Well-known resorts of the area included Brickman's, Brown's, The Concord, Grossinger's, Granit, Kutsher's Hotel and Country Club, the Nevele, Friar Tuck Inn, The Pines, Raleigh and the Windsor. A hotel is an establishment that provides lodging, usually on a short-term basis. ... A row of bungalows in Virginia A bungalow (Gujarati: , Hindi: ) is a type of single-story house. ... Summer camp is a supervised program for children and teenagers conducted during the summer months in many countries. ... Yiddish (Yid. ... Boarding House is a privately owned house,in which individuals or families on vaccation, holidays, deputition,transfered on temporary duties, on some particular training,short&mediun tenure visitors,working professionals & lodgers,rent one or more rooms sets for one or more nights,sometimes for extended periods of weeks, months and... For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ... NY redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... A nickname is a short, clever, cute, derogatory, or otherwise substitute name for a person or things real name (for example, Nick is short for Nicholas). ... The Concord Resort Hotel was a world-famous destination for visitors to the so-called Borscht Belt part of the Catskills, known for its large resort industry in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. ... Grossingers Catskill Resort Hotel is a resort in the Catskills. ... Kutshers Hotel and Country Club, in Monticello, New York, is the last of the Borscht Belt grand resorts (in the Catskill Mountains area of New York State). ... Windsor may refer to many places and other things. ...


The tradition of Borscht Belt entertainment started in the early 20th century with the indoor and outdoor theaters constructed on a 40 acre (16 hectare) tract in Hunter, New York by Yiddish theater star Boris Thomashefsky. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Look up hunter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Yiddish theatre consists of plays written and performed primarily by Jews in Yiddish, the language of the Eastern European Ashkenazaic Jewish community. ... Boris Thomashefsky was founder of the first Yiddish Theater troupe in New York City in 1882. ...


Comedians who got their start or regularly performed in Borscht Belt resorts include: Joey Adams, Woody Allen, Morey Amsterdam, Milton Berle, Shelley Berman, Al Bernie, Mel Brooks, Lenny Bruce, George Burns, Red Buttons, Sid Caesar, Jack Carter, Myron Cohen, Bill Dana, Rodney Dangerfield, Phyllis Diller, Betty Garrett, Shecky Greene, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Katz, Danny Kaye, Alan King, Robert Klein, Jack E. Leonard, Pesach Burstein, Jerry Lewis, Jackie Mason, Jan Murray, Carl Reiner, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Freddie Roman, Jackie Vernon, Jackie Wakefield, Jonathan Winters, and Henny Youngman. A comedian, or comic, is an entertainer who amuses an audience by making them laugh. ... Joey Adams was a Borscht Belt comedian who was inducted into the Friars Club in 1977 and wrote the book Borscht Belt in 1973. ... Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Königsberg on December 1, 1935) is a three-time Academy Award-winning American film director, writer, actor, jazz musician, comedian, and playwright. ... Morey Amsterdam on Match Game 73. ... Milton Berle (July 12, 1908 - March 27, 2002) was an American comedian who was born Milton Berlinger according to his birth certificate. ... Shelley Berman (born 3 February 1926, in Chicago, Illinois) is a comedian, writer, teacher, and actor. ... Mel Brooks (born Melvin Kaminsky on May 9, 1926) is an Academy Award-winning American actor, writer, director and producer best known as a creator of broad film farces and comedy parodies. ... Lenny Bruce (October 13, 1925 – August 3, 1966), born Leonard Alfred Schneider, was a controversial American stand-up comedian, writer, social critic and satirist of the 1950s and 1960s. ... George Burns[1], born Nathan Birnbaum (January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996), was an American comedian and actor. ... Red Buttons (February 5, 1919 – July 13, 2006) was the stage name of American comedian and actor Aaron Chwatt. ... Sid Caesar (born Isaac Sidney Caesar on September 8, 1922) is an Emmy-winning comic actor and writer, best known as the leading man on the 1950s television sketch comedy series Your Show of Shows. ... Jack Carter (born 24 June 1923) is a standup comedian, actor and host. ... Myron Cohen (July 1, 1902 - March 10, 1986) was an American comedian and storyteller. ... Bill Dana Bill Dana (born October 5, 1924) is a comedian, writer, author, producer and composer, who was well-established in comedy writing before he created the character Jose Jimenez for the Steve Allen Show. ... Rodney Dangerfield (November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004), born Jacob Cohen, was an American comedian and actor, best known for the line I dont get no respect and his monologues on that theme. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Betty Garrett (born May 23, 1919 in St. ... Shecky Greene (born Sheldon Greenfield, April 8, 1926), is a stand-up comedian who was best known for his live performances in the Catskills and on television in the 1950s and 1960s. ... Buddy Hackett (August 31, 1924 – June 30, 2003) was an American comedian and actor. ... Mickey Katz (June 15, 1909 - April 30, 1985) was a U.S. Jewish comedian who received his first moments as fame in the 1940s as a member of Spike Jones and His City Slickers where he was most famous for his glugging vocal sound effects on tunes like Cocktails for... Kaye entertaining U.S. troops at Sasebo, Japan, 25 Oct 1945 David Daniel Kaminsky, known as Danny Kaye (January 18, 1913 – March 3, 1987) was an American actor, singer and comedian. ... Alan King (December 26, 1927 – May 9, 2004), born Irwin Alan Kniberg, was an American comedian known for his biting wit and often angry humorous rants. ... Robert Klein (born February 8, 1942) is a Jewish-American stand-up comedian and occasional actor. ... Leonard poses for a press kit photo. ... Pesach Burstein, and his wife Lillian Lux Pesach Burstein (1896 - 1986) was an Israeli-American, Polish American actor, comedian, singer and director of Yiddish vaudeville and Yiddish theater. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Jackie Mason (born Yacov Moshe Maza on June 9, 1931, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin) is an American stand-up comedian. ... Jan Murray (October 4, 1916 - July 2, 2006) was an American stand-up comedian and actor who made his name on the Borscht Belt. ... Carl Reiner (born March 20, 1922) is an American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian. ... Donald Jay Rickles (born May 8, 1926 in New York City, New York) is an American comedian and actor. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Freddie Roman (born 1937 in Jamaica, Queens, NY) Stand-up comedian, and king of one-liners, best known for his frequent appearances at Borscht Belt clubs. ... Jackie Vernon (born Ralph Veroni on March 29, 1924; died November 10, 1987) was a stand-up comedian, actor and voice artist. ... Jonathan Winters (born November 11, 1925 in Dayton, Ohio) is an American comedic actor. ... Henny Youngman performing at the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon Henny Youngman (Henry Youngman, March 16, 1906 - February 24, 1998) was a comedian and violinist famous for one-liners, short simple jokes usually delivered rapid-fire. ...


With changes in demographic and travel patterns, caused partially by the wide-spread adoption of air conditioning that made the cities less unpleasant in the summer, the area has declined as a major vacation destination. Perhaps the single biggest factor was the decline of discrimination or "restriction" in the hotel and travel industry by the 1960s. Prior to that time, many resorts and hotels, implicitly or otherwise, did not welcome Jews. The replacement of old travel routes such as old New York State Route 17 (superseded by an express highway of the same name, now in the midst of an upgrade to Interstate 86), had left the area with a veritable museum of abandoned or decaying travel-related businesses from the Borscht Belt's heyday. Junction Location US routes and Interstates only. ... {{{type3}}} JUNCTIONS JUNCTION EXIT # I-90 PA 1 I-390 NY 146 (36) I-99 NY 169 (44) I-81 NY 245 NY (75) I-84 NY 362 (121) I-87 NY Legend BROWSE STATE HWYS Prev Next {{{browse}}} Interstate 86 runs from an intersection with Interstate 90 in Erie...


Today

Today the region is a summer home for many Orthodox Jewish families, primarily from the New York metropolitan area. It has many summer homes and bungalow colonies (including many of the historic colonies), as well as year-round dwellers. It even has its own year-round branch of the Orthodox Jewish volunteer emergency medical service Hatzolah. A few resorts remain in the region, though not many associated with the Borscht Belt Prime. (Kutsher's Hotel, Villa Roma, Friar Tuck, to name a few) Orthodox Judaism is one of the three major branches of Judaism. ... The New York metropolitan area is the most populous in the United States and the fourth most populous in the world (after Tokyo, Seoul, and Mexico City). ... Emergency medical service (known by the acronym of EMS in the USA and Canada) is a branch of medicine that is performed in the field, pre-hospital, (i. ... Hatzolah ( which means rescue or relief in Hebrew), is a volunteer Emergency medical service (EMS) organization functioning in Israel and in many Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in major cities of the United States, as well as in Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Russia, and the United Kingdom. ... Kutshers Hotel and Country Club, in Monticello, New York, is the last of the Borscht Belt grand resorts (in the Catskill Mountains area of New York State). ...


In July 2006, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts opened on the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel. The New York Philharmonic played to thousands there on July 2, 2006 for the first-ever concert at the Center. Other concerts during the Center's inaugural season included a two-day jazz festival featuring Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Chris Botti and Dianne Reeves; Counting Crows and the Goo Goo Dolls, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who had last played in Bethel at the original 1969 Woodstock Festival and later covered Joni Mitchell's song "Woodstock" to commemorate the historic three-day concert that drew 500,000 to Yasgur's Farm. The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a state-of-the-art performing arts center located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York. ... The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was an event held at Max Yasgurs 600 acre (2. ... The New York Philharmonic is the oldest active symphony orchestra in the United States, organized during 1842. ... Wynton Learson Marsalis (b. ... George Benson (b. ... Christopher Botti or Chris Botti (born October 12, 1962) is a trumpeter and composer; born in Portland, Oregon. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Counting Crows is an Academy Award nominated American alternative rock band originating from Berkeley, California. ... The Goo Goo Dolls is an alternative rock band that formed in 1985 in Buffalo, New York by guitarist and vocalist Johnny Rzeznik. ... Crosby, Stills, & Nash (sometimes known as Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young) is a pioneering folk rock/rock supergroup that formed out of the remnants of three 1960s bands the Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, and the Hollies. ... Joni Mitchell, CC (born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7, 1943) is a noted Canadian musician, songwriter, and painter. ... Woodstock is a song about the Woodstock Music and Art Festival of 1969. ... Max Yasgurs Farm (1999) Max B. Yasgur (December 15, 1919—February 9, 1973) was the owner of a dairy farm in Bethel, New York upon which the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held on August 15-18, 1969. ...


Plans are now in place by those who purchased former Borscht Belt resorts, Concord Resort Hotel and Grossinger's for example, to work with Native Americans in an attempt to bring gambling to the region. Because the Borscht Belt prime has long passed and many of the resorts are abandoned, developers feel that this is a way to revitalize the region to the popularity it once had by attracting guests to world class casinos and resorts such as the ones in New Jersey and Connecticut. The Concord Resort Hotel was a world-famous destination for visitors to the so-called Borscht Belt part of the Catskills, known for its large resort industry in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. ... Grossingers Catskill Resort Hotel is a resort in the Catskills. ... Native Americans are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States, including parts of Alaska. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ...


Comedic legacy

"Borscht Belt humor" refers to the rapid-fire, often self-deprecating style common to many of these performers and writers. Typical themes include:

  • Bad luck: "When I was a kid, I was breast-fed by my father." (Dangerfield)
  • Puns: "Sire, the peasants are revolting!" "You said it. They stink on ice." (Harvey Korman as Count de Money (Monet) and Mel Brooks as King Louis XVI, in History of the World Part I)
  • Physical complaints and ailments (often relating to bowels and cramping): "My doctor said I was in terrible shape. I told him, 'I want a second opinion.' He said, 'All right, you're ugly too!'" "I told my doctor, 'This morning when I got up and saw myself in the mirror, I looked awful! What's wrong with me?' He replied, 'I don't know, but your eyesight is perfect!'" (Dangerfield)
  • Aggravating relatives and nagging wives: "My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met." (Dangerfield). "Take my wife - please!" (Henny Youngman); "My wife drowned in the pool because she was wearing so much jewelry." (Rickles); "My wife ain't too bright. One day our car got stolen. I said to her, 'Did you get a look at the guy?' She said, 'No, but I got the license number.' " (Dangerfield)

Some but not all of the modern "Borscht Belt" comedians, such as Don Rickles, referred openly to Jews and anti-Semitism; others, such as Rodney Dangerfield, simply borrowed from the general style. This article is about good and bad fortune. ... A pun (also known as paronomasia) is a deliberate confusion of similar-sounding words or phrases for comic or serious effect. ... Actor Harvey Korman in the 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles. ... Mel Brooks (born Melvin Kaminsky on May 9, 1926) is an Academy Award-winning American actor, writer, director and producer best known as a creator of broad film farces and comedy parodies. ... Louis XVI Louis XVI (August 23, 1754 - January 21, 1793), was King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then King of the French in 1791-1792. ... The DVD cover artwork for the movie depicts many of the eras parodied in the film History of the World, Part I is a 1981 film directed by Mel Brooks. ... A disease is any abnormal condition of the body or mind that causes discomfort, dysfunction, or distress to the person affected or those in contact with the person. ... Kinship is the most basic principle of organizing individuals into social groups, roles, and categories. ... Henny Youngman performing at the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon Henny Youngman (Henry Youngman, March 16, 1906 - February 24, 1998) was a comedian and violinist famous for one-liners, short simple jokes usually delivered rapid-fire. ... Donald Jay Rickles (born May 8, 1926 in New York City, New York) is an American comedian and actor. ... Donald Jay Rickles (born May 8, 1926 in New York City, New York) is an American comedian and actor. ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ...


See also Jewish humor. Jewish humor is the long tradition of humor in Judaism dating back to the Torah and the Midrash, but generally refers to the more recent stream of verbal, self-deprecating and often anecdotal humor originating in Eastern Europe and which took root in the United States over the last hundred...


Popular culture

These resorts have been the setting for movies such as Dirty Dancing, Sweet Lorraine and A Walk on the Moon. Dirty Dancing is a 1987 romance film directed by Emile Ardolino. ... Sweet Lorraine is a song by the band Uriah Heep. ... The 1999 drama A Walk On The Moon stars Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Anna Paquin and Liev Schreiber. ...


Characters inspired by Borscht Belt comics include Billy Crystal's Mr. Saturday Night and Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. For the American political commentator, see William Kristol. ... Mr. ... Best of Triumph DVD Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog is a puppet created and performed by Robert Smigel premiering in 1997 on NBCs Late Night with Conan OBrien. ...


While not a part of the true Borscht Belt legacy, perhaps the best known entertainment event to take place in the region was the 1969 Woodstock Festival, which took place on the land of Jewish farmer Max Yasgur in Bethel, New York. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was an event held at Max Yasgurs 600 acre (2. ... Max Yasgurs Farm (1999) Max B. Yasgur (December 15, 1919—February 9, 1973) was the owner of a dairy farm in Bethel, New York upon which the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held on August 15-18, 1969. ... Bethel stinkt und is doof // The first settlers arrived around 1795 near the present communities of Bethel and White Lake. ...


See also

The Mountain House, 1836, by Jasper Francis Cropsey // Natural History Early geologic history The Catskills began existence as a river delta 350 million years ago. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Borscht Belt Summary (1782 words)
Borscht Belt is an informal term for the summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in Sullivan and Ulster Counties in upstate New York which were frequented by Ashkenazi Jews.
Borscht Belt hotels, bungalow colonies, summer camps, and kuchaleyns (a Yiddish name for self-catered boarding houses) were frequented by Jewish New Yorkers, particularly in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
While not a part of the true Borscht Belt legacy, perhaps the best known entertainment event to take place in the region was the 1969 Woodstock Festival, which took place on the land of Jewish farmer Max Yasgur.
Borscht Belt St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture - Find Articles (924 words)
The area of the New York Catskills called the Borscht Belt came into being at the turn of the twentieth century and grew in popularity through the 1970s.
The Jewish culture that flourished in the Borscht Belt gradually overflowed into the mainstream, where it significantly influenced American popular culture.
The Borscht Belt was about 100 miles northwest of New York City in Sullivan and Ulster counties in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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