Casino on former Concord site may be good for the economy, but some local Jewish voices express reservations.
Shira Dicker, a longtime summer resident of a bungalow in upstate Monroe, has vivid memories of her father, a Conservative rabbi, traveling up to the Concord Resort Hotel during the 1960s and ’70s to attend an annual rabbinical convention.
By the time that Kutsher’s Country Club fell to the wrecking ball in May, the Catskills were already long past their prime as a Jewish vacation paradise. In fact, the popularity of the “Jewish Alps” was already waning in the 1970s, when “The Gig,” Doug Cohen’s new musical about a group of amateur jazz musicians who land a prized booking in the Borscht Belt, is set.
“It was air conditioning that leveled the Catskills,” one of the cross-dressing characters in Harvey Fierstein’s excellent new play, “Casa Valentina,” says. “Why drive when you can use a machine to cool off your home?”
Kutsher’s, the fabled Catskills resort hotel, is set to be demolished later this month.
The 1,300-acre property near Monticello, N.Y., was sold last year for $8.18 million to Veria Lifestyle Inc., which plans to turn it into a health and wellness resort. The buildings will be demolished in the next week or two, according to the Times Herald-Record.
An empty yellow-and-white lounge chair graces the ungroomed grass and ferns surrounding the mildewed indoor pool at Grossinger’s. Not so long ago the grass was terracotta tiles and there were rows of chairs, a guest on each.
Young photographer drawn to Catskills’ ruins and relics, and to Elul’s existential questions.
Ruins harbor demons, says the Talmud. The sage Reb Yose dared to pray in a ruin and later was asked by an apparition of Elijah, “What did you hear in there?” Reb Yose replied, “I heard a Divine voice, cooing like a dove…”
New documentary tells the story of the Catskills hotels and the comics who ‘went to school’ there.
Special To The Jewish Week
The evocative term “baggy-pants comic” has its roots in burlesque, but you could apply it with some justice to the new documentary film “When Comedy Went to School,” which opens on July 31 in New York City and Aug. 2 on Long Island. The film, directed by Mevlut Akkaya and Ron Frank, tells the story of the Catskills hotels as a training ground for stand-up comedians and, like the burlesque funny man’s trousers, it’s rather shapeless. But, like the guy inside the trousers, it is also very funny.