July 21, 2017 /
In 1899 the first Jewish boarding house in the Catskill Mountains opened to replace a failed farm, starting the successive flood of rooming houses, summer cottages, and resorts like Grossinger’s and the Concord. Kanfer accurately evokes images of abundant kosher food, constant entertainment epitomized by the Borscht Belt comedians, and husband-hunting romance among the pines. He uses a variety of primary and secondary sources to document the Jewish presence in the Catskills and particularly the rise and fall of a specific era of vacationing, capturing the sense of loss during the latest transition to condos. This is an excellent chronicle of one facet of the Catskill Mountain’s history. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.