The community is invited to the Klau Library on the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion campus at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, for Taste of the Catskills. It will be an afternoon of reminiscing about many sunny and delightful summers spent in the Catskills and enjoying the Klau Library’s latest exhibit, “The Borscht Belt: Jews on Vacation.” Traditional resort-era refreshments will be served.

Abigail Bacon, the Klau Library’s cataloguing and outreach librarian, will moderate the panel featuring Helene Elkus and Gilda Schwartz, both Catskills regulars. Elkus spent her summers growing up in the Catskill Mountains in her parents’ bungalow colony, Blueberry Hill. She will share her fond memories and fascinating stories. Schwartz is from Pittsburgh and grew up going to the Concord Hotel every summer with her parents. She learned to swim, ice skate, and play pick up sticks there with the drink stirrers from the hotel.

“I grew up in New Jersey and have taken many trips to the Catskills hiking and backpacking,” Bacon said. “Although I knew somewhat about the extensive history of the Jews in the Catskills, I didn’t know about the lavishness and robustness of the Jewish resorts and the lifestyle they provided for vacationing Jews.” 

Bacon’s co-curator for the exhibit was Chana Wolfson.

For more information, contact the Klau Library.

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