History of the Catskills
Research and relive the Catskills experience through literature, the arts, memoirs, interviews, and more.
The Catskills Institute and the Jewish Studies Program at Loyola Marymount University are delighted to announce the winners of the fiction and non-fiction writing contests: “The Catskills and the Holocaust.”
Bonnie Shusterman Eizikovitz is co-winner of the fiction contest for he story "Catskills Dreams and Pumpernickel," about a girl nicknamed Pumpernickel by a woman bungalow colony resident, a Holocaust survivor who is a parent figure for the youngster.
Rita Calderon is the other fiction co-winner for "Waiting for Dovid," a short story centered in 1938 on a girl and her family’s effort to bring her father’s brother to the Catskills hotel where her mother is the chef.
Michael Kirschenbaum won the non-fiction contest for “Forgiving God in the Catskills,” a chapter from his forthcoming memoir tentatively titled: A Jewish Chicken Farmer’s Son.
All three winners have done beautiful jobs at giving us a glimpse of the Holocaust experience of people in the Catskills. You can read them here, on the website of the Catskills Institute or the Jewish Studies Program at Loyola Marymount University.
The contest is sponsored by the Catskills Institute, the Jewish Studies Program at Loyola Marymount University, Jewish Book Council, the “1939” Club, the Sigi Ziering Institute at American Jewish University, Brown University Judaic Studies Program, the Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Symposium, AskAbigail.com, and the Four Seasons Lodge film group. The contests are part of a book project, Summer Haven: How the Catskills Experienced the Holocaust, edited by Dr. Holli Levitsky, Professor of English and Director of Jewish Studies at Loyola Marymount University, and Dr. Phil Brown, President of the Catskills Institute and Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences at Northeastern University.
Welcome to the new Catskills Institute website. We are very grateful to Brown University for its wonderful support through the Scholarly Technology Group and the Center for Digital Scholarship. Elli Mylonas, Ann Caldwell, Robin Ness, and Kerri Hicks spent countless hours developing this new archive and its website. Thousands of items from the Catskills Institute Archives have been scanned in at high resolution, and accompanying metadata provides much useful background information. You can now search for all sort of materials by hotel or bungalow colony name, by type of object (e.g. menu, postcard, stationery), or by thumbnail. We are proud to now feature a whole section devoted to the beautiful postcard artistry of Alfred Landis. The bulletin board has an automatic posting mechanism for your queries. Please spend some time and enjoy this new archive/website that preserves the glorious legacy of the Jewish Catskills.
A century ago, the celebrated Jewish resorts started in the Sullivan and Ulster County Catskills. New Yorkers hungry for mountain air, good food, and the American way of leisure came to the mountains by the thousands, and by the 1950s, more than a million people inhabited the summer world of bungalow colonies, summer camps, and small hotels. These institutions shaped American Jewish culture, enabling Jews to become more American while at the same time introducing the American public to immigrant Jewish culture. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org