The festival will coincide with the opening of the new Borscht Belt Museum.

For a time from the 1920s through the 1960s, the Catskills were a popular place to visit for NYC Jews. The Borscht Belt, or Jewish Alps, were what the summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in Sullivan, Orange and Ulster Counties were referred to as. In its heyday, as many as 500 resorts catered to guests of various incomes. The resorts and Borscht Belt bungalow colonies began to lose popularity by the late 1950s, as many began to close, with most gone by the 1970s but a few major resorts continued to operate into the 1990s.

Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel closed in 1986, while the Concord Resort Hotel struggled to stay open until 1998 and was eventually demolished. Resorts World Catskills casino now sits on the former Concord Resort Hotel grounds.

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Borscht Belt Comics

Jerry Lewis
Jerry Lewis on stage performing. Photo credit: Paul Morigi / Stringer, Getty Images

Borscht Belt humor is described as stereotypical Jewish traits. The Jewish comedians that performed this kind of humor became very popular in the entertainment industry. Comics that would perform in the Catskill region or have used the style of comedy included big names like Jerry Lewis, Jackie Mason, George Burns, Rodney Dangerfield, Don Rickles, Mel Brooks, Buddy Hackett, Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers, and Milton Berle among others.

Borscht Belt Fest

Borscht Belt Fest is scheduled to make its debut on July 30th in Ellenville, NY. The annual cultural and food event is being created by the Catskills Borscht Belt Museum and will honor the Borscht Belt era, with entertainment designed for all audiences and ages. Get more info here.

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The Borscht Belt Museum is slated to open on July 29th after a decade in the works with a star-studded advisory board that includes Fran Drescher, Harvey Fierstein and Richard Lewis.

Check out the video of the recent Borscht Belt Museum Ground Breaking below.

Abandoned Grossinger's Catskills Resort Hotel "Before and After"

The one time "Queen of the Catskills" was abandoned from 1986 until 2018, when the remaining structures were demolished. Prior to that video footage was captured by JP Videos and others. Here are some of the before and after pictures of Grossinger's in Liberty, NY.

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