Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
Lyft
November 21, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 12     (12 of 64 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
 
PAGE 12     (12 of 64 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
November 21, 2014
 

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.




PAGE 12A By Jeffrey F. Barken JNS.org When young independent music enthusiasts descended on the antiquated Jewish resort of Kutsher's for an in- ternational indie rock concert series in 2008, it was "kind of like 'Cocoon' meets 'The Shin- ing,'" Barry Hogan recalls in the forthcoming documenta- ry film"Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort." The comment by Hogan, founder of the All Tomor- row's Parties music festival organization, exemplifies the widening generational gap HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 21, 2014 Kutsher's documentary captures the eclectic legacy of a Borscht Belt relic Caioline Laskow explore the origins of Jewish American investment in the Catskill Mountains, beginning in the late 19th century. Next, the filmmaking pair visits Kutsher's Country Club. This prominent hotel was a magnet for vacationing Jewish fami- lies, as well as a springboard to success for prominent en- tertainers and gifted athletes, throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Now that the Catslills region iS in decline, the film honors the legacy of those who made summer memories so colorful for so many gen- that ultimately forced Kut- sher's to close inDecember 2013. Yet despite the hotel's obvious state of physical decline, Hogan observes, the venue still had the right charm and "intimate" stage for bands and indie "nerd" fans to raise the roof during electric performances. Similar nostalgia, pride, and humor characterize the other interviews in "Wel- come to Kutsher's," which is premiering Dec. 6 in Palm Beach, Fla. Viewers will be treated to a quirky smorgas- bord of "Borscht Belt" culture. Directors Ian Rosenberg and Help Wanted Local Orlando area Philanthropy looking for part-time Administrator and Marketing Coordinator. Involves Community Outreach and Education, Coordination of Marketing, interaction with Potential Beneficiaries, and Business/Organizational Overview. Requires familiarity with Orlando-area Jewish Institutions, positive attitude, self-motivation, and business orientation. Home based flexible work schedule of 15 hours per week. Ability to attend occasional night time meetings. Remuneration hourly plus auto expenses. Send Resume and Cover letter to Jeff@OrlandoHeritage.corn with the subject line: Resume. HERITAGE Presents The SPECIAL CHANUKAH ISSUE Publication Date December 12, 2014 Deadline: December 3, 2014 A Chanukah Greeting is a Good Way to Thank Your Jewish Customers for Their Patronage or to Sell Your Holiday Merchandise For More Information Call 407-834-8787 erations, and sheds new light on a vibrant chapter of the American Jewish experience. Mark Kutsher, then the hotel's owner, was proud to host the indie rock concert series in 2008. Staying true to his family's inviting and experimenting business style, he admires the youthful spirit and dedication of the festival participants, even though he finds their loud music "physi- cally damaging." Indeed, the famous concert hall at Kutsher's is a cherished relic of an illustrious past. Ray Charles performed there. Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, the late Joan Rivers, and many other stars made regular appearanc- es at the hotel at some point in their careers. Assembling this cast of characters epitomized the inclusive spirit that was at the heart of the Borscht Belt experience. We shouldn't forget that the Jewish resorts in the Catskills "were created in large part because other hotels in the region refused to admit Jews around the turn of the century through the 1930s," Rosen- berg reminds audiences. "The phrase, 'No Hebrews or Consumptives' were in- cluded in advertisements for these restricted hotels," he says. The culture of Kutsher's and other Jewish hotels in the Catskills evolved to accommo- date religiously observant pa- trons, providing Friday night and holiday services as well as kosher cooking. For the first time in history, itwas possible for strictly religious Jewish families to go on holiday. The story of Kutsher's is also a tale of assimilation. Ironically, the oppressed pop- ulation that initially sought refuge and release in the form of an affordable and accessible family vacation ultimately outgrew the resorts that had nurtured their prospering culture. The Catskills no longer appealed to newly af- fluent Jews. One poignant moment in the film recounts the effect the advent of jet travel had on the hotel. "As things went on, people were asking for all the amenities with the hotel,!' family matriarch Helen Kut- sher, regarded the "First Lady of the Catskills," says. "Do you have an indoor pool? Do you have a golf course?" callers would often ask before making a reser- vation, according to Helen. "They wanted everything .... I asked many people, 'Do you play golf? Do you like swim- ' ming?' 'No, ' they'd answer, 'but I like to know that you have it.'" Competition for Kutsher's was intense, as luxury ho- tels proliferated around the country, offering deluxe pack- ages with no discriminatory barriers to entry. Likewise, Caribbean cruises came into vogue. Even more alluring, the prospect of buying prop- erty in Florida, where aging patrons could live on what became known as "permanent vacation," defined decades of exodus from the Catskills tradition. Perhaps the most nostalgic description of a vacation cul- ture in decline can be found in the popular film "Dirty kutshersdoc.com A still shot from the forthcoming film 'Welcome to Kut- sher's.' - Mark Iutsbe" National Basketball Association legend Wilt Chamberlain works as a bellhop at Kutsher's. A Kutsher's postcard. Dancing," which depicts a Jewish resort "largely believed to be based on Kutsher's," says Laskow, Towards the end of the film, Max Kellerman (Jake Weston), a fictional hotel owner, watches the season-ending pageant and remarks, "It all seems to be ending. You think kids want to come with their parents to take foxtrot lessons? Trips to Europe, that's what the kids want. Twenty-two countries in three days." From the 1970s through the 1990s, diverging interests and a widening generation gap unraveled the close-knit traditions that Jewish fami- lies had established at their favorite Catskills resort. What exactly are these traditions? "Welcome to Kutsher's" won't leave you "hungry" for details. The documentary focuses on the Jewish home cooking that earned the region its "Borscht Belt" nickname. Viewers will enjoy learning about the unique personali- ties in the Kutsher family that contributed to the hotel's family-oriented atmosphere. Mark Kutsher Dedicated employees recount the warm feelings they harbor for the owners, and guests share fond memories of their family vacations. Rosenberg and Laskow admit that they arrived late to the Kutsher's scene, making their first trip to the hotel in 2002. But thinning crowds and unrented rooms aside, there was still plenty of magic and the experience inspired them. "Ian learned to ice skate af- ter an impromptu lesson with Celia Duffy, whom we would later feature in our documen- tary," Laskow recounts. "We took the Seabreeze special cocktails out to the pool, attended a still-life art class, and enormously enjoyed our many meals." Perhaps time was running out for this form of entertain- ment and the Catskills resort atmosphere, but it's clear that this filmmaking duo taps into an essential aspect of Jewish American culture. "Welcome to Kutsher's" offers a heart- felt view of an iconic Jewish establishment, chronicling memories to be cherished. PAGE 12A By Jeffrey F. Barken JNS.org When young independent music enthusiasts descended on the antiquated Jewish resort of Kutsher's for an in- ternational indie rock concert series in 2008, it was "kind of like 'Cocoon' meets 'The Shin- ing,'" Barry Hogan recalls in the forthcoming documenta- ry film"Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort." The comment by Hogan, founder of the All Tomor- row's Parties music festival organization, exemplifies the widening generational gap HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 21, 2014 Kutsher's documentary captures the eclectic legacy of a Borscht Belt relic Caioline Laskow explore the origins of Jewish American investment in the Catskill Mountains, beginning in the late 19th century. Next, the filmmaking pair visits Kutsher's Country Club. This prominent hotel was a magnet for vacationing Jewish fami- lies, as well as a springboard to success for prominent en- tertainers and gifted athletes, throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Now that the Catslills region iS in decline, the film honors the legacy of those who made summer memories so colorful for so many gen- that ultimately forced Kut- sher's to close inDecember 2013. Yet despite the hotel's obvious state of physical decline, Hogan observes, the venue still had the right charm and "intimate" stage for bands and indie "nerd" fans to raise the roof during electric performances. Similar nostalgia, pride, and humor characterize the other interviews in "Wel- come to Kutsher's," which is premiering Dec. 6 in Palm Beach, Fla. Viewers will be treated to a quirky smorgas- bord of "Borscht Belt" culture. Directors Ian Rosenberg and Help Wanted Local Orlando area Philanthropy looking for part-time Administrator and Marketing Coordinator. Involves Community Outreach and Education, Coordination of Marketing, interaction with Potential Beneficiaries, and Business/Organizational Overview. Requires familiarity with Orlando-area Jewish Institutions, positive attitude, self-motivation, and business orientation. Home based flexible work schedule of 15 hours per week. Ability to attend occasional night time meetings. Remuneration hourly plus auto expenses. Send Resume and Cover letter to Jeff@OrlandoHeritage.corn with the subject line: Resume. HERITAGE Presents The SPECIAL CHANUKAH ISSUE Publication Date December 12, 2014 Deadline: December 3, 2014 A Chanukah Greeting is a Good Way to Thank Your Jewish Customers for Their Patronage or to Sell Your Holiday Merchandise For More Information Call 407-834-8787 erations, and sheds new light on a vibrant chapter of the American Jewish experience. Mark Kutsher, then the hotel's owner, was proud to host the indie rock concert series in 2008. Staying true to his family's inviting and experimenting business style, he admires the youthful spirit and dedication of the festival participants, even though he finds their loud music "physi- cally damaging." Indeed, the famous concert hall at Kutsher's is a cherished relic of an illustrious past. Ray Charles performed there. Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, the late Joan Rivers, and many other stars made regular appearanc- es at the hotel at some point in their careers. Assembling this cast of characters epitomized the inclusive spirit that was at the heart of the Borscht Belt experience. We shouldn't forget that the Jewish resorts in the Catskills "were created in large part because other hotels in the region refused to admit Jews around the turn of the century through the 1930s," Rosen- berg reminds audiences. "The phrase, 'No Hebrews or Consumptives' were in- cluded in advertisements for these restricted hotels," he says. The culture of Kutsher's and other Jewish hotels in the Catskills evolved to accommo- date religiously observant pa- trons, providing Friday night and holiday services as well as kosher cooking. For the first time in history, itwas possible for strictly religious Jewish families to go on holiday. The story of Kutsher's is also a tale of assimilation. Ironically, the oppressed pop- ulation that initially sought refuge and release in the form of an affordable and accessible family vacation ultimately outgrew the resorts that had nurtured their prospering culture. The Catskills no longer appealed to newly af- fluent Jews. One poignant moment in the film recounts the effect the advent of jet travel had on the hotel. "As things went on, people were asking for all the amenities with the hotel,!' family matriarch Helen Kut- sher, regarded the "First Lady of the Catskills," says. "Do you have an indoor pool? Do you have a golf course?" callers would often ask before making a reser- vation, according to Helen. "They wanted everything .... I asked many people, 'Do you play golf? Do you like swim- ' ming?' 'No, ' they'd answer, 'but I like to know that you have it.'" Competition for Kutsher's was intense, as luxury ho- tels proliferated around the country, offering deluxe pack- ages with no discriminatory barriers to entry. Likewise, Caribbean cruises came into vogue. Even more alluring, the prospect of buying prop- erty in Florida, where aging patrons could live on what became known as "permanent vacation," defined decades of exodus from the Catskills tradition. Perhaps the most nostalgic description of a vacation cul- ture in decline can be found in the popular film "Dirty kutshersdoc.com A still shot from the forthcoming film 'Welcome to Kut- sher's.' - Mark Iutsbe" National Basketball Association legend Wilt Chamberlain works as a bellhop at Kutsher's. A Kutsher's postcard. Dancing," which depicts a Jewish resort "largely believed to be based on Kutsher's," says Laskow, Towards the end of the film, Max Kellerman (Jake Weston), a fictional hotel owner, watches the season-ending pageant and remarks, "It all seems to be ending. You think kids want to come with their parents to take foxtrot lessons? Trips to Europe, that's what the kids want. Twenty-two countries in three days." From the 1970s through the 1990s, diverging interests and a widening generation gap unraveled the close-knit traditions that Jewish fami- lies had established at their favorite Catskills resort. What exactly are these traditions? "Welcome to Kutsher's" won't leave you "hungry" for details. The documentary focuses on the Jewish home cooking that earned the region its "Borscht Belt" nickname. Viewers will enjoy learning about the unique personali- ties in the Kutsher family that contributed to the hotel's family-oriented atmosphere. Mark Kutsher Dedicated employees recount the warm feelings they harbor for the owners, and guests share fond memories of their family vacations. Rosenberg and Laskow admit that they arrived late to the Kutsher's scene, making their first trip to the hotel in 2002. But thinning crowds and unrented rooms aside, there was still plenty of magic and the experience inspired them. "Ian learned to ice skate af- ter an impromptu lesson with Celia Duffy, whom we would later feature in our documen- tary," Laskow recounts. "We took the Seabreeze special cocktails out to the pool, attended a still-life art class, and enormously enjoyed our many meals." Perhaps time was running out for this form of entertain- ment and the Catskills resort atmosphere, but it's clear that this filmmaking duo taps into an essential aspect of Jewish American culture. "Welcome to Kutsher's" offers a heart- felt view of an iconic Jewish establishment, chronicling memories to be cherished.