Borscht Belt Museum highlights rich Catskills history
A new museum is highlighting the rich 20thcentury history of the Catskills and helping to put it back on the map.
The Borscht Belt Museum is coming soon to Ellenville in Ulster County.
It showcases the early-20th century growth and summertime popularity of the region – mostly among Jews from New York City.
At the time, the Catskills had hundreds of thriving hotels and bungalow colonies. The area was considered a hub for comedy.
“The Borscht Belt was sort of born in bigotry because a lot of the hotels openly advertised that they did not accept Hebrews or they would say Gentiles only," says Borscht Belt Board of Directors co-president Andrew Jacobs. “Jews could not stay in many of the hotels in New York, so they had to kind of make their own world.”
The museum will be in an old bank building that's being renovated on Canal Street.