First-ever 'Borscht Belt Fest' brings bygone era back to life, if only for a day


August 11, 2023

Dan L.

Blast from the past: A photo souvenir reminiscent of Jewish summers of yore at the first-ever Borsch Belt Fest in Ellenville, N.Y., on July 29, 2023.

(JNS) - A deli chef prepares roast pork sandwiches as a museum official quotes from the Mishnah in Pirkei Avot, often translated as "Ethics of the Fathers." Saturday's Borscht Belt Fest was decidedly not kosher, but there was a clear Jewish vibe to it as attendees flocked to Ellenville, N.Y., to reminisce about the golden age of the Catskill Mountains as a Jewish summer getaway.

The first-ever festival, held on July 29 in the searing summer heat, included a street fair, comedy shows, lectures, film screenings and a preview of the Borscht Belt Museum, scheduled to open in 2025.

As a klezmer ban...

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