Real Catskills Jews Memories of Small-Town Life in Twentieth-Century America
by David M. Gold




There are books, articles, and films galore about the twentieth-century Jewish resorts of the Catskills, but the Jewish experience in that region embraced so much more. This volume presents the firsthand stories of “real Catskill Jews,” not transient summer vacationers, waiters, or entertainers but people who lived in the Catskills and built permanent communities. The individuals interviewed here talk about Jewish settlement in the Catskills, Hebrew school, religious observance, relations with gentile neighbors, and the importance of Israel. They also preserve memories of small-town life more broadly, memories of one-room schoolhouses and classrooms over the movie theater, of constables and slot machines, of the corner drugstore, the volunteer fire department, and the train. No book about Jews in the Catskills can ignore the resorts, but in this book we see them through the eyes of the locals. The interviews presented here are unique. Nowhere else can one find so full a record of the “real Catskill Jews.”