The Yiddish Book Center's

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Lectures, events, and public programs recorded at the Yiddish Book Center

The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland," with Marisa Scheinfeld

Marisa Scheinfeld

About this program:

The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland," with Marisa Scheinfeld

Featuring: Marisa Scheinfeld

Once a thriving vacation spot in the Catskill Mountains, today the Borscht Belt is recalled through the nostalgic lens of summer swims, Saturday night dances, and comedy performances. But its current state, like that of many other formerly glorious regions, is nothing like its earlier status. Forgotten about and exhausted, much of the Borscht Belt's structural environment has been left to decay. This illustrated talk features Marisa Scheinfeld’s photographs of abandoned sites in the Catskill Mountains region of Upstate New York, where resorts, hotels, and bungalow colonies flourished during the middle decades of the twentieth century. The images were shot inside and outside locations that once buzzed with life as year-round havens for generations of people. Scheinfeld will discuss the rise, fall, and impact of the Borscht Belt, along with the deeper, more layered meanings she finds in the series. The presentation will be followed by a short Q&A.

Marisa Scheinfeld was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1980 and raised in the Catskills. Her photographic projects and books are among the collections of the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, Yeshiva University Museum, and many others. In 2016, Cornell University Press released her first book entitled The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland. Marisa is currently a visiting assistant professor of photography at SUNY Purchase and working on her second book.

This event took place on September 24, 2020. It was presented online by the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA.

This recording was digitized and added to the library in September 2022.

This recording is in English

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