Grossinger's lobby corridor, Liberty, New York by the Forward

VIDEO: Discussion about the Borscht Belt and the rise of American Jewish comedy

Courtesy of Library of Congress

The Forward recently hosted a panel discussion about the rich history of the Borscht Belt and the rise of Jewish comedy in the mid-20th century, including the legacy of the late comedian, Jackie Mason.

Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter moderated the conversation with Phil Brown, President of the Catskills Institute and Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences at Northeastern University; Eddy Portnoy, Academic Advisor and Director of Exhibitions, YIVO; and Aaron Bendich, host, “Borscht Beat” on WJFF Radio Catskill.

Among the topics discussed were the comedians who came out of or were influenced by the Borscht Belt; why so many Jews spent their summers there; what life was like for the guests and the waiters, and ultimately, why it eventually disappeared. The panelists also answered a number of questions from the viewers who seemed fascinated about the subject.

VIDEO: Discussion about the Borscht Belt and the rise of American Jewish comedy

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VIDEO: Discussion about the Borscht Belt and the rise of American Jewish comedy

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