Dirty Dancing, Sid Caesar, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. What do these all have in common? The Catskills.
In this installment of Across the JEW.S.A, that’s exactly where we’re headed. But we’re not going to see the Borscht Belt of yore, the one that put Baby in a corner. We’re on our way to Woodbourne, New York, where these days a large Orthodox community flocks for a summer getaway.
To give us the lay of the land, we turned to Orthodox food blogger and former Unorthodox guest Chanie Apfelbaum, who spends summers in Woodbourne with her family. She’s the author of a new cookbook, Totally Kosher, and she agreed to give us a food-forward tour of the area.
We started at Cafe Chocolat, one of the new eateries catering to kosher-keeping clientele, where we fueled up on their famous waffles. Our trip also included a visit to Congregation B’nai Israel Woodbourne, where hundreds of men were gathered to pray on this particular Wednesday afternoon, and a stop at Sushi Tokyo in nearby Loch Sheldrake, where customers range from Orthodox Jews to gentiles.
Along the way, we learned about this latest iteration of the Jewish Catskills:
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