web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Forget the Borscht Belt – Go to Monticello, THE Bagel Capital!

Monticello, NY is staging a comeback as The Bagel Capital with a Bagel Festival Aug. 16 - 17 - this effort is the model for how to revive a comatose resort town
The Borscht Belt turns into the Bagel Belt on August, 17, 2013

The Borscht Belt turns into the Bagel Belt on August, 17, 2013

This weekend, if you travel to Monticello, New York, you may see the awakening of a long-slumbering Catskill Mountains native.  It is a positive spin on the Rip Van Winkle tale, which was set in the region, but this one has an ethnic Jewish twist, Monticello’s First Annual Bagel Festival.

In the heyday of the Catskill Mountains – the 1950′s and ’60′s, Monticello, New York swelled from the year-round resident population of approximately 5,000, to upwards of 15,000 during the summers.

The primary boost to the population boom was from area bungalow colonies, the area’s famous hotels and sleep-over camps. The setting was gorgeous: rolling hills, clear, clean rivers and lakes, cool mountain temperatures and only a 90 minute drive from its feeder: New York City.

But over the past 40 years the entire Catskill Mountain region has suffered through very hard times. What was once a bustling Broadway, Monticello’s thoroughfare, has more shuttered shops than ones open for business.  Of the famous hotels, the Concord, Grossingers, Kutshers and the Nevele, only Kutshers is still operating, and it is a dessicated shadow of its former self.

Monticello is the county seat of Sullivan County. Sullivan has the sad distinction of being the county with the highest unemployment and largest consumer of social service benefits of any county in New York State.

But the slumbering former tourist attraction is stirring, and efforts are under way to bring back visitors to this still largely bucolic, picturesque destination.

And when there is a will, there’s a way.  And Monticello has enormous will in the person of native son Jeff Siegel and his colleagues on the Monticello Business Association.

In a long interview with The Jewish Press, Siegel explained how Monticello is pulling itself up by its boot straps, and is using its newly minted status as “The Bagel Capital” and its Bagel Festival this coming weekend, August 16 – 17, to put the Bagel Belt on the map.

Read this carefully, because it is practically a guide for how to revive sagging towns.

First, the town’s representatives went to the local governments, and eventually on to the New York state legislature, and succeeded in having the township, the county and the State of New York approve their respective Resolutions naming Monticello as “the Bagel capital.”

“Of what?” The Jewish Press asked.

“I don’t care what you put in after ‘capital,’ that’s your choice.  But Monticello is the capital,” Siegel said.

It was not entirely arbitrary.  Not only has Monticello’s Bagel Bakery been a fixture on Broadway for more than 50 years, but the man who obtained the patent for the first “Dough Kneading Machine for the Forming of a Bagel and the Like,” Louis (Label) Wichinsky, is from the area.

Then, armed with the Resolution and their own certified authentic historic connection to bagels, Siegel and his friends spent the next year and a half preparing for the Bagel Festival.

In addition to the many vendors and a parade, in keeping with the theme, there will be all kinds of bagel “firsts, biggests and bests.”There are a few real highlights, all of which are testaments to the ingenuity of the team behind Monticello’s First Annual Bagel Festival. (As Siegel told The Jewish Press – there’s no “i” in “team.”)

There will be an effort – one likely to succeed – to create the world’s longest bagel chain, ditto success likelihood for the creation of the world’s “largest tie-dye peace sign bagel.”  This latter is a nod to another of the area’s historic milestones: the Woodstock Festival took place exactly 44 years ago in Bethel, a stone’s throw from downtown Monticello.

There is also an author, coming from California, of the book, “The Psychology of Bagels.”

Of course all kinds of bagels – ones you might want to eat, and ones you might want to just marvel at – will be available during the festival.

The festival will kick-off Friday evening, from 7:00 until midnight.  There will be comedians, live music, and a special drink – the Bageltini – will be served.  There is a charge for Friday evening’s festivities, but no entrance fee the next day.  See the schedule, but some highlights include a bagel triathalon, spin art bagels, more live music, and lots of children’s activities, in addition to many vendors booths, including local farm goods, jewelry, representatives from Sullivan County Community College, and a local beekeeper.  Chefs will be paired with local farmers to showcase various locally grown produce.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

8 Responses to “Forget the Borscht Belt – Go to Monticello, THE Bagel Capital!”

  1. WHERE IN MONTICELLO?

  2. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Right on Broadway – go to the Bagel Festival link in the story, it will take you to the website for the Festival.

  3. Keengz Plaza says:

    Oy gevalt? I vant a bialy vith cream cheese. I guess this is the closest I could get to Jewish foods as Kaplan's Delicattessen closed many years ago.

  4. Keengz Plaza says:

    Vat about some cheese bilintzes? How about some noodle pudding or potato pudding? Zo gut.

  5. Alan Kesten says:

    But you didn't tell readers that Lori Lowenthal grew up in Monticello! IT WAS A FANTASTIC DAY! Great weather, GREAT PEOPLE! Thank you Lori!

  6. I was there for a little while on Saturday…looked like there was a great turnout! Who knew!

  7. Jbernie Jones says:

    Yea, and the only time I got to see Monticello was when I passed through driving OTR in my truck!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Bombs and wiring placed next to baby's cradle in Gaza.
As Hamas Threatens Families and Journalists, Who Blew Out the Lights in Gaza?
Latest News Stories
Bombs and wiring placed next to baby's cradle in Gaza.

The lights are out again in Gaza, but it’s not clear who is responsible this time around. Does it matter?

Cinema City Kids Theater

There’s a battle going on for Jerusalem’s soul, and Cinema City proves you don’t need to compromise on Shabbat or Kashrut to be a success.

Anti-Semiti, neo-Nazi graffiti in Rome's ancient Jewish quarter.

Global anti-Semitism is doing the ‘Gaza Strip’ and unveiling itself, no longer needing an excuse to hide.

Some of the missile fire comes from launchers planted in cemeteries, mosques, schools and hospitals. This is an aerial photo of one such launch in Beit Lahiya earlier this week.

While Israelis couldn’t sleep in Rishon Lezion, IDF pilots were busy making sure Gaza terrorists were awake Monday night as well.

Without fanfare, supermarket magnate Rami Levy has been quietly unloading truckloads of food and basics at the homes of all the fallen soldiers…

After killing 5 IDF soldiers, Hamas terrorists tried to steal the soldier’s bodies.

Kerry’s performance panned by Israeli public, media, and even the PA. Why fury directed only at the Israeli government?

Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Gantz announce Israel will not stop the war until all terror tunnels are destroyed.

This is probably the first time in my life I’ve seen an IDF barber. Who knew we even had them! (Notice he’s using an electric shaver!)

2:29am Multiple rocket sirens towards Tel Aviv-Yafo, Rishon l’Tzion, Bat Yam, Holon….

The IDF spokesman has released the names of the soldiers who were killed this evening.

Bibi said: “Death from above, death from below,” will not continue to threaten the people of Israel.

IDF soldiers killed five terrorists who attempted to infiltrate from Gaza Monday evening near Nahal Oz in Sha’ar HaNegev, foiling another attack.

Intelligence minister meets journalists in Jerusalem, compares Gaza to Judea and Samaria as proof that quiet begets quiet.

Another massive missile barrage made it clear Monday night Hamas has no interest in a cease fire.

Moslem Brotherhood considered enemy number one in Cairo; Gaza branch responds to slight by firing at Israel.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, dining at the Prime Minister's residence, Jan. 4, 2014.

Kerry’s performance panned by Israeli public, media, and even the PA. Why fury directed only at the Israeli government?

Israeli soldier reciting the Shema prayer near the border in Southern Israel on July 20, 2014.

Calling for a global recitation of the Shema at 12:00 noon EST, 7:00 a.m. PST, 7:00 p.m. in Israel.

The UN Security Council wants a cease fire now. The focus is on the safety of Gaza civilians, but not Israel’s security.

Bibi’s cabinet unanimously rejected Kerry’s ceasefire proposal, but still considering 12-hour break.

Hip Hop musicians create a song and video to express how they feel about the current Arab/Israel war.

Senators wrote to Obama insisting any ceasefire ensures Israel will be free from Gazan terrorism.

Sen Ted Cruz wants the administration to give straight answers to questions about the FAA ban on Israel.

Why is the ban on Israel’s airport different from all other FAA bans?

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/forget-the-borscht-belt-go-to-monticello-the-bagel-capital/2013/08/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: