web analytics
July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
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
An IDF soldier surveys a Palestinian terror tunnel.
IDF: Not Sure We can Get to All Tunnels
Latest News Stories

The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.

El AL and Pilot

Did El Al intentionally spike prices, or was the sudden jump in air fares the normal function of airline economics?

An IDF soldier surveys a Palestinian terror tunnel.

Military spokesman: We’ve been trying for years to deal with tunnels, with no success.

Chicago 18-year-old to enlist in IDF; New Jersey woman to marry IDF Paratrooper fiance

IDF soldiers are receiving care packages from citizens all over Israel.

Rubio: Civilian deaths in Gaza “100 percent” responsibility of Hamas

Foreign Minister protests UNRWA storage of missiles, equipment in UN facilities.

Father of fallen soldier Max Steinberg stuns crowd, ends eulogy with simple cry: Am Yisrael Chai.

US Secy of State John Kerry told reporters in Jerusalem there is “still work to be done” in trying for a cease fire with Hamas.

The IDF was forced to attack a Gaza City hospital on Wednesday when it became a Hamas terrorist base.

Outgoing President Shimon Peres thanks UN leader Ban Ki-moon but warns it is time to stop ignoring Hamas terrorism and help Israel.

The IDF is continuing its mission to destroy Hamas’ terror infrastructure. Some 200 terror targets were attacked yesterday, 1833 since the beginning of the ground operation.

Another UNRWA school is found to be a storage spot for untold number of Hamas missiles.

Former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg defied a flight ban imposed by an Obama administration cowed by terror, flying to Israel with El Al.

4:13pm Yad Mordechai, Netiv HaAsara 3:49pm Hulit, Nir Yitzhak, Sufa 3:45pm Yad Mordechai, Netiv HaAsara 3:08pm Kerem Shalom 2:34pm Shefela Valley, southern Israel 2:33pm Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gaza Belt communities, Rishon Lezion, Ramle, Shfela region, Yad Mordechai, Kfar Silver, Noga, Nir Am, Sderot, Ben Shemen, Lod, Nes Ziona, Rechovot, Yavneh, Beit Gamliel, Gan Yavneh, Gedera, Chafetz […]

Golani brigade commander was hospitalized after being wounded, but he returned to the battlefield to complete the mission.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Wounded Golani commander returns to his troops on July 22, 2014.

Golani brigade commander was hospitalized after being wounded, but he returned to the battlefield to complete the mission.

Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation

The Ruderman Family Foundation rewards Jewish organizations for promoting inclusion of those with disabilities.

Israel’s transportation minister said cancelling flights to Israel is like handing a prize to terrorists.

Turkey is attempting to be seen as the protectorate for the Palestinian Arabs.

Members of congress should experience Israelis’ lives. Bomb Shelter Museum will be in D.C. July 22.

Protesters became violent in several anti-Israel/pro-terror rallies in Europe over the weekend.

Not an altogether terrible day for Israel at the UN, given there were no riots or demands that Israel surrender unilaterally.

CNN reporter believes she was justified in referring to Sderot Israelis as “scum.”

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    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: