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21st NY Jewish Film Fest Closing Night World Premiere of Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resorts

By Maria Esteves – January 29, 2012

The 21st New York Jewish Film Festival 2012 (NYJFF2012) closing night world premiere documentary of Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resorts, directed by Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg was held at the Walter Reade Theater, Thursday, January 26, 2012. Presented by the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the sold out world premiere documentary of Kutsher’s Country Club included entertainer actor/comedian Jerry Stiller (Stiller and Meara), cast members Helen Kutsher, and Celia Duffy. A special Q&A session immediately followed with directors Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg moderated by associate program director Scott Foundas, Film Society of Lincoln Center, and associate curator director, Aviva Weintraub, New York Jewish Film Festival.

Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resorts, is an extraordinary historical documentary that chronologically depicts the famous Jewish American vacation resort Kutsher’s in Catskills, New York, from 1907 to present day. The film captures Kutsher’s three family generations that brought in top names in entertainment, stand-up comedians, and sports such as Alan King, Billy Crystal, Jerry Steinfeld, Joan Rivers, JoJo Starbuck, Leon Spinks, Muhammad Ali, Ray Charles, Rocky Marciano, Stiller and Meara, Wilt Chamberlain, and many others. Kutsher’s Annual NBA Memorial Basketball Game benefit for Maurice Stokes was a major sell out sports event. Activities at Kutsher’s included Art, Bridge, Bingo, golf, indoor/outdoor pools, ping pong, facial make over spa, lectures on health and nutrition.

In 100 years, millions of people generation after generation have visited and enjoyed Kutsher’s. The Kosher food was elaborate and abundant serving three meals daily including a Chinese and Italian entrée. On Friday night Shabbat, candles were lit, the bracha (blessing) prayer recited, Challah bread and wine served. Their “Champagne Out” Saturday night dance event became a thriving hotspot throughout the Catskills Resort. Today, Kutsher’s annually opens for their Passover (Pesach) event. You may also enjoy the spirit of Kutsher’s at their modern bistro Kutsher’s Tribeca, New York. It is indeed a wonderful family film!

Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resorts, directed by Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg | USA | 2012 | 73 m | Documentary Feature. World Premiere, 21st New York Jewish Film Festival; 15th CAJE Miami Jewish Film Festival.

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