In January 1909, Max Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, brought his family to Livingston Manor. He opened a butcher shop on Main Street,and his family thus became Livingston Manor’s first Jewish residents. In April of that same year, my grandparents, Mottel and Manya Sorkin, along with their infant daughter Leya, also settled in the village and opened a tailor shop. Other families soon followed. Livingston Manor was now on the way to becoming a multiethnic community, but not without some bumps in the road.

The Holocaust, the Catskills, and the Creative Loss of Power

The American and immigrant Jews,
who had made the many hotels, bungalow
colonies, and farms of Ulster and Sullivan
counties their summer retreats year after
year, were always looking for family, for
landsmanshaftn (society of immigrants from the same town or region), for a home away
from home. As a second home to generations
of Jews, the Catskill Mountains became
a place where a Jewish family could
bond as a Jewish family—that is, they could practice the culture of Judaism without the
pressure to assimilate.


The Heart Has Reasons profiles 10 rescuers with whom [the author] Klempner met, and the book’s greatest strength is that—in true folk spirit—it allows each rescuer to tell his or her own story. Klempner doesn’t filter or paraphrase anyone, and there’s no reason he should want to. After all, these are feisty, colorful individuals who defied Nazi brutality to save the lives of Jewish children. They possess unique voices, full of humor and anger and life; being able to hear each one is a privilege…

Remembering My Grandfather’s Left-Wing Bungalow Colony in Dutchess County

There’s a common perception that all of the old-time Jewish bungalow colonies in New York State were in the Catskills. Maybe the majority were, but not all. Off NY State Route 9D, in Dutchess County, at the foot of a mountain, lies a large parcel of land with several modern houses on it. If you went back 50 years, during the era of my childhood, however, you would have found one medium-sized house and a group of wooden bungalows, painted white with red roofs; a swimming pool; two see-saws and a jungle gym for kids; and a social hall (called the “casino”).night, and waiting cars and trucks quickly collected the barrels and boxes of imported liquor. The bungalow colony was where my
Belarusian-born maternal grandfather,
Harry Rothstein, and his friends held
forth every summer.