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The Borscht Belt is burning: In the Catskills, abandoned resorts keep catching fire

Several abandoned hotels in the Catskills, once thriving resorts in the mid-20th century, have been catching fire over the past two years. The fires have destroyed disused buildings and left the local fire departments with few leads as to their cause. Local authorities have ruled out the antisemitic conspiracy theory of 'Jewish lightning,' which refers to arson aimed at collecting insurance money. The fires have resurfaced grief over the fading chapter of American Jewish history associated with the Borscht Belt, the collection of resorts and vacation bungalows that attracted Jewish visitors. Efforts to memorialize the Borscht Belt's Jewish history have gained momentum in recent years.

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Source Id: 2024-04-309988288

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