"Borscht Belt" matriarch dies at 89


MONTICELLO, N.Y. (AP) -- Helen Kutsher, matriarch of the family that ran one of the last of the big resorts in upstate New York's "Borscht Belt," has died at 89.

Family members say Kutsher died Tuesday of natural causes in a hospital in Philadelphia, where she had lived for several years.

Kutsher's was one of the most famous big hotels in the Catskills in the days when the region attracted largely Jewish families who drove north from New York City to escape the summer heat.

In its heyday, Kutsher's was known for serving up big meals and for attracting entertainers like Mel Brooks and Milton Berle. It was the sort of big, bustling resort portrayed in the 1987 movie "Dirty Dancing."

Her husband Milton Kutsher died in 1998. They have three children.

Her funeral is Thursday.


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