Two of the individuals depicted in “Four Seasons Lodge.” The documentary will be the subject of a Zoom panel discussion on May 19.

SARATOGA SPRINGS–Saratoga Jewish Community Arts  (SJCA) will present a panel discussion about the documentary “Four Seasons Lodge” on Sunday, May 19, at 7 p.m. on Zoom.

The 2008 was inspired by a series of articles by Andrew Jacobs, a reporter for The New York Times and a novice director aand created with the help of cinematographer Albert Maysles.

While the film is labeled a Holocaust documentary, it is not a typical Shoah story. On the surface, the documentary focus is a group of people who survived the death camps and now are struggling to save their summer camp in the Catskills; they call it “our paradise in the mountains.”

These survivors in the film, a quickly fading demographic, are clinging to a summer lifestyle that has outlived its general appeal. Though the summer camp in the Catskills once offered New Yorkers a modest way to flee the city’s hot summers, the advent of air conditioning and affordable worldwide travel turned the bungalows into ghost towns.

The enthusiastic Jewish retirees gather for their 26th summer and appear like any group of older Americans on vacation. They socialize, eat, argue, sing and dance, chortle at the risqué gags of cabaret entertainers, care for ailing spouses, and like most people in their ’80s and ’90s, look death in the face on a daily basis.

“What is heroic in these survivors,” says Phyllis Wang, coordinator of SJCA, “is their insatiable appetite for the ordinary pleasures of the everyday.” These men and women, some of whom have regrouped into new couples after the death of their partners, vacation together not to mull over the past, but because their suffering is a baseline they hold in common and have little reason to broadcast.”

Registration is required and may be obtained on the SJCA home page at

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