Fidelman’s Resort

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcard – Fidelman’s Resort

Fidelman's Resort

Fidelman’s Resort
South Haven, Michigan
Luxurious guest room in our Lanai building, complete with air-conditioning, telephone, television and private bathroom with extra dressing room.
Phone (616) 637-5118

Published by R. W. Patterson Printing Co., Benton Harbor, Mich. 49022

From the AP, reported in Today: “Nearly 100 years ago, the Jewish Agricultural Society helped Morris and Belle Fidelman purchase a fruit orchard in South Haven, Mich., and the barber and his wife soon moved their young family to 80 acres in the country…By 1930, the farmhouse was replaced with a building that could accommodate 150 guests, and Fidelman’s became one of the many Jewish resorts that drew thousands every year to South Haven, known as “The Catskills of the Midwest.”” The resort featured a tiki room, pool and cabana, theater, hotel and dining room. There were many activities scheduled for guests, and live music in the evenings.

This thread on gives a bit of information on what happened to Fidelman’s in later years. Here is the obituary for Sheila Fidelman, owner of the resort.

Of personal note, I worked with Sheila Fidelman’s granddaughter Alexis at the animal shelter. I knew that she had just recently lost her grandmother, who was a huge influence in her life. Alexis had mentioned her family’s resort, but I didn’t really make the connection of what a big deal it was at the time.

A Hollywood example of what the summers were like at the Jewish resorts is in the movie Dirty Dancing. Wait, you didn’t know that Dirty Dancing was about a Jewish resort? This article suggests the movie is the most Jewish movie ever. It’s also one of my favorite movies of all time, watched at an age where I was I guess especially impressionable.

It is physically impossible for me to watch the following without cracking a smile:

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