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Eileen Kaye (Kitzis) Berger ’65, teacher, photographer, writer, UW alumna, dies at age 79

Eileen Kaye (Kitzis) Berger ’65 (philosophy and English) lifetime teacher, modern dancer, photographer, author, and yoga instructor, died peacefully at home in Brooklyn on March 9, 2023.

While living in Nashville in the mid 1960s , Eileen taught dance at Tennessee State A & I University (now Tennessee State University), and after moving to Philadelphia, she taught photography at the Philadelphia College of Art, Tyler School of Art (where she earned an MFA), and Moore College of Art. In addition she did a residency at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Eileen, a native New Yorker, retuned to the city in 1980 and spent 20 years teaching at the International Center of Photography, where she also co-chaired a joint master’s program offered with New York University.

Eileen was the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and her photos appeared at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in exhibitions worldwide. For decades, she worked on a book about Janusz Korczak, a guardian angel to children in Warsaw during the Holocaust.

After retiring, Eileen continued to work on her Korczak manuscript. She also taught yoga, swam, spent long hours in bookstores, noshed at Zabar’s, saw every documentary film, and made “medicinal strength chicken soup.” She believed every day was an opportunity to make a new friend.

Eileen was married to David G. Berger ’63 (sociology) for 16 years. Their children, Samantha and Milo (who both love The Onion, and long to try cheese curds), survive her, as does her brother, Dr. Paul Kaye.

A memorial service will be planned in New York for late spring.

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