Berk, Fred

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BERK, FRED

BERK, FRED (1911–1980), dancer and exponent of Jewish and ethnic dance in the U.S. Born in Vienna into an Orthodox Jewish family, he studied dance there at the studio of Gertrud *Kraus and performed in her modern dance troupe. The Nazi annexation of Austria forced him to flee in 1939. He arrived in the U.S. in 1941. In 1950 Berk founded the Jewish Dance Division at the 92nd Street ymha-ywha, New York. Cofounder of the Merry-Go-Rounders, a children's dance group, he did the choreography for their Holiday in Israel and Wedding in Austria. He formed Hebraica Dancers in 1958. He wrote The Jewish Dance (1959).