HISTORY | DR. MOSHE FELDENKRAIS

Moshe Feldenkrais (1904- 84) was born in the Ukrainian town of Slavuta. In 1918, he left his family, then living in Baranovichi, Belarus, to emigrate to Palestine. There he worked as a laborer before obtaining his high-school diploma in 1925. After graduation, he worked as a cartographer for the British survey office. During his time in Palestine he began his studies of self-defense, including jiu jitsu. A soccer injury in 1929 would later figure into the development of his method.

Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s he presented the Feldenkrais Method® throughout Europe and in North America (including an Awareness Through Movement program for human potential trainers at Esalen Institute in 1972). He also began to train teachers in the method so they could, in turn, present the work to others. He trained the first group of 13 teachers in the method from 1969-1971 in Tel Aviv.

Over the course of four summers from 1975-1978, he trained 65 teachers in San Francisco at Lone Mountain College under the auspices of the Humanistic Psychology Institute. In 1980, 235 students began his teacher-training course at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, but he was not able to continue with them through the end due to illness in 1981. He rehabilitated himself from consecutive strokes over three years until he finally succumbed and died in his home in Tel Aviv.

There are well over 2000 practitioners of his method teaching throughout the world today.

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