Consent Preferences

An Interview with David Zemach-Bersin


 Ira Feinstein: How did you meet Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais?

David Zemach-Bersin: In April of 1973, I was a senior at the University of California Berkeley, and I saw a flier on a telephone pole saying Moshe Feldenkrais was coming to town. I'd already heard of him because my psychotherapist had seen him work on somebody, was impressed, and had told me about it. I decided to register for his Berkeley workshop.

Ira: How serendipitous! What was the workshop like?

David: It was extraordinary! There were two workshops; one during the day that met for five weeks, and an evening class twice a week, open to the public. I went to one of the evening classes, which was very crowded. Probably 150 people were there. I was immediately hooked and began sneaking into the daytime class, limited to only about 30 participants studying in depth with Dr. Feldenkrais. He was in Berkeley for five weeks, and I managed to study with him most days during those five weeks.

I was stunned by the positive...

Continue Reading...

Benjamin Zemach & Moshe Feldenkrais

moshe feldenkrais Nov 21, 2022
David Zemach-Bersin, Feldenkrais Trainer, Feldenkrais Access Founder

Some of you may know that Zemach became part of my surname when my wife, Kaethe, and I joined our last names. Kaethe's grandfather, Benjamin Zemach, was a dancer, actor, and early member of the Habima Theater company in Russia and Poland. Benjamin and his wife, Elizabeth, lived in New York and California before immigrating to Israel in the 1970s. Benjamin knew Moshe Feldenkrais well; they often shared Friday-night dinners together, and Benjamin attended the weekly ATM class for performing artists that Moshe taught at Habima for many years.

Last week, Kaethe was going through some papers and found a letter from her grandmother, Elizabeth, in which she refers to receiving FI lessons from Moshe. She says, "My back is much better, and if I can get the knack of riding these buses without slipping more discs, I'll be sailing pretty. Feldenkrais is quite exceptional, but also like a child who has made a discovery...

Continue Reading...

Inspired by Moshe! Strategies for Lengthening the Spine

David Zemach-Bersin, Feldenkrais Trainer, Feldenkrais Access Founder
In the summer of 1975, during the very first year of the San Francisco FPTP, Dr. Feldenkrais gave a lecture on his 'go-to' strategy for elongating or lengthening the spine. The talk included illustrations drawn on a black board, and introduced a Functional Integration lesson that he was about to give, and we were about to watch. This strategy is embedded in many Awareness Through Movement lessons because it is both effective and reliable. 
Ever since that day in 1975, I have been intensely interested in the relationship between a spine which can realize its full length, and well-organized movement. My own experience in private practice and teaching the Feldenkrais Method, has shown me that a healthy, well-differentiated, and fully mobile spine can benefit nearly every physical function and challenge. I encourage you to join me for Defying Gravity, a seven class ATM series devoted to...
Continue Reading...

Still Reverberating

moshe feldenkrais Feb 25, 2020

Over the last year, a new approach to Functional Integration® has blossomed in my individual work. I call it 'Harmonizing' because that's what it feels like; a dynamic, three-dimensional way of working with a strong undercurrent of joining in action. In the past, I've used this idea at the end of my FI® lessons to help clients integrate their new learning in an upright position. But recently, a new avenue opened up, and I find myself giving entire lessons this way. I was surprised when it started happening; for a moment thought I'd invented something new. But then, I remembered that actually, this approach invented me.

In 1975, I was a student in the San Francisco Feldenkrais® Professional Training program when, on a Thursday or Friday toward the end of our second month, Moshe invited me to come to the front of the room and sit on the edge of his table. He began to work with me, and as I recall, his goal seemed to be to find an effortless path to bring me...

Continue Reading...

A Meeting of the Minds: Margaret Mead and Moshe Feldenkrais

moshe feldenkrais Oct 02, 2019

During the third year of the San Francisco training program, Margaret Mead visited us for most of a week. At the time, she was considered the pre-eminent cultural anthropologist of North America (and a very public intellectual). Friends had introduced Moshe and Mead, and as she became familiar with both Functional Integration and Awareness Through Movement, she became an advocate for him and his ideas. Some months later in an article, Mead wrote,

"Feldenkrais' method is the most sophisticated and effective method I have seen for the prevention and reversal of deterioration of function. We're condemning millions of people to a deteriorated old age that's not necessary."

Throughout her visit, she made herself available for conversations during class breaks, which were often quite long. I remember talking with her about language and abstract thinking and hardly being able to keep my end of the conversation going because I was so completely knocked out by her unique brilliance and...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.