Moshé Feldenkrais circa 1957Who was Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais?

On 6th May, 1904, Mosché Feldenkrais is born in Slavuta, today’s Ukraine, (approximately 300km west of Kiev) into a strict Jewish family. He receives a traditional Jewish upbringing with a strong emphasis on learning.

In 1918/1919, as a 14 year old, he emigrates to Palestine to help build the State of Israel. He works as a construction worker and teacher in Tel Aviv, is a passionate football player und regularly fights at night in street fights. He learns Jujutsu and develops his first thoughts and sketches on behaviour in close combat.

In 1927, he passes his school leaving examination in Tel Aviv

In 1930, Feldenkrais goes to Paris in France to study electrical engineering and mechanics at the ESTP (École Spéciale des travaux publics, du bâtiment et de l’industrie). He begins studying engineering at the Sorbonne University.

In Paris, Feldenkrais can use his notes to combat behaviour to contact the famous Japanese founder of Judo, Jigiro Kano. He is interested in getting to know Feldenkrais and training him in Judo. Feldenkrais trains a lot and in 1936 became the first European to reach the level of the "black belt". From Paris, a Judo wave is triggered that sweeps across Europe.

From 1933 to 1940 Feldenkrais works as an engineer on nuclear fission at Irene Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot’s research laboratory.

From 1940 to 1946, Feldenkrais lives in Scotland with other scientists as an emigrant and works for the British admiralty in a naval research laboratory in Fairlie. Here he works on submarine recognition sonar technology, amongst other things.

An old knee injury causes him problems and as the doctors seem unable to help him, he tries to help himself. He combines his patterns of thinking in physics, mechanics, electronics and movement und starts learning about functional anatomy.

In 1947, Feldenkrais is honoured with the “Ingénieur Docteur” for his thesis on “Contribution à la mesure des hautes tensions”.

In 1949, Feldenkrais returns to the State of Israel, which is now established. He leads the electronics department at the Ministry of Defence.

From 1952, Feldenkrais focusses solely on his own theories about movement and learning and their practical implementations.

Over the next few decades, Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais develops what is now known as the Feldenkrais method. He teaches at Tel Aviv University and gives lectures throughout Europe and the USA. Several well known personalities put their trust in him. Amongst those are the founder of the State of Israel David Ben-Gurion, violinist Yehudi Menuhin and conductor Igor Markevitch.

In 1981, Moshé Feldenkrais suffers several strokes.

On July 1st, 1984, Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais dies in Tel Aviv.

Image gallery about Dr.Moshé Feldenkrais:

  • Moshe Feldenkrais 07
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 05
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 12
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 02
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 03
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 09
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 08
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 01
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 11
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 06
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 10
  • Moshe Feldenkrais 04

Further information