Feldenkrais Guild History: A Letter From Jerry Karzen

Below is link to a pdf of a letter written by Jerry Karzen and faxed from the Feldenkrais Guild of North America to Roger Russell in 1994. I thought you might find it interesting as it contains some nuggets regarding Feldenkrais history after the death of Moshe. Those of you who think that the original designation of being "Feldenkrais Trainer" was some type of skill-based competency achievement or that Moshe Feldenkrais designated certain people as "trainers" may be suprised to know that that was likely not the case. I have never seen any example of Moshe using the word "trainer."

Notice in the last line of the letter where Karzen notes that he asked Mark Reese, Russell Delman and David Bersin to "temporarily serve as trainers." I do not know on what basis Karzen designated those people to be a "Feldenkrais Trainer." He was not in a position to judge their skills as he himself was a relative newcomer to the work.

The letter was sent to the Feldenkrais Guild on March, 15th, 1994 a little more than 5 years before the lawsuit that was filed challenging the Guild's ownership of the service marks. I wonder if the two events were related. Perhaps the Guild was getting ready for a lawsuit? Or perhaps this was related to the lawsuit in Germany in which the German Guild lost exclusive use of the Feldenkrais trademarks? Anyone know? Please leave a comment.

There may be a second page to the letter as the page that I have does not contain a signature. I did not make the markings on the pdf. They were already on the file when I received it.

For the sake of ease of reading and so that Google can more easily index this content, I have typed the contents of the letter below:

To Whom it May Concern,
In 1978 I was elected president of the No. North American Feldenkrais Guild. During this time I was also serving intermittently as Dr. Feldenkrais' secretary and traveling companion. In late 1979, at the request of Dr. Feldenkrais. I began to organize the Amherst, Massachusetts Feldenkrais Training Program, and also became his full-time secretary and traveling companion.

Dr. Feldenkrais became ill in October of 1981, and because of his illness in late May of 1982. he recorded on audio tape the names of those people whom he wished to teach in his stead in the third year of the Amherst Program. The appointed people were: Mia Segal, Chava Shelhav. Yochanan Rywerant, Ruthy Alan, Anat Baniel, Bruria Milo, Gaby Yaron, Myrtom Pfeffer, and myself, Jerry Karzen. These same people served as trainers in the fourth and final year of the Amherst Training Program. I asked Bruria Milo to serve as an assistant in the fourth year, to which she agreed, along with David Bersin, Mark Reese, Russell Delman, Fenny Loc, and Shlomo Efrat.

In January 1983,1 was asked by the Directors of the Feldenkrais Foundation to become its executive Director while silmultaneusly the No. American Feldenkrais Guild established the Training Accreditation Board. Soon thereafter, I asked Mark Reese, Russell Delman, and David Bersin to serve temporarily as trainers in Foundation sponsored training programs along with some of the trainers designated by Dr. Feldenkrais in 1982. (letter from Jerry Karzen)

Download Letter: Jerry Karzen to The Feldenkrais Guild

Other articles on Feldenkrais Guild History and Dynamics

Jerry Karzen Goes On The Attack Re:Abuse Allegations

Abuse Allegations in Feldenkrais Guild Training Community


  1. Interesting stuff. Is the handwriting up top something like “More Info Re: B. Callison Please fax to Lawyer”

    I’m guessing that’s Bill Callison who had the legal battle with the German guild?

  2. Hi Mac – Yes. That is correct. The letter came to me somehow through Bill Callison or one of his websites or his friends. I do not exactly remember how. I think someone sent me a group of pd’s via email.


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