Norma Leistiko Talks SF1 and Finding One's Way

IF: How did you first hear about “Feldenkrais®”?

NL: I traveled to Israel in 1970 to spend a year working on a kibbutz; I had many friends who had done this; it was an inexpensive way to see the world. I paid the round-trip airfare and got a free room and board on the kibbutz farm in exchange for my free labor. Mostly, I worked in the roses greenhouse and out in the avocado orchard.
I met lots of other young people there from America and also many Russian Jews whose mothers and fathers found work in the cities of Israel while the kids worked on the farms. Of the kibbutz members, I became friends with many young women and volunteered to teach exercise and modern dance classes; we had a good time together. I learned to teach most of the exercise and dance classes in Hebrew!

I was an actress and dancer in the United States and was interested in theatre and dance people in Israel. I had one day off a week and usually went to Tel Aviv, Jaffa, or Jerusalem (depending on my ‘rides' and friendships) to see what I could see of the culture. I met Noah Eschol (movement notation) briefly for coffee one day. I visited an Arab village, accompanied by an American male I knew, and I had a wonderful, yes wonderful time, with the women in the home I was invited into that afternoon. The women stayed in the kitchen making food and drinks while the men visited in the main part of the home. None of the women spoke English and I certainly did not speak any Arabic, but we understood each other perfectly, laughing and giggling like women love to do when they are separate from the men. Towards the end of my year's stay, a kibbutznik mentioned that I might be interested in meeting a Dr. Feldenkrais, who taught a unique movement system in Tel Aviv. I was leaving for Sweden to visit my family the next day, so I was unable to visit Dr. Feldenkrias' classes. 

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