Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Don’t Accept Me As I Am

Rachel Ginsberg

Professor Reuven Feuerstein z”l dedicated his life to healing and change, teaching that the brain — and the spirit — are limitless, no matter what mental baggage a person has been saddled with. A month after his passing, his legacy endures.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The small living room in the modest apartment on Basel Street in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Moshe neighborhood looked like it would burst if one more person entered. But like the heart of its owner — Professor Reuven Feuerstein z”l — it seemed to be ever-expandable as the stream of visitors kept pouring in to pay their respects to the man who so profoundly changed their lives. Parents of high-achieving children with learning disabilities who were written off as permanent failures, the mother of a hopelessly autistic boy who began to talk in coherent sentences, a gainfully employed Down syndrome young adult who was once advised to be institutionalized, an elderly man whose future would have been doomed had the professor not smoothed out his aliyah in the 1950s — all told their stories during the recent shivah of the visionary who changed the way the world looks at intelligence and cognition, and who showed how even the weakest people can shine. “Human beings,”ProfessorFeuerstein told me in a wide-ranging interview several years ago, “have the unique characteristic of being able to modify themselves no matter how they’ve started out. A person can overcome even inborn barriers and traumas.” And indeed,ProfessorFeuerstein — who passed away last month at 93 — proved thousands of times over that although special children need more input than others, even those classified as hopeless can reach surprising levels of achievement. For more than half a century, and in over 80 countries,ProfessorFeuerstein’s theories and applied systems have been implemented in both clinical and classroom settings, and his theory on the malleability of intelligence has led to over 2,000 research studies. In simple terms, it means figuring out what in the brain is blocking a child (or an adult) from learning, and looking for a pathway, a way to explain things so that the brain begins to open and understand.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"