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Speak for Yourself

Riva Pomerantz

Until high school, he simply hid. He wouldn’t answer the phone and was petrified to make a call — he couldn’t even say his own name without stumbling over the sounds. Yet while the shame of his stutter once made it too complicated to try to communicate with the world around him, all that pain built Moe Mernick into the success he is today.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Since the age of three, a heavy stutter has been a part of his life, shaming him, shaping him, and ultimately, building him into the person he is today: devoted husband and father to his wife Melanie and their three children, a teacher, maggid shiur, motivational speaker, and a successful business consultant with a passion for helping Israeli startups grow and flourish. It’s an apt profession for a man who has the scrappy, remarkable grit of a startup himself. As a child and well into teenage-hood,MosheMernick did everything he could to hide. It was simply too embarrassing and frustrating to try to communicate with the world around him. “I wouldn’t order pizza if I felt my stutter coming on. I’d rather go hungry,” he says with a quiet solemnity. “I wouldn’t answer the phone, never mind call anyone. I couldn’t say my own name — people hung up on me thinking it was a prank call.” His moniker reflects this angst; Moe is a short, more easily pronounced monosyllable than the full “Moshe” — a much safer bet when you can never be sure you won’t get hijacked on the “sh.” A haunting realization for those of us who easily rattle off our own names. But Moe is definitely not one to invoke anything remotely like pity or even sympathy.

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