Moshe Feldenkrais walks among students in the Amherst Training.

Report: 2019 IFF Assembly

In Members by MaryBeth Smith

May 22-26, 2019
Highlights from High Wycombe, UK
by Candy Conino

Waddesdon Manor, image by Richie K (June 2019) via TripAdvisor.com

Every year the International Feldenkrais Federation invites its members to send representatives to an international meeting. The IFF members include 22 Guilds, as well as the four Training Accreditation Boards. Each IFF Assembly is hosted by a different member Guild, and this year The Feldenkrais Guild United Kingdom (FGUK) arranged the meeting at Lane’s End Conference Center, in High Wycombe, UK. The Assembly began with a Wednesday evening gathering and dinner, but from Thursday morning to Sunday night the group got down to business from morning until night, except for one fun outing to Waddesdon Manor on Friday afternoon.

The business of the IFF Assembly includes reports about ongoing projects, proposals for new projects, and intense scrutiny and discussion of the organization’s budget as the members weigh their values and decide how the organization should move forward. One of the more delightful bits of work was a unanimous vote to welcome the Czech Republic into the IFF. Some of the most arduous work was around setting IFF dues for the member Guilds with consideration to the size of the Guild, the calculation of the Guilds’ income, and the exchange rate for different Guild currencies. In general, the IFF is enthusiastic about funding different projects but that funding comes directly from the member Guilds, many of which are struggling financially. Each representative has to carefully weigh the greater interest of the Feldenkrais Method® alongside the interests of the individual’s Guild. The complexity of these discussions, further complicated by the language differences, create great challenges; but our Feldenkrais superpowers always prevail. We excel at variations, novelty, and small, gentle moves.

In terms of funding, the IFF assembly voted to dedicate resources to preserving even more Feldenkrais original materials this year. The IFF Research Journal and Research Working group will continue to receive support. Also, this year and next the IFF will provide funds for administrative support for a long overdue review and (hopefully) update of the International Training Accreditation Guidelines (TAGS). The discussions and voting were not only about finances, though. There was an agreement that all IFF committee members sign confidentiality and conflict of interest disclosures for each meeting. There was also an “Extraordinary-Assembly” which was created to change the IFF statutes, necessary because they were written in reference to three TABs and now there are four. There were discussions for those who travel and work about how and when one should inform the Guild of that country of one’s intention to work there. There were elections to fill the positions of four of the five IFF Board members and there was a heartful memorial for Moshe’s nephew, Michèl Silice. This year Marcela Bretschneider presented another beautiful short film. This one is meant to appeal to the youth of the world, to spark their curiosity about the IFF. Click the “Play” button below to watch the video.

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