“I am one of the few people who knew Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as a child.”
Dr. Yuri C. Feynberg (born in St. Petersburg, Russia) is known to many as the Founder and Executive Director of Life Adjustment Center (LAC), but to those who had known him for long, he is one of the survivors of the Post World War II era.
Being in one of the world’s most traumatic time, Yuri’s life and character has already been challenged as young as he was. Although not a prisoner, Yuri spent his childhood behind the barbed wired fence in a remote Siberian hard labor camp, where his mother worked as a medical doctor. As the only child there, he lived among Stalins political prisoners, hardcore criminals, and security guards. Despite his depressing situation in early childhood, he was able to overcome psychological or post-traumatic disorder that usually occur in children, who experience the horror of war. On the contrary, this extraordinary childhood has instead created an unusual personality and an unbendable character, which made it possible for Yuri to excel in Soviet Special Forces, survived persecution, and overcame unfathomable personal tragedies without losing his humanity.
Life and Career
Yuri was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia. After years of struggle from the war, He graduated from Leningrad Pedagogical Institute (currently St. Petersburg University) with a MA in Special Education and Speech Pathology. There he worked as a special education teacher and speech therapist in residential school of 450 students with developmental disabilities, where he later became the principal.
In 1979, he came to the United States as a political refugee, and attended NYU, where he earned his Doctoral Degree in Public Administration while working as an Administrator of the Specialty Hospital for Children of Terence Cardinal Cooke Healthcare Center in Manhattan.
Yuri has dedicated his life in helping the most vulnerable and people that had lost hope. Most of his careers focused on people, especially children, with intellectual disabilities. In January of 1991, he founded Life Adjustment Center (LAC), a non-profit agency for the developmentally disabled, which he currently oversees while pursuing his many educational and developmental endeavors.
Despite his unparalleled passion in helping others, Yuri maintained his relationship with his wife and their only daughter. It was his daughter who compelled him to tell his own life story as a victim of war. His book entitled The Child of Gulag was published in February of 2013. It tells about his childhood experience, the most devastating time of his life, as one of the children of Soviet Penal System, known to the world as the Gulag. He aimed to educate the world about the horrors of a war, antihuman nature of Communism, and danger of dictatorship.
Yuri is now living in Fort Lee, New Jersey, together with his family.