Zerka T. Moreno

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Zerka T. Moreno
ZERKA-MORENO-web-ARCHIVIO-PLAYS-1986 (cropped).jpg
Moreno in 1986
Celine Zerka Toeman

(1917-06-13)June 13, 1917
DiedSeptember 19, 2016(2016-09-19) (aged 99)
Known forSociometry, psychodrama
SpouseJacob Levy Moreno
ChildrenJonathan D. Moreno
Regina Moreno
Scientific career
FieldsTheory, education, psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy, social psychology

Zerka Toeman Moreno (June 13, 1917 – September 19, 2016) was a Dutch-born American psychotherapist and co-founder of psychodrama. She was the closest colleague and wife of Jacob Levy Moreno.


Celine Zerka Toeman was born in Amsterdam on June 13, 1917. [1] Her paternal grandparents were grain merchants who, like many other Jewish families of the time, left Warsaw to go to England when Zerka's father, Joseph Toeman (Warsaw, November 17, 1887-Nice, April 15, 1956), was still a toddler. Her mother, Rosalia Gutwirth (Antwerp, July 27, 1890-London, 1969), from Eastern Europe, had to move with her family to the Netherlands. It was in Holland that Zerka, the youngest of four children, lived the first part of her life. Her siblings were Sabine (Rotterdam, July 17, 1912-?), Rudolph (Rotterdam, November 8, 1913-Stockport, February 2, 1992) and Charles (Amsterdam, February 21, 1916-Montreal, March 9, 1990). In 1931, when Zerka was fourteen, her parents moved to London to reunite with the rest of her father's family. Here, she finished high school and later studied art and fashion design. In 1939 she crossed the Atlantic for the first time to arrive in the USA with some family friends. In 1941 she was able to take her elder sister from Belgium to New York, to pursue treatment for her sister's mental illness. [2]

Moreno was one of the co-founders of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy.

Moreno's contribution to the field of group psychotherapy and psychodrama began immediately upon meeting Dr. J. L. Moreno. Within a year of their meeting J.L. and Moreno founded the Sociometric Institute on Park Avenue, New York City. They established the Psychodramatic Institute in New York in 1942. They began producing the journal Group Psychotherapy (originally called Sociatry) in 1947, publishing a volume of research documenting their application and refinement to the social sciences of sociatry, psychodrama, and sociometry. Moreno was J. L. Moreno's partner and co-creator for over thirty years until his death in 1974.

Moreno continued training and teaching the psychodramatic theory and method for more than 30 years since Dr. Moreno's death, training psychodramatists worldwide. Moreno is recognized as a leader in further realizing Dr. Moreno's vision in bringing this method to the lives of communities worldwide. In the 2000s she lived in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Moreno died in Rockville, Maryland on September 19, 2016 at the age of 99.[3]

The Zerka T. Moreno Foundation for Education and Training[edit]

The Zerka T. Moreno Foundation is a non-profit foundation that offers training, research and education programs based on the Morenean theory in the Western Massachusetts, the Graduate School level at Lesley University in Cambridge, and Portugal. The foundation also holds a resource library of unpublished documents by JL Moreno and a significant collection of training videos and lectures by Zerka T. Moreno. [4]


  • Moreno, Z. T. (2012). To dream again: A memoir. New York: MHR[5]


  1. ^ "Toeman, Celine Zerka › Toeman, Celine Zerka - Fold3.com". Fold3. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  2. ^ "Kalverstraat". joodsamsterdam (in Dutch). Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  3. ^ "Zerka T. Moreno's passing". sociodrama.co.uk. The UK Sociodrama & Creative Action Network. September 20, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  4. ^ "Zerka T. Moreno Foundation". zerkamorenofoundation.org. Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  5. ^ "Bibliography of Psychodrama: Search Failed".

External links[edit]