View Event

Authority and Leadership in Uncertain Realities

The 31st OFEK International Group Relations conference

Sunday 18th February 2018 - Friday 23rd February 2018

Zichron Yaakov, Israel

OFEK: Organization, Person, Group
In association with The College of Management Academic Studies

Info & Fees
Payment Terms
Web Sites


Dear Prospective Participant,

In a world of "fake news" and "alternative facts", a world where leaders sometimes seem as parodies of themselves, how are experiences of authority and leadership impacted? Connectivity, which has never been so prevalent, is creating possibilities of non-hierarchical realities on the one hand, but enables fraudulent authority on the other. This often harms individuals, sometimes influences national and international policy and even election results. In addition, individuals have never been so much in contact with each other through social media, with so many ways of voicing themselves. However, these possibilities are associated with an experience of helplessness and inability to influence events. Paradoxically, hyper-connectivity is accompanied by isolationist tendencies, resulting in secessionism, such as Brexit, 'America First' and independence movements in various countries. Inter-dependence is often denied at the expense of the squandering of its potential for growth.

In a world of such realities, the need for wise, containing and empathic leadership, for firm and benevolent authority and for trustworthy alliances and collaborations is crucial.

The members and staff of Group Relations Conferences (GRC) learn about these and other complex issues by experiencing. We perceive the conference as a subsystem of the larger socio- political context; we are a small Russian doll within the larger contextual one. To learn about Authority and Leadership in Uncertain Realities we use ourselves, our relationships and our group experiences. There are no lectures, no reading material; there is emotional, physical and mental experiencing.

We look forward to meeting and working with you, Israeli and International participants, in OFEK’s 31st GRC. We hope to experience and explore together the needs, realities and vicissitudes of authority and leadership in the context of our world's uncertainty.

Moshe Bergstein
Conference Director

top of document


Why attend a GRC in Israel and why now?

Israel in the era of uncertain realities is the context of the 2018 conference. Assuming, as we do, that the immediate and wider contexts of the conferences are of great significance, Israel is a highly relevant and interesting location for a GRC in 2018.

Israel, though defining itself as a "Jewish state", has a highly varied population, ethnically, culturally and religiously. Israel is an example of what in recent years has become a much discussed global issue – the often asked question is whether the co- habitation of diverse populations is possible. Can they create a shared reality which feels 'certain' enough, or is this a bomb waiting to explode? The Israeli experience of an extremely diversified population is vast; it is partly highly successful, partly intensely painful.

Holding a GRC in Israel at the present moment provides a special opportunity for non-Israelis together with Israelis, to explore global phenomena of authority and leadership in uncertain realities, when chaos threatens to prevail.

top of document


All of us live and work in groups and organizations, beginning with the primary group we are born into – the family. Group relations conferences enable participants, through their various group experiences, to observe and reach understandings of the overt and covert forces that operate upon them as individuals in a group or an organization. These forces influence and sometimes determine the way in which we function, take up roles and dare to implement our authority and leadership potential. Understanding of these forces expands the range of possibilities a person can put into action.

Participants of conferences come from different professional spheres. There are those who are in directorial, systemic and leadership roles, or are striving to get there. Some come from the business sector, others from the private, public or non-profit sector. Some are human resources specialists, organizational consultants, group facilitators, teachers, medical professionals and researchers, educational and clinical psychologists, and therapists of different education, work methods and tool boxes.

In fact each of us, as a member of groups and organizations, can benefit from the experiential learning the conference offers. The conference is a space where one can experiment with new forms of behavior, observe outcomes and reflect on utilizing them in everyday life.
Joining the conference does not require any prior experience, or any theoretical knowledge. All that is required is curiosity and a passion for learning.

Three-tier structure for new and experienced members:

The conference membership will hopefully include people with different degrees of prior exposure to GRCs. We will therefore have a three part membership: an “A” group will consist of members for whom this conference will be their first GRC experience; a “B” group will accommodate members who have had prior GRC experience; and a "T" group will offer experienced members an opportunity to learn and explore consultancy in various settings. The possible interaction between these three groups is an additional dimension of the complex structure of the conference, as well as an additional opportunity for exploration and learning.

Advanced Training Group - "T"
The Advanced Training Group offers its participants opportunities to advance their organizational experience, their psychoanalytic-systemic observation and their consultancy skills, through assimilation of the methodology and the theory of Group Relations.

Training Group members will have opportunities to:
1. Consult to the training group as a small study group;
2. Take up consultancy roles in some of the other conference events;
3. Engage with the staff in exploration of systemic thinking;

All the above while at the same time participating as members in the conference as a whole. The Advanced Training Group is open for application from participants who have attended at least two Group Relations conferences.

The working language of the conference is English. On occasions when all participants are Hebrew- speaking, the latter can also serve as a working language.

top of document


Moshe Bergstein  PhD (Social work), MSc (Chemistry and Life Sciences)
Psychotherapist and psychoanalyst in private practice, Ramat Hasharon | Teaches in various post-graduate psychotherapy programs and in the Israel Psychoanalytic Institute | Member, Israel Psychoanalytic Society, Jerusalem | Member, OFEK.

Associate Directors
Daphna Bahat   MA
Head of Training Group
Clinical Psychologist, Supervisor, Organizational Consultant | Teaches psychotherapy and the psychoanalytic- Systemic Approach for groups and organizations in various institutions, including 'Touch OFEK' | Leads workshops for women's empowerment using dance | Member, OPUS Chairwoman, OFEK.

Hanna Marder  BSc (Physics), MBA
Financial and Business Consultant, formerly head of the Department of Corporate Loan Review, Bank Hapoalim | Group Facilitator | Member and Past Board Member, OFEK.

Michal Granot  PhD
Associate Professor, Faculty of Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa | Pain researcher at the Laboratory of Clinical Neurophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa | Group consultant | Graduate, Program of Organizational Consultation & Development: Psychoanalytic- Systemic Approach | Candidate, the Israeli Institute of Group Analysis | Member, OFEK

Shely Sussman  MA
Organizational Psychologist | Director of Learning & Development and Board Member at JDC-TEVET |Formerly VP Human Resources & Organizational Development in Hi-Tech companies | Established Center for Teaching & Learning at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design; lecturer in Department for Interdisciplinary Studies | PhD student, Program for Psychoanalysis & Hermeneutics, Bar Ilan University | Graduate, Program of Organizational Consultation & Development: Psychoanalytic-Systemic Approach | Member, OFEK

Jan Baker   MA
Organizational Consultant, Psychotherapist and Supervisor | Works at Birkbeck, University of London on a MSc programme in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy | Overall Director of Group Relations Conferences at Birkbeck | Has worked as Consultant in Group Relations Conferences in the UK, France, India, Israel, Spain and USA | Member, OPUS.

Leila Djemal  MA (Social- Organizational Psychology)
Organization Development Consultant and Coach | Faculty, Touch OFEK Courses | Graduate, William Alanson White Institute Program in Organizational Dynamics, New York | Member, New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations and Social Systems | Associate, A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems | Board Member, OFEK.

Zahid Hoosein Gangjee  BSc (Psychology), MSc (Applied Psychology)
Fellow, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad | Chief Executive, "Zahid Gangjee & Associates: Organisation and HR Consultancy", helping organisations, groups & individuals manage change | Since 1977, directed/been a staff member at Group Relations Conferences in India & abroad
| Taught behavioural science at two institutions in India and been a senior manager with two large Indian organisations | Fellow, Coaching Foundation of India | Associate Member, Group Relations India.

Saliem Khliefi  BSW
Social worker, group therapist, organizational consultant, Israel Prison Service | Member and Past Board Member, OFEK

Julian Lousada  
Psychoanalyst and Organisational consultant in private practice | Chair of the British Psychotherapy Foundation
| Former Clinical Director of the Adult Department at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust | Former Chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council.

Hagit Shachar-Paraira  MSW
Organizational and Group Consultant | The collaborative laboratory for social innovation- CoLab | Teaches at The Program of Organizational Consultation & Development: A Psychoanalytic- Systemic Approach and The Program for OD consultation at Oranim College | PhD student, Gender Studies Program, Bar Ilan University | Member and Past Board Member, OFEK.

Miriam Shapira  MA, clinical psychology
Counseling psychologist to individuals and families, private practice in Karney Shomron | special interest in situations of trauma and grief | Head of MAHUT Israel, center for coping and resilience with threat and trauma, in a systemic and community level | Member, founder and first chairperson of BESOD SIACH, to promote dialogue among conflict groups in Israel | Staff member in Group Relations Conferences in Israel and abroad | Member, OFEK

top of document

Info and Fees

The conference will begin on Sunday, February 18th 2018, at 13:30, and end on Friday, February 23rd 2018, at 12:00.

The conference will take place at the Eden Inn hotel in Zichron Yaakov. The conference is residential and participants will reside at the venue for the duration of the conference.
Hotel website:

Fee includes tuition, accommodation and full board (three meals a day and light snacks throughout the day).

Last date for registration: Friday, February 9th 2018.

Note: Early registration entitles lower fees.

top of document

Payment Terms

To register for the conference, please go to the website below and fill out the online form. Registration will take effect once payment has been made.

Methods of Payment
Payment can be made as follows:
• By credit card drawn on an Israeli bank* through the EZpay link.
• By international credit card via one of the conference administrators
• By check* made out to "OFEK" and sent to - OFEK, The International Conference 2018, P.O.B. 671, Herzliya, 4610601, ISRAEL
• By bank transfer to - OFEK, Bank Hapoalim, Branch No. 778, Account No. 282858. Please add a note: "for International Conference"
* credit card and check payments drawn on an Israeli bank can be made in installments.

Cancellation Policy
Notice of cancellation received by February 9th 2018 will incur cancellation charges as detailed below:

Until December 17th 2017 300 NIS
From December 18th 2017 until January 21st 2018 600 NIS
From January 22nd until February 9th 2018 900 NIS

After February 9th 2018 conference fees cannot be reimbursed.

For further details or if you have any questions please contact the conference administrators, Michal Granot and Shely Sussman, at

top of document

Reduced Fees

Organizational Discount

For two members from the same organization there will be a 300 NIS discount each, for three or more there will be a discount of 400 NIS each.

top of document


A limited number of partial bursaries will be available. To apply for a bursary, please fill the Registration Form and send a request with a short description of the relevant background, by December 17th 2017.

top of document

Web Sites

Please see the OFEK website:
For full details, including staff, fees and registration, see the conference brochure:
Eden Inn Hotel website:

top of document