American Friends of the Open University of Israel (AFOUI) is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising awareness of the Open University of Israel and to providing financial support to help OUI achieve its mission of expanding access to higher education to all segments of Israeli society.

American Friends of the Open University of Israel has provided more than $27 million in grants to the OUI for student scholarships and textbooks, faculty recruitment and retention, pioneering new course material for emerging and special needs populations, libraries and student services, and development of new distance-learning methodologies.

Founded in 1981, AFOUI's annual Gala Celebrations and Fashion Events play a vital role in raising funds for - and awareness of - The OUI.

Past Honorees at our fundraising events have included (in alphabetical order): Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ambassador John R. Bolton, Dr. Matthew Goldstein, Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, Kim and Larry Heyman, Ronnie Heyman, Rochelle Hirsch,  Commissioner Raymond R. Kelly, Chancellor Joel I. Klein, Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Hadassah and Senator Joseph Lieberman, Honorable Robert M. Morgenthau, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Ingeborg Rennert, Nina Rosenwald, Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, NYU President John Sexton, Chancellor Merryl Tisch, and Barbara and Donald Tober.

The Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Haredi Empowerment Program - conceived of and spearheaded by the Rennerts and AFOUI's Board of Directors - envisions nothing less than a fundamental change in the very fabric of Israelis Society - a change intended to unleash the vast and previously untapped potential of the Haredim, and to improve the quality of life for this growing sector of the population.  While respecting their traditional values, this initiative provides the Haredim with a unique path into the modern Israeli workforce.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to you - our sponsors, donors, friends, and colleagues.  Your vital support is the foundation upon which the successes of the OUI have been built and upon which all its future achievements depend.

We invite you to join us in our life-changing mission to further the goals of the OUI, a pioneer and cutting-edge leader in distance learning, dedicated to educating all those who would otherwise be denied a university education and to perpetuating the academic and intellectual traditions of the Jewish people.

Contact us to help support this life-changing institution!  And share your talents with us by joining one of our committees - we'd love to have you.

212 - 712-1800

All photos on this page - Rob Rich/