In 1985 a group of people, from backgrounds of various disciplines of social sciences and mental health, and who specialized in the ‘Tavistock approach’ in Britain and the United States, founded an organization under the name “The Israeli Association for the Study of Group and Organizational Processes – IASGOP”, with the purpose of holding group relations conferences in Israel, and began planning and organizing the first such conference.
In January 1990 the Association was formally registered as a non-profit organization which included eight members: Shmuel Erlich, Mira Erlich-Ginor, Yigal Ginath, Vivian Gold, Rafael Moses, Rina Moses-Hrushevski, Avi Nutkevitch and Jonah Rosenfeld.
Three years later, in January 1993, the name of the organization was changed to ‘OFEK – organization, person, group’, and in 1994 it was opened up to applicants who had attended two full group relations conferences, one of which was organized by OFEK. At the same time the organization began initiating various activities, in addition to group relations conferences. In 2003 OFEK was registered as a community interest company.
The first group relations conference – “Task and Leadership: The Individual, The Group and the Organization” – took place between 15-20 November 1987 in Margoa Hotel, Arad. The conference was directed by Eric Miller of the Tavistock Institute, Yonah Rosenfeld was the conference administrator and the staff included Shmuel Erlich, David Gutmann, Vivian Gold, Yigal Ginath, Marvin Geller, Olya Khaleelee, Rafael Moses and Mannie Sher. In the beginning of 1989 the second conference took place, again under the directorship of Eric Miller. The following conferences were directed by Israelis, members of the organization. Since 1989, OFEK has held an international group relations conference in Israel on an annual basis. The conference held in 2006 was the first to be directed by an OFEK member not belonging to the group of founders.