The Future is Open - Update on Access
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Study of Shoah and genocide is subject of first annual international conference
The first annual OUI international conference on the study of the Shoah and genocide was held November 4-5, to mark 20 years since the Rwandan genocide. Lecturers from abroad included Mr. Gideon Herscher, from the JDC. Together with the late Anne Heyman, Herscher founded the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, modeled on Israeli youth villages. Judge Vagn Joensen, President of the Rwanda International Criminal Court, delivered a lecture entitled From Nuremberg to Rwanda: The Evolution and Legacy of the International Criminal Tribunals.

The conference is the brainchild of Prof. Yair Auron, who developed the OUI genocide studies course which addresses many aspects of the Holocaust and genocide. It includes books on the Holocaust, the genocide of the Roma, psychological aspects, rescuers, and questions regarding if and how we can prevent genocide. One book from the series has been purchased by a major American publisher, and eight have been translated into English. This unique series, also the largest genocide course in the world (over 4,000 students each year), aims to play an important role in increasing international and multidisciplinary genocide study.

The Hebrew MOOC for the Genocide course, taught by Dr. Isaac Lubelsky, opens in January. See link to registration below.
Yolande Mukagasana
Yolande Mukagasana, independent writer and activist from Rwanda, participated and addressed conference attendees

Scholarship fund for soldiers launched at Philadelphia reception

A scholarship fund for soldiers was launched by the American Friends of the Open University of Israel on November 13 in Philadelphia. Bennett Aaron and Ben Strauss of Pepper Hamilton LLP hosted the reception, while chairpersons Hava Grunwald and Aviva Silberberg promoted the event in the community. OUI President, Prof. Kobi Metzer addressed guests, describing the measures taken by the OUI this past summer to ensure that no OUI student, whether soldier or civilian, would be adversely affected academically by Operation Protective Edge. OUI Chancellor, Justice Dorit Beinisch, President of the Supreme Court (ret.) discussed the tensions inherent in the encounter between the judicial system and the executive branch of government. Guests contributed thousands of dollars to establish a scholarship fund for OUI students on active and reserve IDF duty.

OUI Chancellor, Justice Dorit Beinisch, President of the Supreme Court (ret.)
OUI Chancellor, Justice Dorit Beinisch, President of the Supreme Court (ret.)
The Evolution of a Drug OUI researcher delivers lecture at annual Research Day

The OUI Annual Research Day, held on November 24, honored the memory of Prof. Miriam Souroujon. Among her many invaluable contributions to the OUI, Prof. Souroujon initiated the annual tradition of Research Day to present the latest OUI research to the wider community via interactive exhibits, posters, and informative lectures.

Dr. Ronit Weisman, representing OUI researchers at the event, presented a lecture entitled Rapamycin The Evolution of a Drug: From Cellular Senescence to Treatment for a Range of Human Diseases. Dr. Weisman described how the drug has been used to prevent implant rejection since it suppresses the immune system. Likewise, it is used to prevent cancer development and has shown potential for treating Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Weisman's lab, conducting studies with yeast cells, is contributing to this research.

Dr. Ronit Weisman
Dr. Ronit Weisman
Graduate student addresses guests at American Friends of the Open University of Israel annual gala

Chaim Garber, an OUI graduate student, represented the OUI student body at the American Friends of the Open University annual gala in December. Garber spoke about how the OUIs unique academic flexibility and technology make it possible to juggle family, professional, and financial responsibilities with the pursuit of a prestigious graduate education. Garber, 28, who is married and the father of two small children, came to the OUI with a bachelor's degree with honors in Education and Jewish Thought, as well as a teaching certificate, and will soon complete rabbinic ordination. He currently works in informal Jewish education, and helps prepare candidates for conversion to Judaism in the IDF. While deciding whether to pursue a master's program in clinical psychology or social work, he has already gotten a head start by taking core graduate courses at the Open University. As a first lieutenant in the IDF reserves, he spent the past summer serving in Operation Protective Edge, and acknowledges that measures taken by the OUI allowed him to complete courses and exams without penalties.

Chaim Garber addresses guests at AFOUI gala

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