Launched by Jewish institutions in 2015, the Jewish Advocacy Strategy US aligns with Jewish values and advocates for communal concerns in the Socially Responsible Investing and Corporate Social Responsibility movements – two influential arenas previously void of Jewish leadership. Investor advocacy is the best method for generating positive impact from public equity investing. The strategy is designed to be a first step for Jewish values-based investors including Jewish Community Foundations, Federations, nonprofits, synagogues, foundations, and donor-advised funds.
JLens utilizes six values pillars inspired by Judaism’s framework of mitzvot (obligations) to evaluate companies and engage in long-term investor advocacy. Read more about our approach to investing in public companies.
Portfolio Selection Methodology
JLens’ in-house research ensures alignment with Jewish values and avoids the biases in industry standard ESG (environmental, social, governance) research. The Jewish Advocacy Strategy US portfolio consists of approximately 300 companies selected by the following process:
JLens’ Jewish Advocacy Strategy US begins with the 500 largest US public companies by market capitalization value.
Certain sectors are removed if their core business model fails to align with Jewish values (labeled treif), including tobacco, for-profit prisons and coal. While the core portfolio owns and advocates with energy companies, a fossil fuel-free customized option is available.
Companies are screened out if they are deemed lo hashuv (not relevant) to Jewish communal values and concerns or where advocacy will have minimal impact.
The remaining approximately 300 companies are scored on their performance on six Jewish value pillars and rated metzuyan (excellent), tov (good) or tzarich tikun (needs improvement).
Companies that receive a rating of metzuyan are overweighted in the portfolio compared to their benchmark weight. An option is available to add a 5% positive tilt to Israeli companies (overweights with Rhumbline only).
When companies score low on a particular issue, JLens attempts first to engage with the company to improve its behavior. If advocacy engagement fails, JLens will assess the company for exclusion (nichshal).
Large Cap US Public Companies
Jewish Communal Relevance
Jewish Values Scoring
Companies considered for inclusion in the Jewish Advocacy Strategy US are given a numerical score with corresponding Hebrew rating. JLens engages all companies held in the portfolio, based on each company’s scores and areas for improvement on the Jewish values pillars.
Held in portfolio
Not held in portfolio
1= Metzuyan (excellent)
Company has excellent performance across JLens’ six Jewish values categories
4= Nichshal (excluded)
Corporate behavior is not aligned with Jewish values, and advocacy efforts have failed to produce positive change
2= Tov (good)
Company has solid performance across JLens’ six Jewish values categories
5= Lo Hashuv (not relevant)
Company is not relevant for Jewish communal values and concerns or where advocacy will have minimal impact
3= Tzarich tikun (needs improvement)
Company needs improvement across JLens’ six Jewish values but is still held in the portfolio to conduct advocacy
6= Treif (not fit)
Company operates in a sector that does not align with Jewish values