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Jewish Impact Investing Summit 2020

JLens hosted the 2nd Jewish Impact Investing Summit virtually on May 18 & 19, 2020. JLens’ 1st Jewish Impact Investing Summit focused on the many reasons “why” the Jewish community should engage in impact investing. The 2nd Summit transitioned from the “why” to the “how” of impact investing, uniquely framed for the Jewish community's leaders and stewards of communal capital. Over 200 organizations, including Federations, Jewish Community Foundations, nonprofits, and private foundations, were represented. The Summit convened 500 participants over 2 days with 8 sessions featuring 25 speakers (bios) thanks to the support of 24 partner organizations.  


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Agenda: Monday, May 18 12-3PM EST

12-12:50pm - Moving from Why to How: Jewish Institutions Discuss Impact Investing Challenges & Successes

As values-based investing becomes mainstream, some Jewish institutions have led the way in bringing Jewish representation to this important movement. Hear from a panel of senior executives and lay leaders whose organizations have taken significant strides in their impact investing journey, and learn from their challenges and successes how your institution can further its mission through its endowment and investment capital.

Beth Sirull, President and CEO, Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego

Kathryn Gonnerman, Vice President of Philanthropy, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford

Charlene Seidle, Executive Vice President, The Leichtag Foundation

Geoff Gerber, Investment Committee Chair, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Julie Hammerman, Executive Director, JLens

1-1:50pm - New Multifaith Collaborations in Impact Investing 

Impact investing has become a key arena for multifaith collaboration. Faith leaders led the creation of the modern responsible investing movement four decades ago, and they remain respected leaders of the movement today. Learn about the expanding arena of Islamic finance, the founding of the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative, and the new multifaith organization FaithInvest. Explore ways the Jewish community can claim a seat at the table and further these important collaborations.

Kavi Chawla, Islamic Finance expert, Baton Global

John O’Shaughnessy, Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative

Nana Francois, Membership Director, FaithInvest

Rabbi Jacob Siegel, Director of Engagement, JLens

2-2:50pm - Grants vs. Loans: Jewish Organizations Explore Impact Investments

Coronavirus has radically changed the needs of Jewish organizations. While the Jewish community has thought extensively about our philanthropic giving to mission organizations, there remains tremendous potential for our endowment and investment capital to further this work. This session will explore several innovative efforts to leverage investment capital to support Jewish mission organizations.

Alexandra Roth-Kahn, Managing Director, Caring Department at UJA-Federation of New York

Sam Marks, CEO, FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds

Rabbi David Rosenn, Executive Director, Hebrew Free Loan Society

Robyn Polansky Morrison, Morr Strategy, Co-Head Impact Investing, UJA-Federation of New York

Agenda: Tuesday, May 19 12-3PM EST

12-12:30pm - Jewish Communal Representation in the Economic Arena: An Update on JLens' Advocacy

The responsible investing movement now represents 25% of all professionally managed assets worldwide (over $22 trillion). In this influential arena, other faith groups are active, young people are engaged, and Jewish communal concerns regularly come into play. JLens represents Jewish communal concerns in the responsible investing arena including religious coexistence, combatting anti-Semitism and religious discrimination, and support for Israel/countering the BDS campaign. JLens’ advocacy is enabled by investments from nearly two dozen Jewish institutions in the Jewish Advocacy Strategy, a strategy that invests through a Jewish values lens and builds long-term advocacy relationships with the largest US public companies. This session will explore the vital need for Jewish communal representation in the responsible investing movement.

Rachel Cohen, Director of Research, JLens

Rabbi Joshua Ratner, Director of Advocacy, JLens

12:30-12:50pm - Address: Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable development and the fight against poverty, will offer an address to the Jewish community on the importance of values-based investing.

1-1:50pm - Business & Investment to Further Peacebuilding and Coexistence

Today we face a significant level of human conflict around the world. At the same time, impact investing is increasingly used to address a wide variety of global challenges. This session will explore the use of impact investing and corporate social responsibility to heal divides, alleviate conflict, and create shared purpose. While conflict regions are sometimes considered high-risk areas for investors to avoid, there is a critical role to be played by thoughtful impact investors, innovative companies, and courageous entrepreneurs to lay the economic foundation for conflict resolution and peace.

Douglas Krikler, CEO, Portland Trust

Zika Abzuk, Business Development, Cisco

Kelly Goodejohn, Ethical Sourcing Program, Starbucks

Sheldon Himelfarb, President and CEO, PeaceTech Lab 

2-2:30pm - A Jewish Organization's Journey to Impact Investing in Israel
Three years ago, UJIA, a large Jewish charitable organization in the UK, launched a new impact investing program in Israel. Learn from UJIA’s unexpected journey to impact investing: how the organization engaged a new set of stakeholders, overcame obstacles, and leveraged the organization’s capital in a new way to support a cohort of Israeli social purpose businesses. This session will also offer an overview and update on the Israeli impact investing ecosystem.

Dalia Black, Weave Impact (UJIA's impact investing consultant)

2:30-3pm - The Hardest Part of the How: Impact Measurement

Impact investing requires thinking about investing in an entirely new way. Done well, impact investing involves ongoing engagement and monitoring of an investment’s social impact in addition to financial return; this demands a link between an organization’s financial side and its “mission-oriented” staff. Join this session to understand how to think about impact measurement, and learn from the specific experience of the MacArthur Foundation and Ceniarth, which in the past several years began an in-depth process to measure the impact of its investment portfolio.

Leticia Emme, Senior Manager of Impact Measurement & Management, Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) 

Charles Coustan, Portfolio Manager, Impact Investments at the MacArthur Foundation

Greg Neichin, Director, Ceniarth

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