While the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is best known for its presence on campus, the movement to divest from Israel has also targeted the Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) sector.
At JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council April 26 meeting, Julie Hammerman, founder and executive director of JLens, explained how the network is countering the BDS movement and educating companies about investing in peace, rather than divesting from Israel.
"The perfect counter to BDS in our field is to invest, instead of divesting from one side of a two-sided conflict and attempt to solve the conflict in that manner," Hammerman said. "[We encourage companies] to invest in coexistence. To invest in building two-states. That resonates very strongly in our field."
JLens is a network of over 9,000 individual and institutional investors who seek to apply a Jewish lens to the modern context of values-based impact investing.
"The [SRI] area has become a really powerful influential arena for advocacy on a range of social issues and environmental issues," Hammerman said. "We need representation there. We need to have our voice heard, not only on Israel but on all the things our community cares about."
JLens advocates for social and environmental causes, as well as Israel.
"Our mission at JLens is to be a bridge for the Jewish community to engage in this movement," Hammerman said.