The JLens Advocacy Strategy launched August 2015
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JLens engages the Jewish community in values-based investing to advocate for
global social justice, environmental preservation, and support for Israel. 

In August 2015 the JLens Advocacy Strategy was launched to invest in the largest US companies and advocate on behalf of Jewish communal concerns. JLens is pleased to announce a $5 million investment from a supporting foundation at The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. Values-based investors know that it is possible to do well financially and do good in the world. Contact your local Jewish Community Foundation and/or financial advisor to explore investment opportunities.

Benefits of Jewish Values Investing: The Jewish community has no representation in an influential arena, the values-based investing field. This is both a missed opportunity for next generation Jewish engagement, and a dangerous oversight in the effort to combat economic warfare against Israel from the Boycott-Divest-Sanction campaign (BDS). 

Jewish Continuity: Demand for values-based investing is driven by younger generations. US-SIF reports that 20% of global capital is values-aligned, and the field is growing rapidly. The emphasis on values provides an exciting new forum for exploring Jewish teachings in a modern context. JLens’ mission is Jewish engagement. Unlike the top-down approach of most values-based funds, the JLens Advocacy Strategy frequently seeks investor and communal input.
Combat Anti-Israel Economic Warfare: The values-based investing field has been infiltrated by the Boycott-Divest-Sanction (BDS) campaign. BDS activists pressure corporations and investors to divest from Israel in the name of responsible investing/business. The Jewish community’s absence has allowed BDS to gain credibility without resistance, and enabled pro-BDS Jewish organizations (i.e. Jewish Voices for Peace) to speak for the entire Jewish community. There are over 400 values-based investment funds in the US, and many support BDS by divesting from certain companies, and voting for anti-Israel shareholder resolutions. JLens is the ONLY values-based investment strategy that advocates FOR Israel.
Investor Advocacy: Public equity investors can conduct advocacy with the companies they own.
Similar to political advocacy, investor advocacy entails leveraging the power of large companies to effect positive change in the world. On behalf of the Jewish community, JLens establishes investor relationships with corporations, participates in conferences, joins professional associations, and attends shareholder meetings to influence responsible investment policy on social and environmental concerns, and to protect Israel from defamation and discrimination.

Portfolio: The JLens Advocacy Strategy invests in the largest US companies. As an enhanced index strategy, returns are similar to the S&P500 index. The portfolio slightly overweights companies that are good corporate citizens, treat their employees, suppliers and local communities well, and focus on environmental sustainability. A small number of companies are excluded if the core business does not align with Jewish values. JLens’ strategy focuses on broad corporate ownership rather than divestment and negative screening. By owning a wide range of companies, JLens can conduct advocacy in three areas: global social justice, environmental preservation, and support for Israel.
An update on JLens recent efforts to fight anti-Israel investor campaigns: 

At Cisco’s 2015 annual shareholder meeting, JLens spoke in favor of Cisco’s responsible business practices [read the statement] and urged shareholders to vote against an anti-Israel resolution disguised as responsible business. The resolution was defeated, however the activists filed a new resolution with the SEC for 2016, and they demanded an apology from JLens for exposing their true intentions despite their claims otherwise. As the only socially responsible investment firm dedicated to Jewish values, JLens will never apologize for our proud support of Israel. 

An Israel divestment resolution targeting Berkeley and CALPERS (the $300 billion California state pension) was defeated thanks to the communal coordination of JCRC. JLens spoke against the resolution [read the statement] and successfully shifted the conversation from divestment to the counter strategy of "positive impact investing," the opposite of divestment. JLens believes that investors can make a positive impact in the world through thoughtfully selected investments. We received calls afterwards from students interested in learning more, and JLens' statement was quoted in the Berkeley paper.
Thank you for your support of JLens.

This newsletter is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as investment advice.
Investors should consult with an advisor to determine the suitability of any investment option or strategy.
Copyright © 2015 JLens, All rights reserved.
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