The cobblestone streets of the medieval Swiss town of Zug were filled with the marching band’s drumbeats, the flag bearers’ footsteps and the exuberant conversations of faith leaders from around the world.  The grand procession marked the end of the three-day Faith In Finance Summit, and the release of the “Zug Guidelines on Faith-Consistent Investing,” prepared by representatives of eight major religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto and Sikhism.

The Faith in Finance Summit explored how faith communities can use investment capital to further the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Released in 2015, the SDGs are a comprehensive effort by countries to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure sustainable prosperity for all.  Investors are critical to the achievement of the SDGs, which cannot be realized solely by government spending and philanthropy.  Faith communities, as a significant subset of the global investor base, have the potential to play an important leadership role in this effort.

JLens was invited to lead the Jewish delegation to the Faith in Finance Summit given JLens’ role as the bridge between the Jewish community and the values-based responsible/impact investing movement.  In advance of the Summit, JLens was asked to prepare a paper on Judaism, the SDGs and impact investing.  Compiled by JLens’ Director of Advocacy Rabbi Josh Ratner, with input from other Jewish institutions (Shoresh Trust, UJIA, JCF San Diego), the paper highlights the powerful alignment between the 17 SDGs and Jewish wisdom.

On December 5th, JLens’ Jewish Impact Investing Summit in New York City will feature a panel discussion on this topic entitled “Multi-Faith Collaboration and the UN SDGs,” as well as many other sessions that explore the linkages between Judaism and positive impact investing.  To learn more and register, visit (use the code Wexner for a discount on the registration fee.)

WHP Alum Julie Hammerman (East Bay 10) is an expert at values-based impact investing. Following her graduation from the Wexner Heritage Program, Julie founded JLens to explore a uniquely Jewish lens on investing and to bring Jewish leadership and representation to the global responsible/impact investing movement.