Focal Point 2017

Conference Information

 Goals and Content

OLAM‘s 2nd annual Focal Point conference will bring together select Jewish funders, field practitioners, and communal leaders to tackle key challenges related to Jewish involvement in caring for the world’s most vulnerable:

  • How do we bring more funding to the field of global Jewish service and international development?
  • How do we bring more Jewish volunteers to the developing world?

Program highlights include:

  • Release of new field-wide data: what is our community’s current investment in international development and global service?
  • Presentations from outstanding and inspiring Jewish professionals in the field
  • Intimate peer-led breakout sessions
  • Tracked experiences for funders and practitioners

Agenda, speakers and other program details will be shared with participants as they become available. Email [email protected] for a current preliminary agenda.


Practitioners and communal leaders: Focal Point will begin with registration and breakfast at 8:00am on Monday, June 12 and conclude at 3:00pm on Tuesday, June 13.

Funders: We encourage you to join us for the day program on June 12 from 9:00am-3:30pm, which includes a funders-only track experience as well as an opportunity to meet practitioners and communal leaders devoted to addressing global challenges. Those who would like to join us for Monday night dinner and/or for the second day of the conference are welcome to do so.


The conference will take place at Gary’s Loft, 28 W 36th St, New York City, on the 10th, 11th and Penthouse floors.

OLAM coalition partners traveling from outside of New York will be staying at the Affinia Shelburne Hotel, 303 Lexington Avenue at 37th St., New York City. The hotel is about a ten minute walk from Gary’s Loft. See below for more lodging details.


Focal Point is an invitation-only gathering. Attendees will include:

  • representatives of OLAM’s 47 coalition partners – Jewish and Israeli organizations devoted to international development and global service;
  • Jewish funders and philanthropy professionals
  • leaders of major Jewish communal institutions
  • Jewish international development and service practitioners working in non-sectarian organizations
  • outstanding young adults invested in global Jewish service


Click here for the Focal Point registration form.

Registration Fee

Registration fee should be submitted by credit card through the conference registration form. If you have trouble submitting payment, contact [email protected].

For non-coalition partners:

The non-refundable registration fee for non-coalition partners is $100 per day. This fee includes meals and does not include accommodation.

A limited number of needs-based subsidies are available. Contact [email protected] for details.

For OLAM coalition partners:

The non-refundable registration fee for partners includes meals throughout the two days and, if requested, hotel accommodation which we will book on your behalf. (See “Lodging” below for further hotel details.)

  • Fee for OLAM coalition partners requesting accommodation: $250 USD (this includes hotel, which we will book for you)
  • Fee for OLAM coalition partners *not* requesting accommodation: $200 USD

Coalition partners, please note: We are offering a $25 discount to partners who have completed OLAM’s Field Snapshot Survey by March 31. Contact [email protected] for details. 


For OLAM coalition partners:

Your registration fee for Focal Point includes a shared double-occupancy hotel room for two nights: Sunday, June 11 (for those traveling from out of town) and Monday, June 12. Checkout will be the morning of Tuesday, June 13, the final day of the gathering. If you requested accommodation on your registration form, OLAM has booked the room on your behalf. There is no need to contact the hotel directly.

For double-occupancy rooms, we will do our best to honor roommate requests. There are a limited number of single-occupancy rooms available upon request for an additional $100, to be paid with your registration fee.

For non-coalition partners:

Registration fee does not include accommodation. However, we have reserved a block of rooms at the Affinia Shelburne Hotel, a ten minute walk from where the conference will take place, that are available to Focal Point participants at a discounted rate.

Click here for information on our block at the Affinia Shelburne. The link should pre-fill the discount code for you, but if it does not, enter code 1706REPAADD. If you prefer to reserve via phone, call 866-233-4642.

Address information for hotel

Shelburne NYC

303 Lexington Avenue At 37th Street

New York, NY 10016

What to Bring

Attire: There is no dress code for Focal Point. We suggest business-casual attire for the daytime and business-formal attire for Monday evening’s dinner honoring Leonard and Tobee Kaplan z’l.

Weather: June in New York is generally warm but rainstorms are possible. We suggest bringing layers including rain gear. All programming will be indoors, but those staying at the Affinia Shelburne Hotel should expect to walk about ten minutes each way to our conference center.


For coalition partners:

OLAM is pleased to offer travel subsidies to our coalition partners to help cover the cost of their travel (airfare and/or train) to Focal Point. Subsidies for the cost of travel to Focal Point are provided in addition to and separate from the ongoing OLAM in Motion travel subsidies program. 

The size of the travel subsidy available for your attendance at Focal Point is scaled based on the location of your organization’s offices:

  • Within the US and from Mexico: up to $550 USD
  • From Israel: up to $900 USD
  • From the UK: Up to $1300 USD
  • From Australia or South Africa: up to $1500 USD

Travel subsidies will be provided as reimbursements via PayPal (for non-Israeli partners) or via bank transfer (for Israeli organizations) following the gathering. Information on the process for receiving reimbursements will follow in the coming weeks.


All food served at Focal Point will be strictly kosher. If you have additional dietary needs, please indicate these on the registration form.

Special Events

The first night of the gathering, Monday evening, June 12 we will be holding a festive dinner event honoring Leonard and Tobee Kaplan z’l, founders of the Alliance for Global Good, for their lifetime dedication to global Jewish service. Cocktail attire recommended.

Additional Opportunities for OLAM Partners


OLAM staff are compiling a list of partners who are available to speak at synagogues and Jewish community hubs in the New York area during the days following Focal Point. Contacts at the UJA-Jewish Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council have agreed to distribute that list among relevant communal leaders.

They have *not* guaranteed speaking gigs for our partners, but partners who appear on the list may be contacted for opportunities to present to interested communities before or after Focal Point. You may indicate your interest in being included on that list on your registration form.


REALITY is offering to connect our partners with one-on-one or group consultations with members of their alumni network, including entrepreneurs, executives and changemakers with expertise in a range of fields. Click here to learn more and request a consultation.

Useful Phone Numbers

Should you need to speak to an OLAM staff person when you arrive, reach out to:

  • Sarah Weiss, Focal Point event planner: +1 (646) 592-0624
  • Shani Rosenbaum, OLAM Program Manager – US number: +1 (646) 667-7274


Contact [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you in New York!

Join us for Focal Point – register here today!