Focal Point

How can the Jewish community tackle the world’s greatest challenges and live our values? 

OLAM’s annual Focal Point conference is an exclusive opportunity for Jews engaged in global service, international development, and humanitarian aid to network, exchange ideas and best practices, and celebrate their shared commitment to serving the world’s most vulnerable individuals.



Impactful networking opportunities with 150 Jewish professionals working in 70 countries

Sector-specific knowledge sharing and problem solving

Thought-provoking discussions with Jewish leaders making a difference in the world

Intimate break-out sessions


Robert Bank

President and CEO, American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

Shoshana Boyd Gelfand

Director, JHub

Lisa Eisen

Vice President, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

Sir Trevor Pears CMG

Executive Chair, Pears Foundation

Rabbi Jennie Rosenn

Rev. Adam Taylor

Executive Director, Sojourners

Fay Twersky

Director, Effective Philanthropy Group, Hewlett Foundation

Caryl M. Stern

President and CEO, UNICEF USA


17:30 - 18:00 Registration
18:00 - 19:00 Welcome Dinner and Introduction to OLAM
19:00 - 19:45 STRUCTURED NETWORKING: Who is in the Room Part 1
20:00 Optional activity in Washington, D.C.
TBD Optional Jewish text study
08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast at Mary Gates Learning Center
09:00 - 10:30 PLENARY: “Do No Harm” - Challenges and Best Practices in Engaging Communities
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee break
10:45 - 12:15 Sector-Specific Meetings (problem solving in small groups)
12:15 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:45 BREAKOUT SESSIONS: Tapping into Global Funding: Reaching Beyond the Usual Suspects, A Jewish Voice in a Non-Jewish World, Engaging with the International Development Field from Outside the DC Bubble
14:45 - 15:00 Break
15:00 - 16:00 Community Asset Mapping
16:00 - 16:45 DISCUSSION: Our Relationship with the Larger Jewish Community – Preparation for Day 2
16:45 - 18:00 Break
18:00 - 19:00 Reception
19:00 - 20:30 Celebratory Dinner
20:30 - 22:00 Desserts and Drinks
TBD Optional Yoga
08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast at Mary Gates Learning Center
09:00 - 10:00 STRUCTURED NETWORKING: Who is in the Room Part 2
10:00 – 11:30 PLENARY: From Values to Action: Mobilization for Global Social Justice
11:30 – 11:45 Coffee break
11:45 - 13:00 BREAKOUT SESSIONS: Connecting the Jewish and the Global: What Makes a Successful Global Service Partnership?, Workshop: The Power of Storytelling: Bringing in Voices from the Field, Vilifying, Whitewashing, and What’s in Between: How to Talk about Israeli Development Work in Social Justice Circles?
13:00 - 14:30 Lunch break and informal networking
13:45 - 14:15 Optional: Program Pitch for Global Service Programs
14:30 - 16:15 CLOSING PLENARY: Today’s Humanitarian Crises: The Story of Self, The Story of Us, The Story of Now
16:15 – 17:00 Concluding Session

Frequently Asked Questions

We look forward to seeing you at Focal Point 2019!


Check out 2018’s Focal Point Program Booklet

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