Focal Point

OLAM’s annual Focal Point gathering 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.

In October 2020, nearly 300 people from 17 countries attended OLAM’s first virtual Focal Point, and even more tuned in to the Opening Plenary, which was broadcast live on social media. Our 59 speakers – funders, practitioners, Jewish communal leaders, rabbis, volunteer program alumni – led 19 sessions that deepened attendees’ understanding of our field at this challenging time, and explored a future in which the Jewish community deepens its commitment to global issues.

This year, Focal Point will be a hybrid event – with online sessions and in-person networking events in select cities. This will allow all of OLAM’s partners and friends around the world to be full and active participants in the conference, even in countries where vaccines are not yet widely available. And it will allow people in places where vaccine rollout has progressed to meet face-to-face.

Focal Point 2021 theme: What is our role as Jews in creating a more equitable and sustainable world for future generations?

At a time of conflicting priorities, how can the Jewish community step up to address global challenges?

With reduced funding and travel, how can Jewish/Israeli organizations continue serving communities in the developing world?

How can we build back better and create sustainable and ethical programs for the future?

FEATURED FOCAL POINT SPEAKERS IN 2020

Avital Sandler-Loeff

Executive Director, JDC-GRID

Dr. Dvora Joseph Davey

Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, UCLA and University of Cape Town

Kennedy Odede

Founder and CEO, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO)

Mandie Winston

Chief Executive United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA)

Mark Leon Goldberg

Writer, Blogger and Podcaster, UN Dispatch

Michelle Nunn

President and CEO, CARE USA

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth

Robert Bank

CEO and President, American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

Ruth Messinger

Global Ambassador, American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

Sasha Chanoff

Founder and Executive Director, Refuge Point

Sarah Eisenman

Executive Director, JDC Entwine

Yotam Polizer

CEO, IsraAID

More About Focal Point 2020 Speakers here

Focal Point 2020 Agenda here

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