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New initiative to promote global Jewish volunteering

OLAM to promote service learning, international development, and social justice advocacy worldwide

Three foundations have partnered for an initiative to promote global Jewish volunteering and service.

OLAM was launched this week by the Alliance for Global Good, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and the Pears Foundation. The initiative will promote volunteering and service learning, international development, and social justice advocacy around the world.
It will serve as a field-building resource, championing, coordinating and educating for the benefit of organizations, practitioners and volunteers, according to the foundation partners.

There are more than 40 Jewish organizations in the fields of volunteering and service learning, international development and social justice advocacy, an analysis commissioned by OLAM found. However, many are underfunded, undernetworked, and underrecognized. The groups address issues such as disease, poverty and hunger.

Each of the three founding groups has been independently funding organizations in the fields of volunteering and service learning, international development and social justice advocacy for many years.

“Today’s global Jewish community is blessed with unprecedented wealth and influence. Israel, which was a developing country less than 60 years ago, has a strong economy and is a world leader in many realms,” said Dyonna Ginsburg, OLAM’s executive director. “Yet with resources comes responsibility — a responsibility to be true to our own tradition of tikkun olam, repairing a fractured world, and to do our part to address some of the world’s most complex issues, which no single organization or funder can solve alone. It is only by coming together and learning from one another that we can leverage the tremendous wisdom that already exists.”

Ginsburg served as director of education and service learning at The Jewish Agency for Israel.

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