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Jewish Impact Investing Explained

Recently, FaithInvest conducted an interview with Michael Lustig, who spent more than 20 years on Wall Street before retiring and getting involved in impact investing. Now he has produced Greenbook: A Guide to Jewish Impact Investing which is not only inspiring Jewish investors but provides a very useful template for other faith traditions to follow.
Michael Lustig: 'Foundations and endowments should be mission-aligned in their investing'

"The Greenbooks" are a series of topical, user-friendly research reports for funders, published by the Jewish Funders Network. This Greenbook represents the first-ever guide to Jewish impact investing, which in itself is a reason why we wanted to talk to Michael, a member of the Jewish Funders Network and an impact investor himself. But more than this, it is a very thorough manual that not only gives a good overview of impact investing but also includes a very practical 'how to' section – rarely seen in many other impact investing guides.

And while it is obviously aimed at Jewish investors, the Greenbook is also very useful for other faith-based investors, says Mathew Jensen, FaithInvest's lead on member engagement. 'This is a document I could hand to a board member or a trustee or CIO or someone on the investment staff or even in the faith leadership, and say if you want to understand impact investing and further, if you want to actually act on impact investing, this is a great place to start,' says Mathew.

In the interview, Michael describes how, after 20 years' working on Wall Street (mostly for BlackRock), he came to embark upon on an effort to get foundations and endowments to be mission-aligned in their investing. 'Because I think it's, frankly, somewhat insane for a foundation or endowment to do anything but,' he says. 'Their assets should be rowing in the same direction as their spending.'


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