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Who We
Are


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Who We
Are


 

Building The Ecosystem 

LAVAN is a not-for-profit organization advancing the ecosystem of impact investing with Jewish values. We educate the next generation of Jewish leadership, build local communities of impact investors, and facilitate meaningful dialogue at the nexus of financial decisions and Jewish values.

 
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What We Believe


What We Believe


 

A Mission Of Meaning 

LAVAN was founded on the basic premise that financial decisions are moral decisions. From opening a bank account, through investing a 401K, to deploying our communal assets, financial decisions impact our society and our planet.


Our mission is to develop the next generation of leaders committed to aligning capital with Jewish values. We share a vision of Israel and the Jewish world at the forefront of the global impact investing movement by 2025, creating a powerful avenue for Jewish engagement and a bold communal track record of social and environmental impact.

 
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Leadership


Leadership


Avi Deutsch

Avi Deutsch

Co-founder and CEO

 

Avi consciously works to position himself at the forefront of innovative social change. As the Co-founder and CEO of LAVAN, he is building an organization that enables others around the world to join him in this pursuit. He is the former Business Development Manager at Boundless Impact Investing, a market intelligence platform for impact investors. Prior to that he spent a year in Rwanda, building a safe and stable family environment for at-risk, orphaned youth.

Avi has worked as a research analyst at the Bank of Israel and served as an officer in the Armored Corps of the Israel Defense Forces, commanding soldiers in training and combat. He is passionate about at-risk youth and currently serves on a Covenant House Program Board assisting with job placement and career development. He holds a B.A. with honors in Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is currently getting his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In his spare time, Avi likes to leave the concrete jungle of New York City in order to rock climb, trek, surf, or just take a breath of fresh air.

 

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Laura Maschler

Program Coordinator

 

In her role as Program Coordinator at LAVAN, Laura is committed to helping grow a community of impact investors guided by Jewish learning to pursue social and environmental change. Prior to joining LAVAN, she was an analyst at CEB, a best practice-based research consulting firm, where she worked with corporate strategists of Fortune 500 companies on issues relating to growth strategy development, strategic planning, and strategy skills training.


Laura is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and is a native of New York City.

 

Vanessa Bartram

vanessa bartram

Founding Board Member

 

In her role as Managing Director at ZORA, an Israel-based venture capital firm, Vanessa oversees the sourcing, diligence and management of impact investments. She also serves as local champion for “B Corp”, a global movement and certifying agency for impact businesses. 

In 2008, Vanessa founded WorkSquare, a Miami-based staffing and recruiting firm designed to improve financial and professional outcomes for low-income workers. WorkSquare is a certified “B Corp” and has been recognized nationally by the Hitachi Foundation, Forbes and others for its unique for-profit approach to poverty alleviation. 

Vanessa began her career in investment banking, providing sell-side advisory services to mid-market clients with KPMG Corporate Finance in Mexico City. During her time in Mexico, she also served as a consultant pro bono to Ashoka and the InterAmerican Development Bank. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Princeton University. She is a Heritage Fellow with the Wexner Foundation and the Miami Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Young Professional of the Year.

 

Beth dEbeer

Board Member

 

Beth is the founder of iImpact Consulting Network and specializes as an impact investment consultant. Her work on cutting-edge research and publications including: The World Economic Forum’s Impact Investing: A Primer for Family Offices, Blue Haven Initiative’s (BHI) A Review of Impact Metrics and Methodologies: Toward A Total Portfolio Framework, and early-stage impact assessment tools for Echoing Green and the Rockefeller Foundation, has provided her with extensive knowledge and expertise in impact investment. Prior experience with grass roots organizations and non-profits including Harlem Children Zone, multilaterals such as the United Nations, as well as private sector institutions, makes her sensitive to diverse needs and interests. Beth is fluent in Hebrew and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Studies from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

 

Benjamin Pinkhasik

Board Member

 

Benjamin is a Chief Operations Officer and Operational Business Controls Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he has spent the last 10 years in different parts of the organization as well as working closely on the integration between Merrill Lynch and Bank of America during the financial crisis. Benjamin has worked in technology, operational business controls and as a front office COO in Prime Broker each time taking on more senior responsibilities. Benjamin stands apart in his passion for getting things done, organizational skills, restlessness, and efficiency. Prior to the career in finance, Benjamin has worked in the healthcare industry and as a founder of an online video startup. Benjamin holds a BA in Computer Science and an MBA from University of Connecticut. 
Benjamin has been an advisor to several startups and nonprofit organizations in the past and loves dedicating his free time to his family and friends, travel, dreaming up and executing business ideas and reading. Benjamin believes deeply in LAVAN’s mission and in using power of business to repair the world. 

 

Lael Sturm

Board Member

 

Lael serves as an advisor and mentor to a wide range of ‘growth-stage’ tech companies helping them grow revenue and/or raise the next round of funding. He developed his expertise over the last 20 years as an employee, founder, investor, fund raiser and seller of technology companies. Lael has worked with large companies including MTV and CNET as well as dozens of startups. Lael is active at Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco where he serves as Executive Vice President of the Board of Directors. He volunteers for a number of local organizations and is involved at the schools attended by his children. Lael earned his MBA at Columbia Business School and his BA from University of Arizona. 

 

Perry Teicher
 

Perry Teicher

Board Member

Perry is the Impact Finance Fellow at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, where he is an active member of Orrick's Impact Finance Leadership. Perry represents and advises entrepreneurs, fund sponsors, family offices, and tax exempt organizations across a wide range of transactions, including corporate legal matters, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private fund formation matters and portfolio transactions, and private placements. Perry has a particular focus on advising clients that aim to integrate social, environmental, and financial outcomes.

Perry served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, where he supported the development of businesses aiming to create mobility and opportunity for people with disabilities in the region. Perry is a Ariene de Rothschild Fellow and member of the ROI Community, Summit, and Nexus. A native of the Detroit area and University of Michigan graduate, Perry remains committed to the Detroit area, supporting Detroit expat initiatives nationally.
 

 

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Kevin Waldman

Board Chair

 

Kevin is based in San Francisco and enjoys being a connector and storyteller. He advises growing technology companies on their commercial real estate decisions – currently as a Managing Director with Cushman & Wakefield.  In the non-profit realm, he most recently completed a three year term serving as the national board chair of Moishe House – a global organization helping young adult Jews in their 20's to build vibrant Jewish community. Kevin is an alumnus of the Wexner Heritage Program and received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin. Kevin was raised in New Orleans on incredible live music and spicy food.

 
 
 
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Advisors


Advisors


 
Allan M. Cohen Vice President Licensing and General Counsel Bessor Pharma, LLC

Allan M. Cohen
Vice President Licensing
and General Counsel

Bessor Pharma, LLC

Sarah Cohen Development Consultant  

Sarah Cohen

Development Consultant
 

Inbar Haham  Business Development Director Magma Venture Partners

Inbar Haham 
Business Development Director
Magma Venture Partners

Julie Hammerman  Executive Director JLens Investor Network

Julie Hammerman 
Executive Director
JLens Investor Network

Yigal Kerszenbaum  Program Associate Rockefeller Foundation  

Yigal Kerszenbaum 
Program Associate
Rockefeller Foundation

 

Eleanor Murphy Head of Business Development, East Coast Acumen Fund

Eleanor Murphy
Head of Business Development, East Coast
Acumen Fund

Robyn M. Polansky Vice President, Private Client Associate U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Robyn M. Polansky
Vice President, Private Client Associate
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Danny Shapiro  Division Vice President DaVita HealthCare Partners

Danny Shapiro 
Division Vice President
DaVita HealthCare Partners

Zev Vogel, CFA Research and Analysis Consultant

Zev Vogel, CFA

Research and Analysis Consultant

 
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Supporters


Supporters


 

We are grateful for the support of our generous donors,  including: