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.
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.
In her role as Program Manager 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.
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 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.
Avi Deutsch is a Principal at Vodia Capital where is works with individuals and institutions to align their investment decisions with their values. Prior to joining Vodia Capital, he was the CEO of LAVAN which he co-founded in 2015 and continues to serve on the board of.
Avi’s previous experiences include business development manager at Boundless Impact Investing, a market intelligence platform for impact investors, a counselor at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda working with at-risk orphaned youth, and analyst at the monetary team of the Bank of Israel. He is a former platoon commander and operations officer of the Israel Defense Forces’ Armored Corps where he commanded soldiers in training and combat.
Avi graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a bachelor’s in Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics, and expects to complete his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 2018.
Robyn Polansky Morrison has been in the investment and wealth management industry for over fifteen years, most recently as a Vice President and Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust where her practice focused on socially innovative and impact investing. Prior to joining U.S. Trust in 2014, Robyn spent twelve years with Bessemer Trust in New York, where she held increasing responsibilities in investment manager research, selection, and monitoring. She ultimately served as Vice President and Manager Research Analyst for External Manager Solutions. Robyn began her financial services career in 2000 at Thompson Financial Corporation in Venture Economics.
Robyn earned her B.A. in Economics from Union College, where she was a four-year member of the varsity crew team, and her M.B.A. from Touro College Graduate School of Business.
Robyn sits on the Board of Directors of Bottomless Closet, a nonprofit dedicated to workforce preparation for disadvantaged New York City women transitioning from unemployment and public assistance to work; Jewish Community Relations Council, a nonprofit dedicated to advocating for and ensuring the rights, interests, and values of the New York Jewish community; and Strength to Strength, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting worldwide victims of terrorism. Robyn is also a member of JFNA National Young Leadership Cabinet and Co-Lead of the Business Networking Portfolio. In her local Federation community, Robyn sit on several committees including i4 - Impact Investing in Israel.
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.
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.
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.