OLAM

OLAM is deeply grateful to Pears Foundation for its vision, its willingness to take risks and its commitment to bringing together and finding common ground among a diverse set of individuals and institutions 'raising the tide' for all. Pears is unique in its ability to identify issue areas that are missing from the communal agenda and to look for innovative ways to raise their profile. As a new initiative with an emerging strategy, OLAM has had the good fortune to have Pears, with its willingness to learn with us and support us as we grow, as our funder and fellow traveller.
Dyonna Ginsburg, Executive Director, OLAM
I spent many years dreaming about the creation of a Jewish Peace Corps, whereby the global Jewish community could contribute its expertise and energy to some of the world’s most challenging problems and poorest countries. At some point along this journey I realised that there were a number of organisations already doing this work. Instead of establishing a new organisation, we decided to create something that would ‘lift the tide for all ships’, strengthening their efforts and amplifying their voices to show how the Jewish people can make a difference in the world.
Trevor Pears CMG

One of the core values of Jewish tradition is the obligation to care for the stranger. In today’s global world, the “stranger” can live in our midst as well as on the other side of the world. Wherever we encounter the stranger, Jews have a moral obligation to look beyond parochial concerns and engage in global humanitarian issues.

Pears Foundation supports multiple Jewish and Israeli organisations that work in the developing world. Some of them, such as Tevel b’Tzedek, bring Israeli expertise as well as volunteers to work in partnership with local communities. Others, like Tzedek, have impact not only by supporting projects on the ground but by running education and school twinning programmes in UK Jewish schools. Still others, like the Israel branch of the Society of International Development, act as convenors and capacity builders, helping to support other organisations in the development field. Pears Foundation supports each of these individual efforts as well as many more.

Building on these individual partnerships, in 2014 the Foundation partnered with the Alliance for Global Good and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation to create a global platform for all organisations in this field. The name OLAM, is an allusion to the Hebrew term tikkun olam (repairing the world), one of the central tenets of Jewish tradition.

OLAM brings together over forty Jewish and Israeli organisations active in international development, humanitarian relief, and promoting volunteering in the developing world. Its purpose is not to duplicate the efforts of its members or deliver on the ground, but rather to communicate about the work that is happening, connect those who are doing it, and convene a global Jewish network of organisations who are engaged in this crucial work.

OLAM provides structured opportunities for partner organisations to meet and share best practice, including a rotating annual summit that focuses on the specific needs of the host country as well as study trips and educational seminars for funders.

From delivering disaster relief in the Phillipines and Nepal to educating young Jews about development projects in Rwanda and Ethiopia, OLAM’s partners are having an impact on the communities they serve. OLAM plays its part by raising the profile of this vital work and engaging even more people in it.