The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture is one of two foundations created by Thaddeus “Tad” Taube, a real estate investor and entrepreneur. The foundation’s principal activity is the creation of and continuing support for a museum of Jewish life which opened in Poland in 2004. The foundation also donates Jewish art and artifacts to colleges and museums in the San Francisco Bay Area and supports Jewish organizations in the region.
The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture and the Taube Family Foundation are grouped together as the Taube Philanthropies.
Thaddeus “Tad” Taube
Thaddeus “Tad” Taube was born in Krakow, Poland in 1931 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1939. He became a U.S. citizen in 1952 and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford. After serving two years in the U.S. Air Force, Taube formed the Woodmont Companies, a real estate investment firm. 1
Taube retains strong connections to Poland. In 2004 Poland awarded him the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit for his philanthropy in that country. Since 2007, Taube has been an honorary consul for Poland in northern California. 2
Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews
In a 2013 memoir, Taube said one of goals as a philanthropist was for Poland to have “a great Jewish museum, one that would commemorate the epic thousand-year story of the Polish-Jewish experience, in all of its triumphs and tragedies.” 3
The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews opened in 2014, funded by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, the Koret Foundation, Polish entrepreneur Jan Kulczyk, the Polish government, and the city of Warsaw. The New York Times called the museum “the most ambitious cultural institution to rise in Poland since the fall of Communism.” 4
“This museum,” Taube wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “has served to bind the Jewish community and Poland as a whole. It has helped solidify a link that has been broken for a long time.” 5
Donations To Bay Area Universities
In 2010, a $250,000 grant from the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life enabled the University of California, Berkeley to acquire the Judah L. Magnes Museum of Jewish Art. Seven years later, the Taube Foundation donated $10.1 million to The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life to acquire the archive of 450 works of Arthur Szyk, a caricaturist whose World War II cartoons mocked fascists and supported the Allied war effort. 6
Taube, in a piece in the East Bay Times, wrote that Szyk’s “masterpieces of historical and political commentary, once published in major newsmagazines and newspapers, have in recent years flown too far under the radar. It’s time for that to change.” 7
In 2021 the Taube Foundation made a grant to Stanford University Libraries to digitize the records of the International Military Tribunal, which conducted the trial of the major war criminals at Nuremberg of 1945-46, and to place the records of the trial online. 8
The largest donation the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture made in 2019 was $1.1 million to the American Friends of The Polin Museum. Other large donations included $530,000 to the Jewish Community Foundation of San Francisco and $503,000 to the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. 9
- “About Tad,” http://www.tadtaube.com/about/ (accessed January 26, 2022).
- “Honorary Consul for the Republic of Poland,” https://www.thc.taubephilanthropies.org/ (accessed January 25, 2022).
- Tad Taube, The Journey and The Destination: A Life in Business and Philanthropy (San Francisco: Taube foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, 2013),121.
- Rick Lyman, “To Trace Its. Jewish History, Poland Presents ‘A Museum of Life,’” New York Times, October 22, 2014.
- Tad Taube, “The Legacy That Polish Jews Deserve,” Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2014.
- “Largest Single Monetary Gift to Acquire Art in UC Berkeley History Brings Work of Major 20th-Century Artist to Campus,” press release from the University of California (Berkeley), April 3, 2017.
-  Tad Taube, “It’s Time to Bring Back an Artist’s Anti-Fascist Imagery,” East Bay Times, April 30, 2017.
- “Stanford Libraries to Make the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal Trial Archives 1945-46 Accessible Online With Funding From Taube Philanthropies,” press release from Stanford University Libraries, March 1, 2021.
- 2019 Taube foundation for Jewish Life and Culture form 990.