On 12 June, the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the Jagiellonian University was conferred upon Tad Taube, chairman of Taube Philanthropies and board president emeritus of the Koret Foundation in San Francisco. The philanthropist was awarded for his contributions to the revival of Jewish culture in Poland, particularly in Kraków, and promoting the history and culture of Polish Jews internationally.
Specifically, the JU Senate bestowed the title of Doctor Honoris Causa upon Tad Taube with particular respect to his involvement in the revival of the Jewish community in Poland; his initiatives, both in Poland and in the United States, aiming at establishing good Polish-Jewish relationships based on the stable foundations of a democratic civil society as well as developing Jewish studies in Poland, especially in Kraków, at the Jagiellonian University; his efforts at restoring the memory about the Jewish culture and community in Poland; and his work in promoting studies on the history and culture of Polish Jews internationally.
‘It is with full certainty and a great delight that I recommend Mr Tad Taube as a candidate to the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa of the Jagiellonian University. Born in 1931 in Kraków, Tad Taube emigrated to the United States of America with his parents just before the outbreak of the Second World War. From the 1990s on, he has undertaken intensive efforts aiming at restoring the Jewish life in Poland’, wrote Prof. Barbara Engelking from the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in her letter of recommendation.
In his laudatory address, Prof. Adam Kaźmierczyk from the JU Institute of Jewish Studies stated that the honorary degree of the Jagiellonian University was an expression of gratitude for what he had done for the development of the studies on the history of Polish-Jewish relations and for making possible the work of many scholars, promoters, and cultural operators as well as the development of research on the past of Polish Jews. ‘While we thank you for all you have done already, we believe – knowing your energy and your commitment – that the future will bring many more such accomplishments’, he added.
Tad Taube, born in Kraków, Poland, in 1931, left for the United States in May 1939, a mere few months before the Nazi invasion of his beloved homeland. Now for more than a decade, as Chairman of the San Francisco-based Taube Philanthropies and President of the Koret Foundation, he has directed his philanthropic efforts toward supporting the resurgence of Jewish life in his native country. Today, Taube Philanthropies is the single largest American Jewish family foundation with an office in Poland. Tad Taube is the recipient of the 2004 Commander’s Cross, Poland’s second highest civilian medal for foreign nationals, and was appointed Honorary Consul for the Republic of Poland in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007. In 2015, Polish President Bronisław Komorowski awarded Tad Taube with the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit.