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2013 Consular Report
ANNUAL CONSULAR REPORT
Submitted January 17, 2014
Honorary Consuls for the Republic of Poland in the
San Francisco Bay Area
THADDEUS N. TAUBE and CHRISTOPHER A. KEROSKY
I. Completed projects:
Listed by category and date
In the consular field:
SF Consular Corps Luncheon: Religion, Ethics, and Communication by Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, Dean of Grace Cathedral (April 9; Hon. Consul Taube represented by Consular Deputy Mary Kay Stuvland)
Poland’s May 3rd, 1791 Constitution National Day and Farewell Party for Consul General Joanna Kozinska-Frybes (May 6; attended by Consular Deputy Shana Penn)
SF Consular Gala 2013 at InterContinental Mark Hopkins (June 5; Hon. Consul Taube represented by Consular Deputy Mary Kay Stuvland)
SF Consular Corps Luncheon at Fairmont Hotel (June 11; Hon. Consul Taube represented by Consular Deputy Mary Kay Stuvland)
SF Consular Corps Giants Game (June 19; Hon. Consul Christopher Kerosky)
SF Consular Corps Luncheon at Fairmont Hotel (September 10; Hon. Consul Taube represented by Consular Deputy Mary Kay Stuvland)
SF Consular Corps Luncheon at Fairmont Hotel (Oct. 8)
SF Consular Corps Luncheon at Fairmont Hotel with the Hon. Willie Brown, Jr., Former Mayor of SF City and County (Nov. 12; Hon. Consul Taube represented by Consular Deputy Mary Kay Stuvland, Hon. Consul Christopher Kerosky)
SF Consular Corps Holiday Party (Dec. 12; Hon. Consul Christopher Kerosky)
In the field of relations with Polish community:
Visa Waiver Advocacy
Hon. Consul Tad Taube met with Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf regarding efforts on behalf of the visa waiver in Washington, D.C., continuing his advocacy for Poland’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) (Feb. 25).
Hon. Consul Tad Taube met with Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf regarding the visa waiver and other issues at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University (March 25).
Press Coverage on the VWP:
Op Ed: It's Time To Treat Poland As A Welcome Guest In The United States
By Tad Taube, Forbes (June 6)
Consular Deputy Shana Penn met with Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf regarding the visa waiver in Washington, D.C. (Sept. 6).
Polish Heritage Day Celebration in San Francisco Golden Gate Park; attended by Hon. Consul Christopher Kerosky. Consul General Joanna Kozinska-Frybes spoke at the event honoring the anniversary of the Polish constitution and many from the Polonia community attended.
Festival of Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley; the primary exhibit of Polish culture, music and food was sponsored by the offices of Hon. Consuls Taube and Kerosky. Hon. Consul Kerosky gave a speech at the commencement of the event on Polish culture in America. The Consular offices also hosted the Polish Dance group, Lowiczanie (April 20).
Polish Flag Raising at San Francisco City Hall
Hon. Consuls Tad Taube and Christopher Kerosky were present at the annual Polish Flag Raising at San Francisco City Hall, together with Consular Deputy Shana Penn (May 3).
Celebrating 150 Years of the Polish Society of California “From Pioneers to Silicon Valley”; attended by Hon. Consul Christopher Kerosky and Consular Deputy Shana Penn. Both Consular offices helped fund and organize a grand celebration at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The event was attended by over 300 people. Consul General Mariusz Brymora gave the Keynote Speech and presented Hon. Consul Kerosky with a medal for his service to Poland over the last 25 years. Hon. Consul Taube sponsored a table at the event (Nov. 9).
10th Annual Slavic Choral Christmas Concert, attended by Consular Deputy Shana Penn and Vera Hannush. Both the offices of Hon. Consul Taube and Kerosky were fiscal sponsors of the concert (Dec. 13).
Throughout the year, the staffs of both Consular offices and Honorary Consuls took part and supported the events of the Polish Arts and Culture Foundation of San Francisco and attended and spoke at various events held by the Polish social organizations, the Polski Dom, the Polish churches, the Polish schools and the Polish veterans group.
San Francisco - Kraków Sister Cities Initiative
Both Consulates continue to support the five-year-old Sister Cities relationship between Kraków and San Francisco. In May 2009, the agreements were prepared and were officially signed in Kraków by Mayor Jacek Majchrowski and, representing Mayor Gavin Newsom, Consul Kerosky and Consul Taube, on July 1, 2009. The San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities relationship is the first such Eastern European relationship for San Francisco.
Consul Kerosky and Consul Taube have formed a nonprofit organization, called the San Francisco - Kraków Sister Cities Association, which they are co-chairing. Consul Kerosky finalized and filed the legal documents to create the San Francisco - Krakow Sister Cities Foundation as a California corporation, and prepared a separate application for tax-exempt status from the federal Internal Revenue Service and the state of California, which were both granted.
The Honorary Consuls have raised substantial funding from private donors and built a substantial number of dues-paying members to the organization, which continues to grow each year. For the fifth year, they organized many events throughout the year in San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area, most of which are mentioned elsewhere in the report.
Please visit the official San Francisco - Kraków Sister Cities Website at: http://sfkrakow.org.
Berkeley Law School's International and Executive Legal Education (IELE) program
A major program of the San Francisco - Kraków Sister Cities Association is the academic exchange between the U.C. Berkeley Boalt School of Law and the Jagiellonian University Law School. Initiated in 2012 by Hon. Consuls Christopher Kerosky and Tad Taube, together with the San Francisco - Kraków Sister Cities Association and the Taube and Koret Foundations, the program, entitled Berkeley Law School's International and Executive Legal Education (IELE) program, has now completed its second year, and offered a Certificate in American Law to 12 participating Poland law students and young lawyers (August 5-16). Hon. Consul Kerosky and the San Francisco - Kraków Sister Cities Association arranged for the 2013 cohort to have a tour of Sonoma County. Consular Deputy Shana Penn represented Hon. Consul Taube at the event (August 10).
In the field of culture and promotion:
Lecture by Dr. Marc Dollinger on Jewish Eastern Europe
Taube Philanthropies co-presented Jewish Eastern Europe: A Family Journey: A presentation by Dr. Marc Dollinger, who had taken a Taube Jewish Heritage Tour to Poland; attended by Consular Deputy Shana Penn (Jan. 17).
Helise Lieberman, Director of Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland, visited the Bay Area
Director Helise Lieberman visited and met with the Bay Area community regarding the work of the Center in Poland (Jan. 27-31).
Jewish Music Festival
Taube Philanthropies sponsored the Opening Night Concert of the 2013 Jewish Music Festival, the theme of which was the Revival of Jewish Life in Poland, with a focus on the upcoming soft opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and featured Polesye and Shofar, with Ruth Ellen Gruber (March 7).
An-Ski Conference at Graduate Theological Union
Taube Philanthropies sponsored the conference at the Graduate Theological Union entitled One Hundred Years since the Ethnographic Expedition: Reflections on An-ski and Jewish Ethnography, celebrating the centennial anniversary of the S. An-ski Ethnographic Expedition, 1912-1914, which collected thousands of Yiddish songs and stories, music, photographs and material objects from small shtetls in the Pale of Settlement of the Russian Empire (March 10).
Konstanty Gebert at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Stanford, U.C. Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union
Taube Philanthropies sponsored lectures by Polish author and Jewish activist Konstanty Gebert at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center (March 20), Stanford (March 21), and U.C. Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union (March 22).
Soft Opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, April 16-20
Hon. Consul Tad Taube brought a delegation of 40 VIPs to the soft opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which took place on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Consul Taube hosted the distinguished guests in a week-long heritage tour of Poland, during which the delegation viewed the soon-to-be completed Museum of the History of Polish Jews (and were treated to the first tour of the close-to-scale 17th-century wooden synagogue ceiling, the centerpiece of the Core Exhibition), met Polish dignitaries and participated in the Jewish cultural resurgence.
At the initiative of and with major financing by the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles, Taube Philanthropies helped sponsor several California journalists to attend the international ceremony honoring the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. These included Dan Pine (JWeekly), Joel Brinkley (Stanford), and Heidi Neitert and Susan Neisloss (JLTV). Taube Philanthropies sponsored live coverage and rebroadcasts of the opening ceremonies.
As part of the festivities, Hon. Consul Taube also sponsored a concert by renowned New York musician Basya Schechter, produced by the Jewish Culture Festival at the Tempel Synagogue in Krakow. It was preceded by a reception co-hosted by the U.S. Consul General Ellen Germain and the JCC Krakow (April 17).
Press Coverage of the Soft Opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews by Hon. Consul Taube:
"This story is our story": Museum of Polish Jewish history a symbol of renaissance
By Tad Taube, JWeekly (April 17)
US philanthropist savors opening of Jewish museum
By Vanessa Gera, AP (April 20)
Remembering How Polish Jews Lived, Not Just How They Died: A New Museum in Warsaw Presents a Millennia of Polish Jewry
By Tad Taube, Jewish Daily Forward (April 7)
Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust
The Consular offices organized a presentation to the public on the subject of Jan Karski by author E. Thomas Wood, the author of Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust at the University of San Francisco. The event was attended by Hon. Consul Kerosky, who introduced Mr. Wood. Afterwards, there was a dinner organized for Mr. Wood attended by Hon. Consul Kerosky and other dignitaries (April 24).
Interview with the BBC
Hon. Consul Taube was interviewed by Simon Target of the BBC on his work in Poland. Mr. Target was accompanied by his wife, Dr. Beata Zatorska, author of Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland (May 22).
Poland’s Jewish renaissance brings to light ‘underpinnings’ of Judeo-Christian Western culture (Interview with Tad Taube)
By Jacob Kamaras, JNS (June 17)
Amazing. Vibrant. Area Hillel students absorb whirlwind trip through Poland
By David Synder, Baltimore Jewish Times (June 20)
The Baltimore Jewish Times profiled the work of the Taube Jewish Heritage Tour Program. Taube Jewish Heritage Tours offer tailor-made educational excursions for individuals, families and groups seeking to discover their personal histories, explore a collective past and participate in the revival of Jewish life in Poland.
Piotr Wiślicki of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews Visited the Bay Area
On June 12, Bay Area supporters of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews gathered at the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum to honor Piotr Wiślicki, chairman of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute. Taube Philanthropies and the Koret Foundation were the hosts of the donor reception for Mr. Wiślicki in San Francisco.
23rd Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow
Consular Deputy Shana Penn attended the 23rd Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow.
Monika and Stanisław Krajewski Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
On July 5, Taube Philanthropies and the AJC jointly conferred their inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award on Monika and Stanisław Krajewski of Warsaw, in recognition of their contribution to the rebirth of Jewish life in Poland. The award was presented in the Tempel Synagogue in Krakow preceding a concert of the Jewish Culture Festival. Following the concert, the Krajewskis were guests of honor at a Shabbat dinner at the Izaak Synagogue, hosted by the Krakow JCC.
Helise Lieberman, Director of the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland, tours Phil Blazer
At the request of Malgorzata Cup, Consul for Culture, Press, Education and Polish Community of the Los Angeles Consulate General, Director Helise Lieberman gave Phil Blazer a personal heritage tour (July 5).
PASS (Polin Academy Summer Seminar)
Morgan Blum, director of education at the Holocaust Center at Jewish Family & Children's Services of San Francisco, participated in the inaugural educational program for North American educators at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. From July 21-28, 22 U.S. and Canadian educators, together with seven Polish educators, were introduced to the subjects treated in the Museum’s 8-gallery Core Exhibition. The participants were tasked with helping the Museum to develop culturally sensitive guided tours for groups from North America to the Museum's state-of-the-art Core Exhibition. Consular Deputy Shana Penn was involved in the dissemination of materials regarding the program to the Bay Area and U.S.
Hon. Consul Tad Taube addressed the shechitah controversy
Op-Ed: Polish democracy may make missteps, but its goal of good Jewish relations remains clear
By Tad Taube, JTA (July 23)
U.S. Senator and Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) was given a tour of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Senator Mikulski was escorted by the Director of the Core Exhibition, Dr. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, and joined by Museum leadership and representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw (August 23).
Birthright Poland Extension
In early October, Birthright Israel education leaders visited Poland to experience a two-day intensive Taube Jewish Heritage Tour of Warsaw, Krakow, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Among them was Dr. Gil Troy, Chairman of the Birthright Israel International Education Committee, who reflected on how the visit changed his perceptions of Poland from a land of ashes to a vibrant landscape of rebirth. Consular Deputy Shana Penn is in talks with Birthright Israel to implement the inaugural Birthright Poland trip in Summer 2014.
Studium Teatralne premieres in the Bay Area
Consular Deputy Shana Penn and Vera Hannush attended the Bay Area premiere of Studium Teatralne's The King of Hearts is Off Again, based on the award-winning novel by Hanna Krall, Chasing the King of Hearts (October 2).
Opening of the JCC Warsaw
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jews of Warsaw inaugurated the city’s first-ever modern Jewish Community Center in the Polish capital on October 24. Funded by JDC, Taube Philanthropies, the Koret Foundation, and many other donors, the new JCC is the second in the country and will serve as a boutique hub for a vast array of Jewish cultural, educational, and community programs and activities, many taking place outside the JCC’s walls, for Warsaw’s multi-generational Jewish community. In attendance for the opening ceremonies and affixing of the mezuzah were Hon. Consul Tad Taube and Consular Deputy Shana Penn (October24).
2013 Irena Sendler Memorial Award Honors Government Leaders for their Role in the Building of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews
The annual Irena Sendler Memorial Award, hosted by Taube Philanthropies, was held on October 23, at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. This year’s laureates are Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, and Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the Mayor of the capital city of Warsaw. Hundreds of guests attended the Sendler Ceremony, including members of Polish government, the Jewish community, past and present Sendler laureates, among others.
Shana Penn Awarded Poland's Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit
Hon. Consul Tad Taube is proud to announce that Shana Penn, his Consular Deputy and Executive Director of Taube Philanthropies, was decorated with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Polish Republic, in Warsaw, on October 23. The award was presented by Minister Jacek Michałowski, Head of the Chancellery of the President, on behalf of President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski. The award honors her outstanding contribution to the development of Polish-Jewish dialogue, support of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, advocacy on behalf of Poland's inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program, and scholarly work on the role of women in the Solidarity movement in Poland. President Komorowski's commemoration of women on the 23rd anniversary of the first democratic elections in Poland on June 4, 1989, was inspired by Ms. Penn's groundbreaking research. Deputy Speaker of the Sejm Wanda Nowicka also spoke regarding Ms. Penn's significant contributions.
Hon. Consul Tad Taube named “Forward 50”
Hon. Consul Tad Taube was honored as one of the 2013 Forward 50, the newsweekly's annual list of 50 newsworthy and notable Jewish Americans, citing his drive and dedication to the realization of a project a decade in the making and a lifetime in the imagining: the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, in Warsaw (Nov. 14).
“Walesa: Man of Hope” premieres on Capitol Hill
Consular Deputy Shana Penn was invited by Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf to attend the Special Viewing of “Walesa: Man of Hope” on Capitol Hill (Dec. 4).
Polish USC Music Archives
Taube Philanthropies awarded a grant to the Polish USC Music Archives, which currently has a joint project with the Polish National Archives.
Consular Deputy Shana Penn addressed the shechitah controversy
Penn: Od Pastwiska Do Talerza. Problem Z Ubojem Rytualnym
By Shana Penn, Krytyka Polityczna (December 3)
In the field of economic relations:
Poland 500 Top Innovators Program
Honorary Consul Tad Taube welcomed participants in the “Poland 500 Top Innovators Program,” created by the Polish government and the European Union, which took place at Stanford University’s Center for Professional Development from October 7-December 19. Over the course of five years, 500 Polish innovators will be selected to participate in the spirit of intellectual rigor, entrepreneurship, and cross-cultural collaboration. Hon. Consul Kerosky spoke at the inaugural meeting of the Poland 500 Innovators class in the fall at Stanford University (October). Hon. Consul Taube attended the Poland Top 500 Commencement Dinner– Science, Management, Commercialization (Dec. 19).
The Poland-Silicon Valley Science and Technology Symposium (PSVST) was held on Nov. 7-8 at Stanford University. The Symposium was organized by the U.S.-Polish Trade Council in cooperation with the Polish-American Engineers’ Club of Silicon Valley and the Council of Polish Engineers in North America. During the symposium, representatives from Poland had the opportunity to gain experience from the world’s leading centers of innovation and to establish cooperation with foreign companies. The theme of this year’s symposium was Life Sciences & Advanced Materials.
Silicon Valley Acceleration Center
Both Consuls Taube and Kerosky have worked closely with the Silicon Valley Acceleration Center, which opened in 2013. Consul Kerosky hosted a reception at his offices for the SVAC delegation from Malopolska region visiting Silicon Valley and San Francisco. The group was led by Mr. Wojciech Kozak, Marshal of the Malopolska Voivodship (August 4).
Consul Kerosky met with Minister Pawel Pietrasienski, Director of the Trade and Investment Section of the Embassy of Poland, during his visit to San Francisco. The two have been working together on cooperation for SVAC programs in 2013 and 2014 (Dec. 12). Subsequent to the meeting, Consul Kerosky prepared a special Guide to Opening a Business in California in both English and Polish languages for SVAC program participants. Consul Kerosky also prepared a Guide to Visas for Businessmen for SVAC participants. Both guides are for use in the planned business trainings to take place in coordination with the SVAC.
In October, Consul Kerosky met with Tomasz Kolodziejak, Expert IT official with the SVAC at his offices in San Francisco, to discuss continued cooperation and assistance with SVAC programs. Consul Kerosky has agreed to provide training to SVAC participants in corporate, contract and business law in the U.S. as well as advise participants on other legal subjects including visas.
Press on Philanthropy:
Prywatna filantropia ma się dobrze
By Tad Taube, Forbes (Sept. 2)
Op Ed by Tad Taube on the power of collaborative giving, which appeared in the Polish Forbes, following its publication in the U.S.
I. General comments on the situation in your consular circumscription, important changes, trends etc.
Consular Goals and Focuses for 2014
The Consulates of Hon. Tad Taube and Christopher Kerosky have continued advocacy on behalf of the Visa Waiver Program, and will continue this advocacy into the upcoming year. The soft opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews has generated a new, exciting focus on Poland and led to cross-cultural programming and communication, which will only increase with the Grand Opening in September 2014, and the Consulates are looking forward to promoting this landmark occasion.
1. Structural organization of Honorary Consulates, number of employees, offices and how many speak Polish.
a. Consul Taube, competent in Polish.
b. Consul Kerosky, fluent in Polish.
c. Magdalena Zimka, fluent in Polish, represents Consul Kerosky in meetings.
d. Pawel Trela, fluent in Polish, represents Consul Kerosky in meetings.
e. Mary Kay Stuvland, competent in Polish, represents Consul Taube in meetings.
f. Shana Penn, moderate Polish, represents Consul Taube in meetings.
g. Lina Broydo, moderate Polish, represents Consul Taube in meetings.
h. Vera Hannush, beginning Polish
The offices have more than 15 other staff members in 9 offices throughout Northern California at the disposal of the Embassy and government of Poland.
2. Office hours and accessibility of Honorary Consul (e.g. regular office hours and/or on-call availability). Monday – Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Consul Kerosky and Consul Taube have offices in the following locations: San Francisco, Berkeley, Belmont, San Jose, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Napa, Ukiah, and Walnut Creek.
II. Suggestions, needs, requests.
· Consuls Taube and Kerosky will strengthen and continue to promote the activities of the San Francisco - Kraków Sister Cities Association, including the expanded exchange between U.C. Berkeley Boalt School of Law and Jagiellonian University (International and Executive Legal Education Program). The Consulates could benefit from any funding that might be possible through the E.U. or Polish government sources.
· Consuls Kerosky and Taube would like to organize a major event to celebrate and honor the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic government of Poland in 1989. The Consulates could benefit from any funding that might be possible through the E.U. or Polish government sources.
· Consuls Kerosky and Consul Taube would like to organize a presentation and exhibit to celebrate and honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jan Karski. The Consulates could benefit from any funding that might be possible through the E.U. or Polish government sources.