One of the first signs of change after the fall of communism in Poland was the creation of a Jewish kindergarten in Warsaw, which opened in a small apartment in 1989 with six children. Today in its new home at the Lauder Morasha School, 65 children take their first steps toward exploring Judaism. Here these youngsters sing Jewish songs, learn Hebrew words and celebrate Jewish holidays.
As a result of the success of Warsaw's Jewish kindergarten, The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation established the Lauder-Morasha School in 1994. Building on the remarkable legacy of Jewish tradition and culture that flourished among the three million Jews who resided in Poland before WWII, the Lauder-Morasha School grew quickly from 18 first-graders to its current enrollment of 205 students in Grades 1-8.
The School plays a pivotal role in revitalizing the all-but-lost morasha (heritage) of Polish Jewry. To accommodate its increasing numbers and help assure a viable Jewish future, the Lauder Foundation acquired and renovated a new facility that was dedicated on October 12, 1999.
In 2005, the Lauder Morasha School dedicated the Lola & Zygmunt Taube Cultural Resource Center, during a visit of Tad Taube, his son Sean Taube and Advisory Board members of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Cultre.
The Lauder Morasha School campus enables the combined pre-school, primary and middle schools, each fully accredited by the Polish Ministry of Education, to enrich their innovative curricula as well as to offer Jewish programs, workshops and activities for parents and community members.
By providing a high-quality Jewish and general education, supporters of the school intend that Lauder Morasha students will develop into proud, informed, and responsible adults helping to reclaim the richness of Jewish life, tradition and culture which had been denied to so many for over half a century.
Children at the Lauder Morasha School.
Tad Taube, Chairman of Taube Philanthropies, with children at the Lauder Morasha School.
Rabbi Mati Pawlak (left), Principal of the Lauder Morasha School, talks with Jeff Farber (center), Executive Director of the Koret Foundation, and Tad Taube (right), Chairman of Taube Philanthropies, in the Lola and Zygmunt Taube Cultural Resource Center of the school.