2014 Consular Reports

Submitted January 14, 2015
Honorary Consuls for the Republic of Poland in the San FranciscoBay Area

I. Description of the internal situation within the consular region

    1. Internal social and political structure (with an account of the outcome of Presidential, Congressional and important local elections).
      1. Consul Taube and Consul Kerosky are in communication with the mayor of San Francisco, Mayor Edwin Lee. The governor of California, Governor Jerry Brown, is a long-time friend of Consul Taube. The Consuls both know all of the congressional representatives and the State of California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom.
      2. On May 7, Consuls Taube and Kerosky organized and participated in the Flag Raising Ceremony and Polish Constitution Day at City Hall in San Francisco alongside the Mayor of San Francisco Edwin Lee, the Protocol Officer, Charlotte Shultz and Chief of Staff for the City of San Francisco, Steve Kawa. The event was conducted in conjunction with Bay Area leaders of Polish-American groups. In attendance were several government officials, Polish American community leaders, and a member of the Kraków City Council, Slawomir Ptaszkiewicz, who has been involved in discussions about possible plans for future cooperation between the Sister Cities. Among other Polish guests was Agata Wilam, President of the Children's University – a nonprofit organization from Kraków. The aim of her project is to provide a platform for teachers worldwide, to engage experts and professionals in order to promote children’s education. Among the activities scheduled for this year, the organization is planning to expand the outreach of the project and launch an international edition of Children's University in the Bay Area. San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association has already provided Mrs. Wilam with an access to the academic speakers. The upcoming visit of Mrs. Wilam in the Bay Area in January 2015, is aimed to prepare approximately 10 short instructional films for teachers and to discuss further details of the cooperation.
      3. Our Consular offices regularly attend the meetings of the Consular Corps. Deputy Consul Mary Kay Stuvland attended the meetings on: February 11, March 11, April 15, May 13, June 10, September 9, and November 12. Consul Kerosky or one of his staff members attended meetings on March 11, May 13, and September 9. 
    1. General situation and economic policy (consequences of the financial crisis).
    2. Elements of the internal situation that may have bearing on or influence Polish interests (e.g. economic, political or social situation, for example unemployment).
    3. Honorary Consul’s relations with the local authorities and institutions (including state members of the House of Representatives and the US Senate), and possibilities of engaging them in the consular work.)

Visa Waiver Program:

Honorary Consuls Taube and Kerosky continually meet and correspond with local authorities and institutions as relevant. Of utmost priority is advocacy for the Visa Waiver Program. We have continued our work on a campaign whereby the U.S. Government would eliminate the visa requirements for Polish citizens to enter the U.S.

II. Description of the cooperation with Poland within the consular region

  1. Regional cooperation (e.g. sister cities).
    1. The Consulates play a leadership role in the San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association. The relationship, which Consul Taube initiated in July 2007, was discussed between the Mayors, their offices and the Consular offices over 18 months. 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 Taube and Consul Kerosky co-host many Sister Cities events. For further information please see the website: sfkrakow.org.; Facebook fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoKrakowSisterCities; and blog: http://citysister.org/. This relationship is in the process of being renewed.
  2.  Economic and scientific cooperation (including universities).
    1. Poland Day in Silicon Valley at StanfordUniversity. Poland Day is an annual networking   event aimed at enhancing collaboration between science and business in the context of cross-regional cooperation between Poland and the United States. Scientists (including graduates of the Top 500 Innovators Program) and innovative companies representing mainly the IT, ICT and advanced biomedical technologies preparing to enter the U.S. market as well as experts from Silicon Valley, including business and legal advisors and investors will be among the participants of this year’s edition of the Poland Day. This year’s edition took place on May 15, 2014.
    2. Honorary Consul Tad Taube and Honorary Consul Kerosky participated in welcoming participants to both Stanford and Berkeley for the “Poland 500 Innovators Program, created by the Polish government and the European Union, which took place at Stanford University’s Center for Professional Development during the spring and summer 2014. 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.
    3. Women in Business and Innovation Panel, held on November 20 at Stanford University and part of Poland-U.S. Innovation Week. Moderated by Janine Zacharia, international journalist and visiting lecturer at Stanford, four distinguished panelists discussed the role of women in the business and technology fields. Polish Consul General Mariusz Brymora and Deputy Honorary Consul Shana Penn made introductory remarks. The panelists were Katarzyna Kacperczyk, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland; Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube and Senior VP of Google; Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Cisco; Gloria Duffy, President and CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California. Audience members included Tad Taube, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Poland in the San Francisco Bay Area; Mariusz Brymora, Consul General of Poland in Los Angeles; Dr. Stanley Wojcicki, Chairman Emeritus, Department of Physics, Stanford University; and representatives from Polish businesses and government.
    4. US-Poland Innovation Week.
      Consul Kerosky helped organized and participated in US-Poland Innovation Week from November 17-20, 2014. On November 18, Consul Kerosky spoke to an audience in Berkeley as part of a panel on Legal Issues relating to innovation and creativity. This was part of the large delegation attending the week’s events in Berkeley, Stanford, Silicon Valley and San Francisco. He also participated with several members of his staff in a seminar and reception held for the delegation at the Silicon Valley Acceleration Poland (SVAC) Center in San Francisco. He also attended the gala reception and event on November 17th at the San Francisco Event Center.
    5. Silicon Valley Acceleration Center
      On a continuing basis, Consul Kerosky has worked closely with the Silicon Valley Acceleration Poland (SVAC) Center, which opened in 2013. Consul Kerosky has met with Minister Pawel Pietrasienski, Director of the Trade and Investment Section of the Embassy of Poland, during his visits to San Francisco in 2014. Consul Kerosky has 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 business trainings taking place in coordination with the SVAC.

      Consul Kerosky has also met with SVAC staff Beata Adamczyk and Tomasz Kolodziejak, at  SVAC and 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 as a mentor in corporate, contract and business law in the U.S. as well as advise participants on other legal subjects including visas.

    6. Reception for the Delegation of Warsaw Stock Exchange.
      At the invitation of Deputy Minister Katarzyna Kacperczyk, Consul Kerosky attended a reception for the VIP delegation of the  Warsaw Stock Exchange, numbering over 25 persons, in downtown San Francisco on November 17, 2014. Consul Kerosky has contacted all of the attendants and invited each to return to San Francisco and to remain in contact with his offices and that of Consul Taube.
  1. Cultural and educational cooperation (e.g. student exchange)
    1. Hon. Consul Taube and Sister Cities Association arranged a tour of San Francisco for Hon. Boguslaw Kosmider, Chairman of the Kraków City Council on February 8, 2014.
    2. A film screening of ROTEM, co-hosted by Consul Taube and the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, took place on on March 30, 2014.The documentary film tells the remarkable story of Simha Ratajzer-Rotem, nom de guerre “Kazik,” a leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and a Zionist hero in post-WWII Palestine. The screening was attended and introduced by Dr. Naomi Seidman, Professor of Jewish Culture and Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological Union.
    3. On May 15, 2014, the Honorary Consulates of the San FranciscoBay Area announced the recipients of the seventh annual Irena Sendler Memorial Award. The award, in memory of the late Irena Sendler, is granted to Polish citizens who have worked to preserve and promote Jewish heritage in Poland. This year there were two recipients: Małgorzata Niezabitowska, award-winning co-author of Remnants, one of the first Polish books to recognize and explore contemporary Jewish life in Poland, Solidarity activist, and one of the original organizers of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews; and Tomasz Pietrasiewicz,founder and director of the Grodzka Gate — NN Theatre Center, which produces and educates year-round using theater and other cultural arts to commemorate and celebrate the Jews of Lublin. The awards were presented on July 4, at an official celebration of the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków.
    4. Deputy Consul and San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association Vice President Shana Penn presided over a book launch in Warsaw (June 26, 2014) and in Kraków (June 28, 2014). In honor of the 25th anniversary of the victory of democracy over communism in Poland, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture, the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland, and the Honorary Consulate for the Republic of Poland in the San Francisco Bay Area released its journal publication entitled Deep Roots, New Branches: Personal Essays on the Rebirth of Jewish Life in Poland Since 1989. Over 100 people attended two book launches (one in Warsaw held at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and one in Kraków held at Cheder Café), including authors of essays in the journal, members of the Jewish community, media, visitors from abroad, activists, academics, and government leaders.
    5. Deputy Consul and San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association Vice President Shana Penn attended the 10th anniversary celebration of Kraków’s Galicia Jewish Museum on June 30, 2014. The Museum is one of Poland’s most visited Jewish museums and cultural/educational centers. Shana Penn also met with Director Jakub Nowakowski to discuss the upcoming cooperation between the Museum and related institutions in the Bay Area. The Museum’s exhibit, Poland and Palestine: Two Lands, and Two Skies (Krakovian Jews in the Photographs of Ze’ev Aleksandrowicz, will travel to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, sponsored by Consul Taube’s philanthropic foundation, where it will be on display from February 26-May 24, 2015. Honorary Consul Tad Taube and Deputy Consul Shana Penn were also asked to write chapters in the Galicia Jewish Museum’s tenth anniversary publication, Time of Change: The Revival of Jewish Life in Poland 1989-2004-2014, with other leaders and organizations responsible for the resurgence of Jewish life in Poland. The work was published in Fall 2014 and has already garnered positive reviews across Poland and in the U.S. 
    6. Delegation to Kraków in July for the 24th Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków
      Representing the Honorary Consuls for the Republic of Poland in the San Francisco Bay Area, Deputy Consul and San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association Vice President Shana Penn attended the 24th Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków. Ms. Penn participated in several panels during the week-long Jewish Culture Festival, including two on women in Solidarity (July 2 and 3). At the same time, Ms. Penn met with Kraków community leaders and officials in promotion of the San Francisco- Kraków Sister Cities Cooperation Agreement, including the U.S. Consul General and the U.S. Ambassador.
    7. Meetings with Officials of the City of Kraków
      In July, Hon. Consul Taube and Deputy Consul and San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association Vice President Shana Penn had meetings and discussions with officials of the City of Kraków including
      • U.S. Consul General Ellen Germain
      • Hon. Boguslaw Kosmider, Chairman of the Kraków City Council
      • Hon. Tadeusz Trzmiel, Vice President of the Mayor of Kraków
    8. 58th Annual Sister Cities International – Annual Conference. Sister Cities International hosted the Conference in San Jose, California from July 31-August 2. Over the course of three days, elected and municipal officials, engaged citizens, diplomats, and business leaders gathered in the exciting capital of Silicon Valley to discuss “The Power of Digital Diplomacy.” There were over 500 delegates in attendance from 26 different countries including 107 high school students participating in the Youth Leadership Summit. Hon. Consul Taube’s foundation was a sponsor of the conference.
    9. Grand Opening of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews on October 28, 2014Consul Taube brought a delegation of over 100 Bay Area donors, academics, and influential Jewish community leaders to witness the major milestone of the Grand Opening of POLIN. The ceremony was led by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, accompanied by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. The delegation members attended several VIP events at the Museum, including Jewish Community Day and Donors’ Day, as well as a concert at the National Opera in honor of the Grand Opening. Consul Taube, in his role as founding benefactor of the Museum, gave many interviews regarding the importance of the Museum, and his staff contributed greatly to disseminating information about the Grand Opening and the Museum to western audiences. In Consul Taube’s words, “The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is an unprecedented institution that explores a millennium of Poland’s Jewish heritage as Poland today is experiencing a revitalization of Jewish culture which I have been proud to be a part of. In a moment when other parts of Europe are seeing a rise in anti-Semitism, Poland is on a very different path, and the integration of this museum amidst the city and country that surround it creates a unique experience unlike that at any other Jewish museum in the world.” For the press articles and Op Eds on this subject, please see Press Section below (4 a. and b.). The Museum’s traveling exhibit, “Letters to Afar: Peter Forgacs and the Klezmatics,” will travel to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, sponsored by Consul Taube’s philanthropic foundation, where it will be on display from February 26-May 24, 2015.
    10. From Poland With Beat: Kraków Jewish Culture Festival Visits the San FranciscoBay Area.On December 6, 2014, the Hillel at Stanford reverberated with the beats of Polish DJs at its annual “Light It Up” Hanukkah party. Brought for the first time to California by the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in summer 2015, the DJs were part of the “From Poland with Beat” events, which foster cross-cultural musical exchange and bring the experience of the Jewish Culture Festival to new communities. The first party took place in Tel Aviv, and the second edition traveled to Hillel at Stanford as well as other venues in San Francisco. The Bay Area collaborations were supported by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which aims to foster connections with diaspora communities, and City of Kraków, in partnership with Hillel at Stanford, San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association, and Taube Philanthropies, whose Chairman, Tad Taube, attended the party.
    11. 11th Annual Slavic Choral Christmas Concert at the Church of the Nativity in San Francisco. On December 12, 2014 the Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble presented the 11th annual Slavic Choral Christmas Concert, a rich tapestry of seasonal carols and winter songs of East-Central Europe and the Balkans, featuring traditionally costumed Community artists from the Bulgarian, Croatian, Hungarian, Jewish, Moldovan, Polish, and Ukrainian Bay Area populations. The event was sponsored by Sister Cities Association and by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture. Taube Foundation staff Aleksandra Makuch attended the event on behalf of Consul Taube.
    12. The Honorary Consulates of the San Francisco Bay Area hosted Kraków academics and directors of cultural institutions throughout the year:
      • Reception for Janusz Makuch, Co-Founder and Director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków in January 2014, co-hosted by the Honorary Consuls and Sister Cities Association
      • Talks by Slawomir Sierakowski, Founding Director of Krytyka Polityczna, held at U.C. Berkeley and Stanford from January 22-24. Sierakowski discussed the difference between party politics and the political in Poland, as well the complex relationships between Jews, Poles, and other Europeans in the age of globalization. Sierakowski’s visit and talks were co-sponsored by Consul Taube’s philanthropic foundation.   
      • Reception for Mariusz M. Brymora, Consul General in San Francisco, held by the Sister Cities Association on March 19, 2014 at the Four Seasons in San Francisco.
      • Reception for the JCC Kraków’s Executive Director, Jonathan Ornstein, and Director of the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland, Helise Lieberman, co-hosted by Deputy Consul Shana Penn and the Sister Cities Association on March 30, 2014. During the reception, Mr. Ornstein shared the plans and future projects aimed at building a communication network between the JCC in Kraków and its partners in the United States, and Ms. Lieberman shared the progress of Taube Jewish Heritage Tours and the role of the Taube Center in supporting the renewal of Jewish life in Poland.
      • Talk by Dr. Dariusz Stola, Director of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, held at Stanford University on April 2, 2014. Dr. Dariusz Stola spoke about the Core Exhibition of POLIN. His visit and talk was co-sponsored by Consul Taube’s philanthropic foundation. 
      • Reception for U.S. Consul General in Kraków, Ellen Germain, co-hosted by Hon. Consuls Kerosky and Taube, San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities, and Taube Philanthropies on September 3, 2014. Consul Germain spoke about Poland today in the context of 25 years of democracy, innovation and entrepreneurship, and changing relations with Ukraine and Russia. She also met with the members of the Sister Cities Association.
      • Visit of Mi Polin, Polish Judaica Artists Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar in the Bay Area. Czernek and Prugar spoke about their designs at the Osher Marin JCC at opening reception September 11, preceded by a talk at the Jewish Community Library (September 9). Both events were well attended, and audiences were eager to hear about Mi Polin’s role as part of the new Jewish art movement in Poland. Over 100 people were present at the opening reception at the Osher Marin JCC. Mi Polin also met with Bay Area museums and boutiques regarding future partnerships. As the result of these discussions, Mi Polin artwork is now available in the OK Store and Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and will be available at the San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum’s store beginning in April 2015.
      • Visit of Adam Michnik, Polish activist and Editor-in-Chief, Gazeta Wyborcza, in the Bay Area. Honorary Consuls Taube and Kerosky and the Sister Cities Association co-hosted lectures by Adam Michnik at the University of California, Berkeley on October 30 (in conversation with John Connelly, Ph.D.), and at Commonwealth Club of California on November 4, in honor of the 25th anniversary of Polish democracy. At UC Berkeley, the lecture was accompanied by the screening of the movie, Wałęsa: Man of Hope. A leader of the anti-Communist opposition in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s, Michnik spoke at the Commonwealth Club regarding the position of Poland in view of recent elections (as former Prime Minister Donald Tusk accepted the role of president of the European Union), the current situation in Russia and Central Europe, and anti-Semitism in Europe today. Mr. Michnik’s speech was preceded by a welcoming introduction by Hon. Consul Tad Taube.
      • Visit of Professor Marcin Wodzinski, Chair of Jewish Studies at Wroclaw University, November 11-18. Prof. Wodziński served as Scholar-in-Residence in the Bay Area and gave lectures at several Bay Area universities on Hasidism. These included the keynote lecture at the conference on Hasidism at the Graduate Theological Union's Center for Jewish Studies (November 13) and lectures at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley (November 12, 17). Professor Wodzinski also worked on the Core Exhibition of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in his area of expertise and shared his experiences with Bay Area audiences.
      • Reception for the Director of the Kraków Jewish Culture Festival Janusz Makuch at the Koret Foundation in San Francisco, hosted by Hon. Consuls Taube and Kerosky and the Sister Cities Association on December 5, 2014. Janusz Makuch revisited the San Francisco Bay Area to promote the 25th anniversary season of the Jewish Culture Festival in summer 2015. Mr. Makuch was accompanied by the Deputy Directors: Robert Gądek and Katarzyna Wydra, and Program Manager, Kornelia Binicewicz. They attended several business meetings aimed at strenthening relations between Kraków and the Bay Area cultural institutions in the context of the Festival’s program, as well as to discuss the possibilities of making its From Poland With Beat project an annual event.
    13. 2014 Lectures by Shana Penn, Consular Deputy:
      • Association for Jewish Studies, 46th Annual Conference, December 14-16, 2014, Roundtable on “POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews”
      • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, 46th Annual Conference, November 20-23, 2014, Panel on “Polish Jewish Studies in the 21st Century.”
      • European Solidarity Center Grand Opening Program, Gdańsk, “Reflections on 25 Years of Democracy,” August 30, 2014.
      • Jewish Culture Festival, Kraków, Poland, July 3, 2014, “Celebrating Solidarity with the Women who Helped Bring Democracy to Poland.” The panel was attended by the Deputy Speaker of Polish Parliament, Wanda Nowicka, among other activists and feminists.
      • Jewish Community Center, Kraków, Poland, July 2, 2014, “Solidarity According to Women.” Panel discussion moderated by Deputy Consul Shana Penn, including discussion of her book, Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland (University of Michigan Press, 2005), newly published as Sekret Solidarnośći by W.A.B. publisher in Warsaw.
      • Heinrich Böll Foundation, Warsaw, June 2, 2014, “Women and Solidarity. Where did we come from? Where will we go?”
      • Kongres Kobiet 5th Annual Conference, Warsaw, May 2014.
      • Lectures on Shana Penn’s new book, Sekret Solidarności (WAB, 2014)
        • Jewish Culture Festival, July 4, 2014
        • JCC Warsaw, June 28, 2014
        • Big Book Festival, Warsaw, June 14, 2014
    14. New Publications/ Educational Resources:
      • Field Guide to Jewish Warsaw and Krakow
        Published by the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland in Warsaw in 2012 with support from Consul Taube’s philanthropic foundation, the Guide begins with a concise overview of the thousand years of Jewish life in Poland and then presents eight specially designed walking tours, four in each city, accompanied by full-color maps, detailed directions, and illustrated discussions of important sites and personages. The Guide was created by an international team of experts and writers and is used by the Taube Jewish Heritage Tour program. It is currently being developed as a mobile app.
      • Gazeta, Quarterly Newsletter of the American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies.
        Consul Taube’s philanthropic foundation will be taking over the production and publication of Gazeta (as e-newsletter) beginning in 2015.
      • POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews Grand Opening Media Kit
        Created by Consul Taube’s philanthropic foundation to promote the POLIN Museum’s grand opening to U.S. audiences.
      • Historical Timeline of 1,000 Years of Polish Jewish History
      • In appreciation of the millennium of Jewish history and accomplishments in Poland, Consul Taube’s philanthropic foundation has assembled and updated an authoritative timeline of the significant events of Jewish life in Poland, so often limited in modern-day sensibilities as exclusively the site of the Holocaust. Beginning with the arrival of Abraham ben Yaakov in the year 965, the illustrated timeline follows the rich and complex history of Polish Jewry through the centuries up to the present day.
      • Deep Roots, New Branches: Personal Essays by Four Generations of Polish Jews on the Rebirth of Jewish Life since 1989
        In this momentous year, the 25th anniversary of the victory of democracy over communism in Poland, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture, the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland, and the Honorary Consulate for the Republic of Poland in the San Francisco Bay Area were proud to present this newly released publication, titled Deep Roots, New Branches: Personal Essays on the Rebirth of Jewish Life in Poland since 1989.
        This collection of personal essays by leading Jewish thinkers and activists in Poland, representing four generations, provides invaluable insights into how the nation’s democratic aspirations made the reclamation of Jewish life possible. Though their assessments of the present and expectations for the future may differ, the authors are united in their commitment to a continued presence of Jews in a country that has been their homeland for ten centuries. This publication enables us to learn about Poland’s past, present and future from inside the culture, which today is free and democratic, a member of NATO and the European Union, an ally of the US and Israel, and protective of its ethnic minorities. Symbolic of Poland’s commitment to contemporary Jewish culture is the magnificent POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, situated on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto.

        Deep Roots, New Branches
        is divided into five thematic sections, based on the age and perspective of the contributors: Fighters: Survivors who stayed in Poland or returned after the fall of the Soviet Bloc; Dreamers: Activists who dared to face down authoritarianism and reclaim their Jewish birthright; Expats: Foreigners who came, stayed, and made Poland their home; The Third Generation: Those raised in the shadow of the Iron Curtain as Communism fell; and The Millennials: Young people effecting change in today’s free and democratic Poland. To offer perspective on all these viewpoints, we included a timeline of recent Polish Jewish history from 1989 to the present.

      The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Dr. Sebastian Rejak, Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Relations with the Jewish Diaspora) will be reproducing Deep Roots, New Branches and the Timeline in English and would like to arrange for their translation into Spanish, French, and Hebrew. Consul Taube's philanthropic foundation is also translating Deep Roots, New Branches into Polish.

  2. The image of Poland in local mass media.
    1. Interviews and Op-Eds published in 2014
    2. Articles published about Consulates’ and Foundation’s Work in Poland in 2014:

III. Consular care extended to Polish citizens

  1. Assessment how local authorities respect consular conventions and bilateral agreements.
    • N/A
  2. Detentions, arrests, deportations and extraditions of Polish citizens and pertinent assistance of Honorary Consul.
    • N/A
  3. Assistance extended by Honorary Consul to Polish citizens in emergency situations.
    • Situations have not arisen.

IV. Polish-American issues

  1. General characteristics of the Polish Diaspora in the consular region.
    1. Estimated number of Poles and people of Polish origin who reside in the consular region, including Jewish communities of Polish descent;
      • Number of Poles and people of Polish origin in the San Francisco Bay Area: approximately 115,000
      • Number of Jews of Polish descent in the San Francisco Bay Area: approximately 138,000
    2. Social composition of the local “Polonia” (immigration waves, social, religious and professional characteristics; internal relations between communities);
      • N/A
    3. Migration tendencies (increasing, steady or decreasing: returns to Poland);
      • N/A
    4. Major Polish-American organizations and scope of cooperation of Honorary Consul with them.
      • The following major Polish-American organizations work with the Consulates and have links on Consul Taube’s Honorary Consul website:
        San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association, Polonia San Francisco, Polonia in California, Polish Arts and Culture Foundation, Polish Club, Polish American Congress, Polish National Alliance #7, Łowiczanie Dance Ensemble, Polish American Social Club, East Bay Polish American Association, among others.
  2. Honorary Consul’s cooperation with the Polish Diaspora in the consular region (please list and describe joint activities and mutual projects), including:
    1. support extended to Polish-American organizations and communities, including those engaged in a Polish-Jewish dialogue;
      • Many activities are incorporated into the programs of the San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association, which enables Consuls Taube and Kerosky to create partnerships between non-Polonia civic and cultural organizations and Polonia organizations. Please see the Sister Cities website, sfkrakow.org. The Honorary Consulates also host academic and cultural leaders from Poland at Jewish and Polish institutions to foster Polish-Jewish dialogue, listed within this report.
    2. support of education and youth projects, cultural initiatives and economic projects;
      • Please see Section II
    3. cooperation with the clergy;
      • Consul Taube has a close relationship with the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich.
    4. care extended to veterans and places of national remembrance;
      • Consul Taube is the largest American sponsor of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Built on the historic site of the Warsaw Ghetto, the Museum faces the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes’ Monument. The Museum is in dialogue with the Monument, and together, the two complete the memorial complex. Consul Taube also supported the renovation of the Przysucha Synagogue, currently being restored

 V. Organization

  1. Structural organization of Honorary Consulate, number of employees and how many speak Polish.
    1. Consul Taube, competent in Polish.
    2. Mary Kay Stuvland, competent in Polish, represents Consul Taube in meetings.
    3. Shana Penn, moderate Polish, represents Consul Taube in meetings.
    4. Lina Broydo, moderate Polish, represents Consul Taube in meetings.
    5. Vilja Fussell, no Polish language.
    6. Vera Hannush, beginning Polish.
  2. Office hours and accessibility of Honorary Consul (e.g. regular office hours and/or on-call availability).
    1. Monday – Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  3. Consulate’s amenities and work conditions, including the possibility of organizing professional consular office hours (including safe and fast Internet connection).
    1. Yes, the Consulates have these amenities and working conditions.
  4. Cooperation with Polish consular and diplomatic missions in the US.
    1. The Consuls cooperate and collaborate with the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Polish Consulates in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
  5. Other conditions determining specific functions of the Consulate (e.g. dispersal of the Diaspora).
    • N/A
  6. Potential capability of Honorary Consul to offer the following services:
    1. attesting authenticity of signature or handwritten mark;
      • N/A
    2. attesting conformity of a copy, excerpt, abstract or photocopy to the presented original or a certified copy of a document;
      • N/A
    3. contracting loan agreements, after prior consultation with a professional consul with regard to form and amount of the financial assistance;
    4. preliminary annual estimate of office expenses related to enlarged scope of services.
      • N/A


VI. Proposals and motions

  • Of priority is advocacy on behalf of the Visa Waiver Program, which will allow Polish citizens to be able to enter the United States without a visa, strengthen Polish American relations and honor the Polish support of the United States’ counterterrorist efforts and global role. We will continue to urge all Consulates to advocate on behalf of the Visa Waiver Program. The Consuls will advocate for the visa waiver both in the U.S. and in Poland.
  • The Consuls will broaden and deepen their office’s community-wide outreach efforts, including expanded use of the media such as the local Polish radio program and Polish-language web pages now in development for Consular websites; dissemination of Poland-related information; servicing tourism needs of visitors to Poland; encouraging genealogical research; and arranging arts, business and technology connections between Poland and the Bay Area.
  • Consuls Taube and Kerosky will strengthen and continue to promote the activities of the San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association.
  • Consul Taube will continue his support of Polish institutions, including POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which had its Grand Opening in Warsaw on October 28, 2014.
  • It remains a major objective of the Consulates to promote Poland’s leadership role in the European Union and to publicize “The New Poland.”
  • Many of the various programs outlined in this report illuminate how the New Poland supports its Jewish cultural institutions and its diaspora. The diaspora’s vitality is enhanced by knowledge of its history and family roots and by intergenerational access to information and educational resources.
  • Together with Consul Kerosky, Consul Taube will continue to host diplomats and ordinary Polish citizens visiting the Bay Area.