Brian Lurie Named Chairman of International Development Committee for New Warsaw Museum

April 9, 2008

Contact: Tami Holzman
Rabinowitz-Dorf Communications
202-265-3000 or


WARSAW – Rabbi Brian Lurie from San Francisco joins efforts to create the Warsaw based Museum of the History of Polish Jews as Chairman of the International Development Committee. The Committee he is developing is responsible for providing vital international support to the museum, which is set to open in Warsaw, Poland, in 2011. In his new role, Lurie will be charged with fundraising, donor stewardship and generally raising the profile of the museum in the United States and abroad.

Located on the landmark site of the former Warsaw Ghetto, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews will take its place alongside the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Yad Vashem as one of the three most important Jewish memorials and educational facilities in the world with a mission to preserving the legacy of Jewish life and the civilization created by Polish Jews in the course of a millennium. Once complete, the museum will house state of the art multimedia narrative exhibitions that will take primary sources, media and cutting-edge technology to create engrossing stories, interactive exhibits and installments that will invite visitors to not just see, but to experience.

“I am honored to be selected for this prestigious post” said Lurie. “The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is crucial to preserving this long, critical chapter in Jewish history.”

The Museum invited Lurie to assume his new role because of his strong leadership track record in the Jewish community and his commitment to preserving Jewish history and cultural Judaism. Long described as an innovator and credited with raising hundreds of millions of dollars over the past three decades, Lurie for seventeen years served as executive director of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, and founded the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum in 1984. Later, during five years as president of that museum, he helped bring in architect Daniel Libeskind and Whitney Museum educational director Connie Wolf to spearhead the project with him. Lurie is also President of the Alfred and Hanna Fromm Fund and serves as Co-Chair for the Inter- Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues. He has worked in Israel and America to promote equality for Israeli Arabs. As Executive Vice President of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) he helped raise almost a billion US dollars for the “Operation Exodus” to take almost a million Soviet Jews to Israel.

Tad Taube, leading philanthropist in supporting the Jewish renaissance in Poland and a founding donor of the Museum, believes Lurie is an ideal candidate for this leadership role.

“The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a vital institution that will illuminate important and difficult chapters in Jewish history and in Polish history,” said Taube. “Rabbi Lurie understands the importance of preserving that history, and I have faith that under his leadership, the International Development Committee can achieve all of its objectives – fundraising, educating the population and attracting visitors.”

For more information about the museum, visit To arrange an interview with Brian Lurie, contact: Tami Holzman 202-265-3000 or