Koret, Taube announce $5 million gift for Contemporary Jewish Museum

On Mother’s Day in 2004, the Koret Foundation thought it’d be nice if everyone who wanted to take Mom to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco could get in for free. So to make that happen, Koret made a $500 donation.

Now that number has been multiplied by 10,000.

Koret and Tad Taube’s family foundation announced this week a $5 million combined donation to the new CJM.

“Their funds provide us with support right out of the gate. For our first several years of programming, we’ll know there’s support there that allows us” to go forward, said Connie Wolf, the museum’s CEO and executive director.

“Needless to say, we’re really ecstatic and thrilled by their level of support.”

Wolf spoke to j. from New York City, where an exhibition of Andy Warhol portraits of famous Jews opened March 16 at the Jewish Museum of New York. The Warhol exhibit will be one of the CJM’s inaugural displays when the long-anticipated San Francisco structure holds its grand opening June 8.

“This money is for ongoing exhibition and operating support. It will help them bring blockbuster exhibitions to the museum,” Susan Wolfe, Koret public affairs director, explained of the five-year grant.

Added Taube, the president of the Koret Foundation and the chairman of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture: “Our foundations are committed to the intellectual, cultural and physical survival of the Jewish people.”

The Daniel Libeskind-designed museum is nearing completion on Jessie Street, a stone’s throw from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

In addition to Warhol’s portraits of 20th-century Jews, the museum’s inaugural exhibits will include a display of cartoons and artwork from children’s author William Steig, a sound installation presented by avant-garde composer John Zorn, and its central exhibit, “In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis.”

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi is the managing editor at Mission Local. He is a former editor-at-large at San Francisco magazine, former columnist at SF Weekly and a former J. staff writer.