Museum of Polish Jewry gets another $13 million in funds

A museum on the history of Polish Jews has made huge strides toward its planned opening thanks to $13 million in new donations.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, going up in the heart of the former Warsaw Ghetto on land donated by the city, will narrate the 1,000-year history of Jews in Poland. It is expected to open in fall 2013.

The museum received a joint $7 million donation on July 4 from the Koret Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture, both chaired by Bay Area philanthropist Tad Taube, who left Poland as a child in 1939. This new gift brings their total contributions to nearly $16 million.

“I am proud to support the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which will present the rich, 1,000-year history of Jewish people in the very place where it unfolded,” said Taube.

“Poland is where my parents and grandparents were born. This is their story. Poland is where I was born. This also is my story. Most important, more than 70 percent of world Jewry can trace their ancestry to Poland, and this is their story, too.”

Jan Kulczyk, a Polish oil tycoon and his country’s wealthiest person, also announced a gift of $6 million last week.

Museum officials say the money will allow them to finish the museum’s core exhibition, a multimedia space that will guide visitors chronologically from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The museum, which will cost just under $100 million to build, is expected to become Europe’s largest Jewish history museum.

It is the first public-private partnership institution of its kind in Poland. — ap & ejewishphilanthropy