Taube receives high honor from Poland

Bay Area philanthropist Tad Taube has received Poland’s highest medal of distinction for a foreign civilian.

In a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw on June 26, Polish President BronisÅ‚aw Komorowski announced that Taube had been honored with the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit.

During the ceremony, Taube, who has vigorously supported the revitalization of Jewish life in his native Poland, was acknowledged “for extraordinary merits of creating the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.”

Shana Penn, executive director of Taube Philanthropies, accepted the honor on Taube’s behalf. In total, 14 individuals were honored, with Taube receiving the highest medal.

This medal was one step up from the Commander’s Cross medal Taube received in 2004, presented by then-President Aleksander Kwasniewski. Penn was honored with that same medal in 2013.

Taube is a major benefactor of Poland’s new Jewish museum, which opened in October, and has served as the honorary consul for Poland in San Francisco since 2007. Taube was born in Krakow in 1931 and escaped with his family to the United States in 1939.

At the ceremony, Komorowski said, “It is worthwhile to harness economic freedom, which is an important part of Polish freedom and democracy, into important cultural causes.” He also thanked donors such as Taube for helping to bring the Western model of private patronage supporting public patronage to Poland.   — j. staff