Jewish philanthropist Tad Taube will be stepping down this year from his longtime post as president of the Koret Foundation.
Taube, who has been Koret’s president since 1982, announced last week that he will not run for re-election when his current term expires in June. But he will stay on until a new president is chosen sometime before the end of the year, and afterward will remain on the board of the San Francisco-based foundation.
The search for a new president will begin right away. Taube said his successor likely will be chosen from among current board members but would not speculate on who might succeed him.
“My involvement as president of the Koret Foundation has consumed huge amounts of my time in the public arena,” Taube told J. “Because I serve as the representative of the foundation in the global community, I have to make myself available at events for organizations we support, and offer access for organizations seeking Koret support. It’s the hidden part of my responsibility and it takes the lion’s share of time.”
This is not retirement for Taube. He continues to preside over the Taube Family Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, the principal private funder of the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The Warsaw museum is set to open to the public in October. That museum and the mission to revive Jewish life in Poland are a burning passion for Taube.
“The museum is probably the most important Jewish project in the world today,” Taube said. “It’s a landmark of Jewish history, culture and the contributions of the Jewish people to Western culture. It is definitely for me my most important legacy.”
Taube also presides over a donor-advised fund at his alma mater, Stanford University; the fund has built many institutions on that campus over the years, including the Taube Center for Jewish Studies. He also has interests in professional and collegiate sports, as well as in mentoring Silicon Valley biotech start-ups.
The Koret Foundation, launched by its founders Joseph and Stephanie Koret, has an endowment of nearly $500 million. With Joseph Koret’s death in 1982, Taube assumed the presidency of the foundation. Over the years, the foundation has donated $500 million to a variety of causes, including efforts to improve civic, academic and Jewish life in the Bay Area, Israel, Poland and beyond, including major funding for the Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life in Palo Alto.
“I’ve known Tad for many years and watched him take more and more opportunities to do good,” said Bay Area philanthropist Roselyne “Cissie” Swig, who will join Taube at the grand opening of the Warsaw museum this fall. “His accomplishments are a great addition to this community. Wherever you look, he left his mark, and those marks are very sustainable. Even though he is stepping down his imprimatur will not be gone.”