Nov 22 2015

Re: Tad Taube and Koret Foundation – “The Koret Outrage” printed on Sunday, November 22

Letter to Editor

SF Chronicle

Dear Editor,

Re: Tad Taube and Koret Foundation – “The Koret Outrage” printed on Sunday, November 22.

I am the Founder of Pathways For Kids. Pathways brings inner city kids to businesses including Google, Ritz Carlton, US Bank, to open their eyes to the world of business possibilities. Koret Foundation at the request to Tad Taube has given us money. Our cause is neither liberal or conservative. It’s pragmatic. And our beneficiaries are economically poor, inner city most often kids of color. I knew Joe Koret. He would have liked it.

I am aware of the lawsuit against the Koret Board and Tad Taube by the widow of Joe Koret, Susan Koret. I was practicing law in the 1970’s when the Foundation was set up and represented another Koret Board member who while competitive with Tad, had a great deal of respect for his ability. I recall that Susan was a relatively recent immigrant who needed guidance and Mr. Koret specifically selected Tad to guide her.

I also remember the 70’s when Koret Corporation stock price was way down. Tad helped turn the company around, and the stock appreciated accordingly. In addition he invested in Peninsula real estate for Mr. Koret and helped build Mr. Koret’s estate. That estate went to the Foundation.

My guess is Tad and others may have advised Mr. Koret to create the Foundation as a planning method for the Estate and a way to do a good. How it did good was up to the Board. If Tad as a strong leader made decisions Susan Koret and the Hebrew Academy and a group now apparently influencing her have remorse about, it’s after the fact. Tad and the Board had been given certain discretion. A Polish Museum showing positive contributions of Jews to Poland which at times was Russian and all Yiddish speaking will be an antidote to anti Semitism for millions of visitors. Mr. Koret would have loved it. I might add there are causes any Foundation gives to that the donor may have not thought about when alive. The Board sometimes does cypres, i.e. interpreting the donor’s intent. But when you pick a leader to take over when you are gone, you buy their judgment.

The suit of course does not address all the good Koret did under Tad’s leadership, not only Jewish causes and youth, but fiscally oriented causes in line with what a businessman like Mr. Koret would espouse are a part of giving.

I believe the Foundation started with about $160 million and would not have grown to the degree it has all the while giving funding, and would not have attracted the Board members and donors it did without Tad, who has the rare capability to attract talented people.

Tad Taube along with the Koret Foundation has done a lot of good for a lot of people. Unless the money was invested well and given well by Tad and Board, the recipients would never have gotten it and many nonprofits would no longer be here, and thus Mr. Koret would not have achieved his goal. The Polish Museum is completely compatible with the wishes of the Trustor.

Distinguishing between Russia and Polish Jews is ridiculous, self serving, hair splitting under cypres doctrine.

The Polish Museum is a positive reflection of Jewish history in Poland and all of Russia and Eastern Europe by extension. Millions of non Jews and Jews will visit this museum which is a very positive thing for Jewish people and in line with what Mr. Koret would want.

Mr. Koret would say that giving under $10 million (out of hundreds of millions Tad Taube and the Board created after Mr. Koret’s death) of the Foundation’s money was well spent.


Peter Dwares, Esq.