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"Poland was once the cradle of Jewish life, and Israeli and Diaspora Jewish culture were profoundly shaped by it. Poland Jewish Heritage Tours strengthens our connection to our Jewish roots and preserves our future, while at the same time it supports and celebrates the Jewish renewal taking place in Poland today."


-- Tad Taube, Founder and Chairman, Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture; Honorary Consul for the Republic of Poland in San Francisco






San Francisco -- More than 70 percent of American Jews are of Polish descent, but few of them have had the opportunity to visit Poland and learn about their heritage beyond the horrors of the Holocaust-until now.

Fueled by high demand and keen interest, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture is launching the Cultural Tourism Program, which will provide year-round Jewish Heritage Tours to Poland beginning in 2009. The tours, which have been open to the public since 2005, are the brainchild of Taube Foundation Chairman Thaddeus "Tad" Taube, who is also of Polish Jewish origin.

"Poland was once the cradle of Jewish life, and Israeli and Diaspora Jewish culture were profoundly shaped by it," said Taube, who was appointed Honorary Consul for the Republic of Poland in 2007. "Jewish Heritage Tours strengthens our connection to our Jewish roots and preserves our future, while at the same time it supports and celebrates the Jewish renewal taking place in Poland today."

Dr. Ron Wexler, the Taube travel director with 30 years' experience in the cultural tourism industry, will lead the Foundation's Cultural Tourism Program. As an avid scholar of Jewish history, Wexler will enhance the program with his own insights and invaluable foundation of knowledge.

"Almost 1,000 years of Jewish history and culture should not be forgotten," Wexler said. "This great cultural tradition must be retained as a vital dimension of contemporary Jewish life."

Jewish Heritage Tours aims to highlight this rich history through visits to historical sites; participation in genealogical field research about family histories; meetings with Jewish leaders, politicians and the media; and outings to cultural events, such as the annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow.

Tour schedules can be tailored to address visitors' personal interests and can include optional visits to popular destinations outside of Poland, including Prague, Budapest, Vienna, the Baltic nations and Israel. Jewish Heritage Tours provide personalized recommendations and special rates for hotels, restaurants, shops and sightseeing excursions.

People who have participated in similar trips with the Taube Foundation often describe their experiences as deeply moving and even life-changing. California film producer Susan Libitzky said that seeing Poland "through Tad Taube's eyes and experiencing Poland through his vision and passion was a most special opportunity." The experience allowed her to "expand her thinking, be inspired, and meet exceptional people."

For more information about the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture and its Jewish Heritage Initiative in Poland, visit www.taubephilanthropies.org

Poland Jewish Heritage Tours
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