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May 17, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 17, 2013 / pAt?a: 11A This semester, Tel Aviv University inaugurated a pioneering business develop- ment program aimed at Pal- estinian executives, designed jointly by LAHAV Executive Education, and Kellogg- Recanati Executive MBA program at TAU's Recanati Business School with USAID. Addressing the unique chal- lenges facing Palestinian high-tech companies, the 12-day course gave partici- pants the tools to effectively manage their business, court foreign funding and break into international markets. Mustafa Deeb, Information and Communications Tech- nology (ICT) sector lead at USAID's Compete Project and a graduate of the Kellogg-Re- canati EMBA program, says that this innovative course was met with overwhelming enthusiasm. "For just over 30 slots, we received more than 90 applications--a clear indi- cation of the high demand for this type of programming," he adds. Top academics from Israel and the United States and leaders in the fields of high- tech and venture capitalism shared their expertise on top- ics including software entre- preneurship, international marketing and business management, technology markets, negotiation strategy and more. The organizers believe that this unique initiative can bring a much-needed boost to the Palestinian economy. "The Palestinian private sec- tor has many companies that serve their local market, but only a few in the regional or international markets. Since Palestinian companies are typically either family- owned or led by engineers, their executives need to de- velop proper business skills to penetrate the complicated international marketplace," says Deeb. In selecting a host for the project, USAID wanted a uni- versity program that not only offers outstanding academics but also brings international expertise and top manag- ers from technology-driven companies to share their knowledge and international experience with the par- ticipants. Having graduated more than 50 Palestinian Executive MBA students over the last 17 years and boasting a top world rank- ing, the Kellogg-Recanati program was a natural fit. The additional involvement and expertise of LAHAV, the executive education unit at the Faculty of Management, made TAU the ideal home for such an ambitious project. Combining academic theo- ry and on-the-ground experi- ence, LAHAV has 45 years of experience building execu- tive education programs to suit a variety of sectors and audiences around the world, says LAHAV's CEO Udi Aha- roni. But they have never before" had the opportunity to workwith their neighbors. "At the end of the day, every manager understands similar concepts and vocabulary of business, putting aside cul- tural, religious or political issues," Aharoni says. "From our point of view, this is the first stone in a long bridge to business collaboration." Lecturers, guest speakers and participants continue to be in touch outside of class, he says proudly, which con- tributes toward the program's goal of facilitating a network of Palestinian business lead- ers with ties to the Israeli market. Dr. Itay Kama of TAU's Fac- ulty of Management, who was one of the lecturers during this session, calls this one of the most important programs he has been involved with. A teacher of financial account- ing who believes that the language of numbers tran- scends boundaries, he thinks this program has similarly allowed Israelis and Palestin- ians to engage in a common dialogue. "If we are going to have a better future, based on peace and understanding, then we must learn to com- municate," he says. Participants have been in- spired by this unique experi- ence and are enth~ recommending their col- leagues for future sessions. "The topics we addressed and our guest speakers were extraordinarily relevant to their businesses and the issues that they encounter on a day-to-day basis," notes Denis Gallagher, director of USAID's Compete project. On the heels of such success, the organizers are hoping to design courses for Palestinians dedicated to professionals in a variety of fields, including commercial agriculture and tourism. 4 By Ben Harris NEW YORK (JTA)--When the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews opened its doors to the public recently after years of delays and tens of millions of dollars in spending, it was in no small part thanks to the work of Tad Taube. A successful San Francisco businessman and philan- thropist, Taube (pronounced Toby) has been directing the considerable resources of the Taube Philanthropies and the Koret Foundation, both of which he helms, to support efforts to revive Jewish life in Poland. Between them, the orga- nizations have devoted some $16 million to the museum, which also is supported by the Polish government and other donors. Taube has spent millions more support- ing Jewish educational and cultural efforts in Poland, all in a country Taube fled as a child as invading armies approached. Taube is also a major donor in the United States, where he supports a dizzying array of causes, including conservative and libertarian groups, Republican political campaigns, schools, an op- era and the Jewish Renewal movement. Rather than harbor resent- ment toward Poland, Taube has become one of the coun- try's most irrepressible boost- ers, and not just through his philanthropy. Since 2007, he has served as Poland's honorary consul in the Bay Area. Taube also has publicly criticized the Jewish fixation on Poland's Holocaust era, exemplified by programs like March of the Living, which ignores the hundreds of years of Polish Jewish history that preceded it. "I think it is essential that we not lose our connection with the country that was the historical center of Jewish life and culture for a millenium," Taube told JTA. "Our Judeo- Christian culture came from that 1,000-year period of Jew- ish history in Poland." Born in Krakow and raised in Torun and Warsaw, Taube Philanthropist Tad Taube Jews in Warsaw. fled Poland in 1939 when he was 8, just months before the country was invaded by the Nazis and the Soviets. The following year, the family relocated from New York to Los Angeles, where Taube's father believed he would have better success in business. As a kid, Taube starred in wartime propaganda films produced by Hollywood studios, playing Polish and Russian children. He was educated in Los Angeles public schools before going on to earn two degrees from Stanford University and serve in the Air Force ROTC. After a brief technology career in what was then the burgeon- ing high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, Taube got into real estate. One of his clients was Joseph Koret, the founder of an apparel company with his wife, Stephanie. In the 1970s, the company, Koracorp, faced legal and financial trouble and Koret asked Taube to take it over and affect a turnaround. The company eventually was sold to Levi Strauss & Co. Taube began visiting Po- land for business in the 1970s and was struck by the deprivations wrought by communism--empty restau- rants, the lack of commerce, shabby hotels. After the fall Malgorzata Turczynska attends the dedication of the Museum of the History of Polish of communism, everything changed. "The socialist state was dead," Taube said. "The democratic and capitalistic state that evolved after the freedom that was gained in Poland in 1989 developed possibly one of the strongest economies in all of Europe, not tinged by all the problems of Greece and Spain." Taube's love of free en- terprise led him to a diverse business career, including a stint at the electronics com- pany Ampex and an attempt to create an alternative to the NFL, the United States Football League that foun- dered in the 1980s. Taube was the owner of the short-lived Oakland Invaders franchise. "It was not a success financially, but it was an adventure," Taube said. As aphilanthropist, Taube's interests are similarly om- nivorous. There's the Taube Tennis Center--including the Taube Family Tennis Stadium and the adjacent Taube South Courts--at Stanford University; the Taube Discussion Series on Teaching American Values at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington; the Taube- Koret Campus for Jewish Life in Palo Alto, Calif.; and various named initiatives at Stanford's Hoover Institu- tion, the conservative think tank where Taube sits on the board of overseers. Taube's philanthropies, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture and the Taube Family Foundation, support a bewildering array of civic and charitable institutions: the San Francisco Opera and Museo Italo Americano, a Bay Area museum cel- ebrating the heritage of Italian-Americans; the Jew- ish Renewal movement and the Nueva School, a private school in Hillsborough, Calif; an at-risk youth program, Touchdowns for Kids, and the Cezar Chavez Academy. He also supports a number of conservative and libertar- ian causes, including the Cato Institute, the Ayn Rand Institute, the David Horow- itz Freedom Center and the Claremont Institute. In 2012, Taube's political donations went exclusively to Repub- licans, including the cam- paigns of Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor, and the Repub- lican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Taube also ;supported the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, but pulled funding over its decision to screen a film in 2009 about Rachel Corrie, an American activist killed in 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting Palestinian home demoli- tions. Shana Penn, executive director of the Taube Foun- dation, resigned as festival president in protest. "I don't want to be pigeon- holed as someone who is oper- ating in Poland because I like everything about Poland," Taube said. "What I like in Poland is that they reclaimed their freedom and rebuilt i their economy with a model I think works. I also like the support that the government is giving to the museum and other Jewish institutions." After the fall of commu- nism, Taube began to support the resurgence of Jewish life in Poland. At the time, the field had a single dominant player, the cosmetics mag- nate Ronald Lauder, who was beginning to build a sprawl- ing philanthropic empire across the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. Taube began working with Lauder on various projects. In addition to the museum, Taube supports Jewish com- munity centers across Po- land, organizations devoted to scholarship and heritage preservation, education and religious life, artistic endeav- ors and cultural exchange. "It was one of those situ- ations that you turn up one card and there's 100 more behind it," Taube said. "In otherwords, itwas like trying " to move the Sahara Desert east by 1 mile, a teaspoon of sand at a time. The amount of work was so great, prob- ably even 10 organ'mations could not do it. But we could start, and we did. And now we have the results of a decade of sustained effort and com- mitment." Your in Orlando Real Estate!!!! Over 25+ years Residential Real Estate Sales experience Over $200 Million+ Lifetime Sales GALE MILGRIM, P.A., Realtor Gale.Milgrim@FloridaMoves.com 407-443-9832 Visit www.OrlandoJewishRealtor.com To read my Glorying Client Testimonials and my BIO!!!!! Member Congregation Ohev Shalom Parent of 2 Jewish Academy Ahmmi Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando Supporter REAL ESTATE SERVICES