North American Council

Newsletter # 7

C  O  N  T  E  N  T  S

:: Letter from Jerzy Halbersztadt
:: FUNDRAISING MILESTONES: New $1 Million Dollar Gift 
:: Benefit Performance of Brundibar
:: North American Council Gains 501(c)3 Status
:: West Coast Support for the Museum

:: North American Council Meetings in Poland

:: Lori Sherman Appointed NAC Director of Development


Letter from Jerzy Halbersztadt

Dear Friends,

The past three months brought us exciting progress in our efforts to create the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. I am pleased to share with you the major developments that took place since you received our last newsletter. 

On July 20 during an inaugural press conference the new acting Mayor of Warsaw and former Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz announced that our Museum was one of his top priorities. Subsequently the City of Warsaw and the Ministry of Culture finalized the details of their financial commitments by signing several multilateral agreements with the Museum and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute. 

Here, I would like to extend many thanks to Roman Rewald, and to our other legal advisors at Weil, Gotshal and Manges and the entire management team for their unwavering effort and hard work to bring us all to this new stage.

More good news: the nomination of four candidates proposed by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute will become members of the Museum Council. These members include Victor Markowicz, the Museum's founding benefactor and Chair of the North American Council (NAC); Corrine Evens, our Western European representative; Sigmund Rolat, NAC Treasurer; and Tomek Ulatowski our US and European representative. The remaining 11 Council seats will be filled by Jewish Historical Institute representatives, internationally recognized experts on Jewish-Polish history, and government officials from the Ministry of Culture and the City of Warsaw.

During the next few weeks the contract between the City of Warsaw and Rainer Mahlamaaki, the Museum architect, will be completed. These developments allow us to anticipate the ground breaking to take place in the spring of 2007, with the projected completion of the Museum in late 2008 or early 2009.

Our staff and I realize that all this progress would not have been possible without the generosity of our friends to whom we extend our continued gratitude. I would particularly like to thank Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, Undersecretary of State in the Chancellery of the President of Poland, for all her help and support. 

As the work of our extraordinary international team of historians, museum exhibition experts and museum designers continues under the brilliant leadership of Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, world renown museum expert and NYU professor, I feel confident that together we will create a Museum whose uniqueness, historical soundness and visual attractiveness will leave a lasting impression on many generations of future visitors. 

Once again, I would like to extend our profound thanks for your continued support of the Museum. I hope you will keep in touch and visit us while in Warsaw. I also invite you to contact Steve Solender in New York (212.836.1806) with any comments and questions about the current status of the Museum.

With best regards,
Jerzy Halbersztadt
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews 


 New $1 Million Dollar Gift

The North American Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews is pleased to announce that Doradztwo Handlowe 2002, an entity managed by Aleksander Goldberg, has made a $1,000,000 gift to the Museum. Mr. Goldberg and his wife Janette made this gift to memorialize the historic achievements of Polish Jews and in honor of their families. 

Aleksander Goldberg was born in Garwolin, near Warsaw in 1929. He and members of his immediate family were hidden by a Catholic Polish family, and so survived the war. Mr. Goldberg left Poland after the war, but chose to return after the fall of communism and has been living and working in Warsaw with his wife since 1992. He is a business partner of NAC treasurer, Sigmund Rolat.

The Museum would like to express our deepest thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg and Doradztwo Handlowe 2002 for this most generous gift. We appreciate their support and affirmation of the mission of the Museum - to celebrate 1,000 years of Jewish achievements and Jewish life in Poland


Benefit Performance of Brundibar in New York City, May 21, 2006

May 21, The Museum's North American Council, along with David Goldman and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, sponsored a benefit performance of Brundibar at the New Victory Theater in New York City. The evening's performance and cocktail reception were attended by more than 200 friends of the Museum. We were delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the Museum of the History of Polish Jews to many new supporters and we welcome their involvement both at this event, and in this groundbreaking project. The event raised over $20,000.


North American Council Gains 501(c)3 Status

The United States Internal Revenue Service has formally established the North American Council as a 501(c)3 Tax exempt organization. This is a significant achievement as the Council can now accept tax-deductible donations directly on behalf of the Museum. All donations should be sent directly to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews at 130 East 59 Street, 11th fl. New York, NY 10022, attention: Stephen Solender. 

West Coast Support for the Museum

Supporters of the Museum in California have been active hosting events and programs over the past several months. Founding Friends of the Museum, Grazyna and Bill Simon, hosted a dinner and program entitled "The Current State of Polish-American Relations and 1000 Years of Jewish History in Poland" at the Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles on March 1st. Janusz Reiter, Poland's Ambassador to the United States, and Professor Michael Berenbaum, a well-known author and consultant in the field of Polish-Jewish history spoke and conducted a discussion before a group of nearly 100 guests. Both Ambassador Reiter and Professor Berenbaum discussed the evolution of Polish-American and Polish-Jewish relations and the future contribution of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews to both Polish and Jewish communities. 

San Francisco, May 31, 2006
Tad and Diane Taube held a reception and program honoring His Excellency Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005) at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on May 31st. Former President Kwasniewski spoke to a group "On Dialogue and Reconciliation" and specifically addressed the need for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in the continuing evolution of Polish-Jewish relations in Poland and abroad. He added that "this museum will show the impact and contribution of Jews to European culture and science and, importantly, to Polish culture and science."

During President Kwasniewski's two presidential terms Poland made significant strides in building a stronger relationship with the United States and Israel. The hosts of the luncheon program were the Taube Center for Jewish Life. Other sponsors included the American Jewish Committee, the Commonwealth Club of California, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in San Francisco and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties

North American Council Meetings in Poland July, 2006

Members of the North American Council of the Museum traveled to Warsaw and Krakow the first week of July to meet with Museum staff, government officials and friends of the Museum. Amidst a busy schedule, the NAC members along with the Museum staff had the pleasure of meeting with Anna Fotyga, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Poland and Elzbieta Jakubiak, Secretary of State and Head of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Poland. The group enjoyed a lovely July 4th celebration at the residence of Victor Ashe, United States Ambassador to Poland

Members also met with representatives from several Polish and international companies including Philip Morris International, Max Data, Microsoft, and Telekomunikacja Polska. Significant discussions were held regarding the ongoing momentum of the Museum and the need for corporate support to work in partnership with the generous support of philanthropists, the Government of Poland and the City of Warsaw. A number of NAC members will return to Warsaw in November for an event that will bring several dozen corporate executives together to learn more about the Museum and to identify mutually beneficial programs that enable corporate support and sponsorship of the Museum.

NAC members including Chairman Stephen Solender, Treasurer Sigmund Rolat, Chair of the New York Region Michael Berkowicz and Director of Development Lori Sherman, along with Museum Director Jerzy Halbersztadt and Deputy Director Ewa Wierzynska also attended the Jewish Cultural Festival in Krakow and opened a special exhibition about the Museum. Guests at the opening reception for the exhibition were welcomed by several notable speakers including Undersecretary of State at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland in charge of Social Issues Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, and former Israeli Ambassador to Poland Shevah Weiss. 


Lori Sherman Appointed NAC Director of Development

The Museum's North American Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Lori Sherman as the Council's Director of Development for the Museum. Ms. Sherman has worked in arts administration and development throughout her career. As Managing Director of the WPA Theatre she directed the general operations of the theatre and produced more than 40 new American plays and musicals. She has led the development efforts for two New York City based orchestras and has worked with organizations including The Joyce Theater, A.R.T. / NY, MCC Theater, and the Flushing Council on the Arts and Culture. Ms. Sherman, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison and New York University, lives in New York City with her husband and two children. She is proud to have joined forces with so many visionary individuals whose commitment to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews is inspiring and will ensure that people young and old throughout the world can learn the important 1000 year history of Polish Jewry. 

See Museum Model and Virtual Tour

Join the North American Council of the Museum at the 92nd Street Y Street Festival on Sunday, September 17th in New York City. Please stop by, meet members of the staff and the Board, view the model of the architectural design, watch the Virtual Tour presentation and pick-up some literature on the Museum. Please remember to fill out a form for our email list so that we can keep you apprised on the progress of the Museum and our ongoing events. 



Become a Member of the Museum

Please help us maintain the momentum we have achieved on the path to building the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Become a member of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews today. The Museum project needs your financial support more than ever in order to finance the permanent exhibit, temporary exhibits and to maintain ongoing operations. We invite you to donate at the following levels: $25,000, $20,000, $15,000, $10,000, $7,500, $5,000, $2,500, $1,000, $500 or your most generous gift. To donate online go to www.mhpjnac.org/Donate-info.htm

To become a Founding Friend of the Museum or join the Circle of Friends and for full list of Founding Friends and members of the Circle of Friends please go to www.mhpjnac.org/Friends.htm

Please let us know if you too would like to host a parlor meeting devoted to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews for your friends and family members. Call Stephen Solender at 212-836-1806 or email solenders@ujafedny.org



Victor Markowicz
Chairman & Founding Donor

Stephen D. Solender
Chairman & President

Sigmund A. Rolat

Michael Berkowicz
New York Region

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

Lee Lowell, Secretary


Stephen D. Solender

130 East 59 St, New York, NY 10022

Tel. 212 836-1536
Fax 212 836-1387



Christina Orwicz-Gantcher
Director, Marketing & Communications communications@mhpjnac.org

Lori Sherman
Director of Development lsherman@mhpjnac.org 



4/6 Warecka Street 
Warsaw, Poland

Tel. (48-22) 833-0021
Fax (48-22) 832-2043


Please forward the newsletter to your friends. To be added to our email list, please contact us at newsletter@mhpjnac.org  For more information about the Museum of the History of Polish Jews North American Council or to send your comments e-mail info@mhpjnac.org  To subscribe just send us a return e-mail with "SUBSCRIBE" in subject line. 
To unsubscribe please send e-mail with "UNSUBSCRIBE" in subject line.