Susan Koret, the widow of the Koret Foundation’s founder, Joe Koret, is trying to restore the Koret Foundation to its core mission of helping the poor and disadvantaged here in the Bay Area and supporting Jewish causes in the Bay Area and Israel. Mrs. Koret filed a lawsuit against the Foundation’s board of directors for conflicts of interest and for ignoring the core mission of the Koret Foundation. She believes the current directors are shortchanging the people of the Bay Area and Israel who most need the help that her husband, intended his legacy to provide.
The Foundation directors being sued include real estate investor and conservative philanthropist Tad Taube. The lawsuit accuses him and the Foundation’s Board of Directors, including Anita Friedman of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Richard L. Greene of Greene Radovsky Maloney Share & Hennigh LLP and Michael Boskin and Abraham Sofaer of the Hoover Institution of using Koret Foundation gifts to fund organizations in which they have an interest, including conservative causes Joe Koret would never have supported, and to support causes outside of the Bay Area and Israel, including Taube’s home country of Poland.
The only money ever left to the Koret Foundation came from Joseph and Stephanie Koret. No other director has contributed his or her funds to the Foundation. Mr. Koret stated in writing shortly before he died in 1982 that: “As long as the Foundation has resources, I do not want any one in the San Francisco Bay Area to go hungry.” The current board believes their choices, and not what the founder wished, are controlling. This is central to why Mrs. Koret is suing to remove them and increase support for community and Jewish organizations.
Mrs. Koret believes that with removal of directors who have perpetuated self-interested giving and emphasized causes contrary to the vision of her deceased husband, the Foundation can return to increasing gifts for community and Jewish organizations not tied to particular directors and more consistent with the Foundation’s core mission.
If you or your organization want to help Susan Koret restore the Foundation to its original purpose, please sign your support.
Under the leadership of Tad Taube, Anita Friedman and other Koret board members, Koret Foundation grants have been diverted to grantees outside Koret’s core mission or to entities associated with Koret directors – including to conservative causes and Taube’s native country of Poland.
Joseph and Stephanie Koret founded the Koret Foundation to support institutions in the Bay Area that build community, enhance human life and alleviate suffering and misfortune by helping the disadvantaged, and likeminded organizations in Israel. Yet, a look at the Foundation’s giving over time shows that Taube and other directors in control of the board have allocated far greater resources to organizations in which they have other interests rather than the Foundation’s core mission.
In the chart below, we illustrate that spending on the core mission is being shortchanged and that large sums are being gifted to organizations associated with Foundation directors where there is an inherent conflict.
The chart below illustrates Koret giving under the conflicted board. Hover your cursor over the examples listed on the right to learn more.
Restoring the Koret Foundation
Mrs. Koret is suing to remove the directors who have engaged in self-interested grantmaking and who have strayed from the core mission of the Foundation. She seeks to restore a more egalitarian foundation structure, whereby organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Israel can seek funding consistent with her husband’s intent. Organizations that stand to gain from this reform, include:
- Bay Area institutions/charities that assist the poor
- Bay Area institutions/charities that assist the hungry
- Bay Area institutions that assist older adults
- Bay Area institution/charities the assist and educate Jewish immigrant children
- Bay Area institutions/charities that educate and inspire the next generation toward a commitment to Jewish identity, Jewish life and values
- Organizations in Israel that assist the poor and minorities
- Organizations in Israel that educate for cooperation/peace, and raise the standard of living for citizens of all backgrounds through the development of innovative strategies
- Institutions in Israel that build ties between the next generation (Jews and non-Jews) in Israel and in America.
- University-based programs in Israel that promote innovative, sustainable agriculture in the region
- Bay Area charities/institutions that alleviate poverty and hunger
- Bay Area organizations providing employment assistance for the disadvantaged
- Bay Area organizations dedicated to assisting and educating “at-risk” youth, with particular focus on the inner city
- Bay Area organizations that promote diversity and inclusion
- Bay Area educational institutions for programs that further the core mission of the Foundation
- Bay Area organizations developing strategies and solutions to the Bay Area “housing crisis,” particularly for those living in poverty
We are calling on Bay Area organizations to join with us as we fight to reclaim the Koret Foundation and restore it to the mission of its founder, Joseph Koret, who envisioned an institution that would support organizations in the Bay Area that build community, enhance human life and alleviate suffering and misfortune by helping the disadvantaged. Please sign your support and enlist your organization in our campaign to save Koret and restore it to its greatness.