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Sponsors – IAM Campus Project • Sigmund Rolat • The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture • The Jan Karski Educational Foundation • Andrzej Rojek • Copernicus Program in Polish Studies, University of Michigan • UIC Fund for Polish Jewish Studies • Loyola University Program in Polish Studies • Stefan & Lucy Hejna Fund, UIC • School of Literatures, Culture Studies & Linguistics, UIC • Chicago YIVO Society • UIC Program in Jewish Studies • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research • UIC Institute for the Humanities • UIC Richard J. Daley Library

About our sponsors Heading link

Sigmund Rolat was born in 1930 in Częstochowa, Poland. He spent the war in the Częstochowa Ghetto where he lost his only brother and parents. His brother was the youngest of six Jewish partisans executed by a German firing squad, his father fought and died during an uprising in the Treblinka death camp, his mother died in a death camp. Rolat was deported to the HASAG Pelcery labor camp in Częstochowa. Immediately after the War, he emigrated to the U.S., and obtained a university degree in international relations. He developed a financial firm specializing in imports. He has been visiting Poland since the 1960s, and has been actively engaged in restoring the memory of Częstochowa’s Jews. He is the chairman of the North American Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and one of the Museum’s major benefactors. He actively supports cultural institutions and events, including Warsaw’s Teatr Wielki, The Częstochowa Philharmonic and the Cracow Jewish Culture Festival. He is also involved in philanthropic activities in the U.S., where he is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Kosciuszko Foundation – the U.S.’s most significant Polish-American cultural and educational institution. Rolat is an Honorary Citizen of the City of Częstochowa.

The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture (TFJLC), established in 2001, makes philanthropic investments primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area and Poland. TFJLC promotes Jewish Peoplehood in order to strengthen Jewish communities and sustain Jewish heritage. The Foundation seeks to advance the reform of Jewish institutions, which have often become disconnected from the people they serve. The Foundation is committed to collaborative giving for greatest charitable impact and actively partners with individual donors and other foundations. In 2003, the Taube Foundation established the Jewish Heritage Initiative in Poland to nurture the revival of Jewish life in Poland, further awareness of this resurgence among Jews and non-Jews, and foster positive interest in Poland and Polish Jews among Jews worldwide. The Initiative supports key cultural, educational, and communal programs such as academia and publishing, genealogy, heritage tourism, the arts and media, and Jewish literacy and leadership training for young adults. With an office in Warsaw, the JHIP strategically meets the diverse and complex needs of reemerging Jewish communities. More:

The mission of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation (JKEF) is to honor the Karski legacy and to instill in people – especially youth –the values of leadership, courage and integrity, as exemplified by the life of Jan Karski, through educational activities and public initiatives, such as:

  • Promoting Karski’s wartime memoir Story of a Secret State and the illustrated story Karski’s Mission: to Stop the Holocaust in Holocaust, world and European history curriculums at the middle, high school and college levels;
  • Promoting exhibitions about Karski’s life and mission, particularly The World Knew—Jan Karski’s Mission for the Humanity;
  • Advancing interfaith cooperation and exchange, especially between the Catholic and Jewish communities;
  • Educating Americans about Polish history – particularly Poland’s contributions to the Allied effort in World War II.

The Foundation grew out of the successful Jan Karski US Centennial Campaign, which placed Dr. Karski’s name in nomination for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was posthumously bestowed upon Karski on May 29, 2012 by President Barack Obama. JKEF has its sister organization in Warsaw, Poland. More:

The Copernicus Program in Polish Studies (CPPS) at the University of Michigan was established in 2014 after 40 years of activity and programs offered by the Nicolaus Copernicus Endowment. To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the great Polish astronomer’s birth, the endowment and a Polish program were launched in 1973 in cooperation with students, faculty, and the Polish Americans of Michigan who contributed generously with their time, energy, and financial assistance. CPPS continues the tradition today by enabling faculty appointments, programming, and student fellowships in Polish studies. It also organizes the Annual Copernicus Lecture—established in 1980—which brings prominent academic, cultural, and political figures to campus to offer the public a deeper understanding of Poland’s people, culture, and history, as well as its growing influence in world academics, arts, and affairs. More:

The Interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program was established in 2007 in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in response to students’ desire to learn about Polish literatures, language, history, and culture. More:


YIVO Institute for Jewish Research The acronym “YIVO” stands for yidisher visnshaftlekher institute (Jewish/Yidddish Scientific Institute). Founded in 1925 in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) and based in New York City since 1940, YIVO istoday the world’s preeminent resource center for East European Jewish Studies; Yiddish language, literature, and folklore; and the American Jewish immigrant experience. The Chicago YIVO Society is the most active local affiliate of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The mission of Chicago YIVO is to entertain and educate the local community through subsidized lectures, music programs,and film screenings that reflect the rich heritage and diversity of Jewish culture, and to ensure the future of the Yiddish language through education and outreach efforts. More:

The UIC University Library partners with students, faculty, and staff to provide information resources, research consultations, and services that enable our users to achieve their academic and research goals. The Library has more than 2.3 million volumes including 455,000 electronic books and 61,000 electronic journals. In fiscal year 2014/15, there were 2.1 million visits to the Richard J. Daley Library and the Library of the Health Sciences in Chicago, and the health sciences libraries in Peoria, Rockford, and Urbana, as well as 437,000 unique visitors to the Library’s website. More: