Henry Taub: The passing of a gentle giant
Author: Taub Center Staff
May 31, 2011
It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we parted from Henry Taub (z”l), one of the leading founders of the Taub Center, and a great supporter of Israel and Israeli institutions.
Henry served as Chair of the Center’s Board from 1994 to 2005 and as Honorary Chair in recent years, providing leadership, counsel, and guidance to the Center and its professional staff.
Together with his brother, Joe, and childhood friend, Fred Lautenberg, Henry Taub was a founder of Automatic Data Procession (ADP) and served as its Chairman from 1949 until 1970. He retired from ADP in the mid-1980s when the company was processing pay checks for one tenth of the US work force. Today, ADP is one of the world’s largest providers of business outsourcing solutions.
In the early 1980s, during Henry Taub’s tenure as President of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the idea arose to create an independent, professional, social policy research center that would provide the Israeli government and the general public with cutting-edge policy research on the primary social and economic issues facing the country. Taub recognized the need for such an impartial source of evidence-based research, quickly becoming one of the Center’s founding fathers along with a few other JDC leaders. They realized that in order for such a research center to provide balanced, viable, and critical analyses and policy recommendations, it would have to be completely independent of the Israeli government. The Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, as it was called at the time, was established in 1982 and has grown to become one of Israel’s premier research institutes. In honor and recognition of Henry Taub’s long-standing support, the Center was renamed in 2003 the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel.
Henry Taub was a symbol of the modern Jewish-American community leader: quiet and unassuming, but with rare foresight and vision that saw far beyond the more common preferences for tactical perspectives and symptomatic solutions. In addition to his decisive role in the creation of the Taub Center, Henry Taub’s strategic approach towards creating a better future for Israel was also in evidence during his thirteen years at the helm of the Technion’s Board of Governors – one of the world’s leading universities that has figured prominently in Israel’s becoming the “Start-up Nation.” His role as one of America’s foremost philanthropists was cemented in the large number of leadership positions that he undertook in some of the Jewish community’s most important organizations, including the chairmanship of the United Israel Appeal.
Along with his wife, he established the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation which has provided generous support and resources to many important causes including the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and The Aging Brain at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital as well as the Taub Urban Research Center at New York University. His philanthropic and public activities extended beyond, though, and he also served as a member of the Board of the Rite-Aid Corporation, Hasbro Inc., Bank Leumi and Trust Company of New York, the Interfaith Hunger Appeal, and the New York Shakespeare Festival.
Henry Taub passed away in New Jersey on March 31, 2011 at the age of 83. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Marilyn, three children, and ten grandchildren.
We will miss him greatly. May his memory be a blessing.