BookBank USA is a non-profit organization founded in 1966 to establish and resupply public and school libraries, as well as community centers in developing countries. It has grown over the years and increased its support for the betterment of the situation of human kind through its programs supporting the arts & culture, but also lending a helping hand when natural disasters strike. From one generation to the next, today Mr. Andrew Kluger follows his father Mr. Sidney Kluger’s path of Tikkun Olam contributing to improve the life of those around him. We can’t display all of the projects on our website due to the amount of information and the lack of digitalization of the past deeds, but we share here with you a sample of the projects of the last two decades.
Supported Activities 2013 – 2017
MONTARlaBestia Exhibit - October 2017
Value of the Donation: $8700 US
MONTARlaBestia exhibit by Colectivo de Artistas Contra la Discriminación (Artist Collective Against Discrimination) is now on display at the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley –– and proudly sponsored by Book Bank USA.
“La Bestia” is the train that carries up to half a million migrants every year along the treacherous route from Central America to the Mexican border with the U.S. With all the talk about a border wall, the deportation of undocumented immigrants, and of minors who fled poverty has been at the center of national and international news, this exhibit reminds us to humanize this controversial topic.
Through art and poetry, the stunning exhibit hopes to explore what it means to ride “La Bestia” and the stories of those who choose this dangerous path of coming to the United States. This exhibit is the creation of Mexican artists Demián Flores and Marco Barrera Bassols, and it is part of a larger project exploring the dynamics between Mexico and the United States coming to UC Berkeley.
Read these comments from Summer 2017:
Student Reflection #1: The MONTARIaBestia exhibit was the first art exhibition that has ever moved me to the point of tears. The art pieces displayed conveyed a deeper message, obviously of immigration, and that is a topic that holds close to me because of the stories that my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents passed on to me of their horrors crossing over to the dream that is the United States, or so they thought. The pieces ranged from abstract, to very explicit. The clockwise movement through the paintings told a story of all of the horrors that come with making the treacherous journey up to the border.
In the majority of the pieces, the dangers of immigrating were somehow depicted. For example, there was a painting created showing severed limbs on a train track. Immigrants from “El Sur” climb onto moving trains and climb up to the roof as a way of hitching a free ride to get close to the border. Moving on to a speeding train is extremely dangerous, accidents are inevitable, but these people risk that and more, because those cons outweigh the cons of living in their current conditions.
Other dangers undertaken by immigrants are far worse. Ultimately, it is their life that they are putting on the line. Abstract paintings of red splatters, calaveras, and the grim reaper painted over a scenery of the desert that they must pass through depict this reality. Other paintings depict the more humanistic aspect to their stories. Pieces of mementos, ancestor pictures, and olden times of their culture all represent the life and family that they leave behind. Ultimately, this whole exhibit revolves around bringing the humanity that is pain and death and sacrifice to light, since it is so often ignored by other people.
Conclusively, the exhibit only reinforced my feelings of extreme respect, compassion and understanding for issues of immigration. My own parents witnessed and experienced much of what was depicted in this exhibit but they are lucky to have survived it. The exhibit brought me to the verge of tears because of my position of privilege and the hatred/ignorance that is brewed in the United States against these immigrants. Often, the U.S has played a role in the conditions that these people flee from. It is angering, heartbreaking yet moving. The exhibit completely encompassed the whole experience and all of these feelings perfectly.
Student Reflection #2: The first floor is welcoming. The GSI, who let me in, led me to the exhibit. She gave me some instructions and answered a couple trivial questions. In the background, the soundtrack to the documentary showing on the west wall is playing. The panels are small. I first notice one of a youth. He is in several pieces scattered about a train rail. He fell from a car while riding. His expression does not show pain, fear, or in any way betray what his final thoughts may have been. His face is a child’s, asleep in bed. This was not the panel I came to see. It will find me. And upstairs, there it is.
Birds by Michel Pineda calls to me. It is of a morning sky. It is the desert sky outside of Yuma, Arizona. The red morning haze, a product of the light overcast and the Sun behind it, turns the migrating birds into silhouettes. It is March, monsoon season in the Southwest. The birds are heading north which means the panel faces the viewer to the northwest. I admired that sky every Spring for three years while living in Arizona. That is how I recognize it here at the Center.
Because I know where this is, I know the story which inspires this piece. That natural boundary, the desert, has claimed over a thousand lives. Migrants from Mexico and Latin America. They are economic and political refugees, would be pilgrims to the United States. All have lost their lives in this desert. Their ages range from infants to the elderly, some in their 70’s. They are on a journey north looking to make a better life for themselves and their families. This panel is the morning on the last day of their lives. Hope’s road ends with death. I know their stories; in 2014, we demonstrated to bring attention to this place. These stories. These people have names I know. A wound reopens, we failed, they still die, and I silently cry. The poem, “Migrants: Deceased Children of Central America” by Balam Rodrigo, below the boxcar reads: “Y en un abrir y cerrar de alas resucitarán los desaparecidos,/ y se erguirá sobre la furia la legion de los migrantes” (And in the blink of an eye the departed shall take wing,/ and the legion of migrants shall rise above the sound and the fury).
Student Reflection #3: The year was 1986. My home country, El Salvador, was suffering from a violent civil war. The atrocities and the unresolved conflicts of a corrupt government would cause major long-term effects for Salvadoran society for years to come. My parents watched the horrific violence and injustice engulfing their country, and lived through the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero, a key advocate for peace. Eventually they made the decision to immigrate to the US. It was a sad and difficult time for me; leaving my home, friends, and beloved pets was devastating. As frightening as it was to live amid such extreme violence, the thought of departing evoked a feeling of profound loss. On June 17, 1986, I arrived with my family in San Francisco. My maternal grandmother, a U.S. citizen, had lived in the United States since the mid 70’s; it was through her petition that we received our green cards.
Immigrant issues are close to my heart, for the past seven years I have worked at a local nonprofit in San Rafael providing services for undocumented immigrants who are mostly from Mexico and Central America. During the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the Mexico-U.S. border, I assisted many of their sponsors with the ORR (office of refugee) forms. The forms are sent to the shelter were a caseworker reviews them, and then the child is released to their sponsor.
The art exhibit was a reminder of the many stories shared by women, men, and children I have worked with. “The Bestia” still haunts many of these children at night, it’s a constant reminder of the price paid to reunite with their loved ones en el “Norte.” One particular piece of art that resonates with me is 31: “That, I’ll say, in the morning/When my child wakes up/ That a flood of fondness/isn’t enough if you love.” About three months ago, a woman walked into my office. She was crying, worried about her 12-year old daughter who had been caught at the border and held for 24-hours at la “hielera” in McAllen TX, and then transferred to a youth shelter facility in Arizona.
It had been 10-years since she had last seen her daughter. She had left Guatemala at dawn, at that time kissing her baby girl’s forehead, not knowing when she would ever see her again. She tells me how painful it was for her to leave her family in search for opportunity in the U.S. As the years passed, she found work and was able to send money back home. However, the gang violence in her hometown of Quetzaltenango was increasing. Beaten and abused by gang members, the girl became depressed and worried for her life. The family paid a “coyote” to get her across the border.
Once the ORR documents approved, the 12-year old reunited with her mother. Mother and daughter came to see me days after her release with some immigration documents they did not understand. As I filled out the forms to request a change of venue so the court could be changed from Tucson to San Francisco, the young girl shared with me her trajectory through the desert and aboard the infamous Bestia — she was very articulate for a young girl was. Her story was by no means easy to recount. She traveled about three hours on La Bestia before reaching Chiapas. The people on board warned her not to fall asleep for risking a fall and losing a limb. It was the beginner of summer and the heat was intense, all she could think during the strenuous ride was to be reunited with her mother. During the ride, she sat with about 30 other unaccompanied minors from Honduras and El Salvador. After many years apart, they too had dreams of seeing their loved ones.
She tells me that during those three hours on the train, she heard of a young boy falling off the train. She remembered hopping on with him but losing track as she found an uncomfortable small spot to sit on. It was sad to hear he was gone, that I too could have fallen off, she says with tears in her eyes. Most people on the train are very nice and they try to look out for one another, she says. The men become very protective of the women and children. During her journey she went hungry for days and had very little to drink — reaching the U.S-border was the happiest and scariest day of her life.
On one hand, crossing the border has become increasingly dangerous with many drug cartels terrorizing and killing immigrants. On the other hand, they take the risk of immigration deporting them back to their countries, yet they decide to make the treacherous journey in search of hope. The scarcity and violence from their home country is too much to endure, they rather take the chance than live a life of poverty and persecution.
I have recently seen a lot of state action on immigrant rights in response to the paralysis in Congress. I take comfort and feel a lot of pride living in a state that affirms the dignity and aspirations of immigrants. Since the election, immigration is once again becoming a very divisive issue and I am challenged to work even harder for immigrant rights. The exhibit is a wonderful way to share the story of many courageous people who ride La Bestia in hope of finding the American dream.
Helping Save the Sea Turtles - June 2017
Playón de Mismaloya, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Value of the Donation: $1,800 US
Fifty uniforms (consisting of long-sleeved white t-shirts and baseball caps with logo) to protect people from the sun’s harmful rays were donated by two non-profit organizations: Book Bank USA via Organización de Líderes Altruistas Kintsugi, A.C. to a Sea Turtle Rescue Camp in Playón de Mismaloya, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, near Puerto Vallarta.
Sea turtles are on the Earth’s “Endangered and Protected Species” list. These uniforms enable the villagers and other beach pedestrians to identify the team and allow them to do their work, which consists of guarding the beach from predators, trash or other hazards that may prevent the sea turtles from leaving their egg nests at the beach.
Everything done by Turtle Project BBUSA allows the turtles to have a clean beach so they can complete their reproduction process.
Support to the Victims of the Earthquake in Mexico – September 2017
Mexico is grateful for the solidarity of our community in the Bay Area of San Francisco. We thank everyone who sent their donations to help support the victims of the earthquake in Mexico on September 19th. The funds were channeled to Mexican Red Cross IAP. We thank you for your support in this harsh times for our country.
GourmexSF - May 12, 2017
San Francisco, California
Value of the Donation: $5,000 US
Book Bank USA was a Supporting Sponsor for the third time of GourmexSF, which celebrates the greatness of Mexican chefs and talent in the gourmet sphere with excellent food from local restaurants and outstanding chefs. This event also focuses on the tasting of superb wines and spirits such as tequila, mezcal and beer.
For 2017, the event was held at the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center and hosted approximately 400 people who enjoyed the most representative dish of each chef.
It was organized by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, through the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco, PROMEXICO and Mexico’s Country Brand Office, as a part of the gastronomic initiative VEN A COMER.
Join Us For Fernando Reyes Artist Talk, February 10, 4pm
The Mexican Museum presents an artist talk with Fernando Reyes as part of the exhibition Fernando Reyes: An Artist’s Evolution 1991-2017. He will discuss how he has evolved from a San Francisco banker to a full-time artist, from self-taught to formally trained, and from purely representational to an artist whose broad portfolio now includes abstract art.
Born in 1954 and raised in Fresno, California, Reyes developed a love for art at a young age. At age 22 he moved to San Francisco, working as a banker for 17 years. His talent for art lay dormant during those years, but re-emerged in the late 1980s. Reyes began as a self-taught artist, and then decided to pursue a formal art education. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. He then returned to the Bay Area in 1998 and a year later he opened his current art studio in the Jingletown neighborhood of Oakland’s Fruitvale district.
Throughout the years, Reyes has produced a large and diverse portfolio. Until recently his work has been primarily figurative and includes oil paintings, drawings, and prints. Reyes has regularly drawn from live models that allow him to depict the beauty, strength, and sensuality of the human form. His goal has been to create contemporary work using traditional methodology. Reyes’ figurative work is about body language, the conscious and unconscious ways in which bodies communicate. In the past few years Reyes has created both representational and abstract works using paper cutouts made with his own hand printed paper.
Reyes’ work is meant to arouse the senses, to conjure emotional states, to enliven curiosity, and to instigate the telling of a story. This exhibition consists of nearly sixty pieces spanning from 1991 (pre-art school) to the present day. The works include drawings and paintings, mainly of the human figure; intaglio and woodblock prints; and recent work in paper cutouts of figures of abstract imagery. This exhibition allows the viewer to trace the artist’s evolution of subject matter, ideas, technique, and style.
Fernando Reyes: An Artist’s Evolution 1991-2017 opened its doors at The Mexican Museum on January 12th and will be on exhibit through March 15th, 2018. The Museum is located in Building D at Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123. Entrance is free, but contributions are welcome.
Credits: Starlite, Hand printed paper cutouts on wood panel, 2017.
Mexican Museum Final Architectural Designs
Andrew M. Kluger, President and Executive Director of Book Bank USA, is also the Mexican Museum Board Chairman. Born in Mexico City, he said, “The new Mexican Museum, designed by the celebrated Mexican architect Enrique Norten, is reflective of contemporary Mexican design.”
After joining the board five years ago, Mr. Kluger was instrumental in getting the institution’s financial house in order, and is pushing this long-delayed project forward.
He adds, “For 3 years now, I’ve been fortunate to lead the fundraising, work with the Board of Directors, the building committee, the architectural teams and coordinate actions of the legal teams with governmental agencies.
“Now, I’m extremely proud to say that we have a beautiful 60,000 square foot, $40 million construction plan in place and funded. We will break ground this fall and complete this wonderful project that I have had the privilege to bring into reality.”
Mexican Museum Dedication Ceremony, 7/19/16
From Kimberly Verkerov, San Francisco Chronicle Reporter
We’re pleased to announce that the Mexican Museum is officially going to settle permanently into a much roomier Yerba Buena arts district home. But it took supporters over four decades to clear legal hurdles and raise over $63 million over the past three years.
In a dedication ceremony held on July 19th in Jessie Square at 706 Mission Street, local officials and Mexican dignitaries marked the occasion with a celebration for the museum, which houses America’s largest collection of Latino art.
The new Mexican Museum will eventually open in 2019 on the first four floors across 60,000 square feet of a 510-foot-tall luxury condo tower next to the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the historic St. Patrick Church. The current location of the museum in Fort Mason is about eight times smaller than the proposed site.
Andy Kluger, the museum’s chairman, addresses several hundred people in attendance. He proclaimed, “We’re establishing now a cultural institution of major proportion that will be for the Mexican community, the Chicano community, the Latin American community as a whole.”
State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, added, “At a time when too many angry and loud voices are talking about building 50-foot-high walls, you are building an edifice to civilization and our common humanity.”
After 10 Years, $500 million Mexican Museum condo tower will break ground by March
From The SF Business Times, 1/13/16
The $500 million Mexican Museum and luxury condo tower, potentially one of the most expensive residential buildings in San Francisco, will begin construction by March after a decade of fundraising, approvals and lawsuits delayed the project.
Building permits have been filed to construct a four-story museum and up to 190 condos at 706 Mission St. Developer Millennium Partners filed a permit for excavation, shoring and underpinning for the 501-foot tower in December, but is still awaiting approval, said an official at the city’s Department of Buildings Inspection.
The tower is expected to be completed by early 2019, said Millennium Partners. With units averaging 2,700 square feet and prices expected to exceed $2,000 per square foot, sales at the tower could break an average of $5 million per unit and $1 billion in total sales. The project’s budget is $500 million with HSBC providing financing, said Millennium Partners.
A final name for the tower will be announced soon, said the developer.“We’re excited to be moving toward the next phase in the development of the Millennium Partners and Mexican Museum project at 706 Mission Street. This development is poised to become the city’s next great residential address in the heart of the Yerba Buena cultural district,” said Sean Jeffries, vice president of Millennium Partners, in a statement.
The developer has also come to an agreement with neighbors at the Four Seasons Residences at 765 Market St., who fought the project for years, saying they objected to its height and its impacts on traffic. Millennium also was the developer of the Four Seasons Residences.
S.F. Mexican Museum Update
From SF Gate, 2/18/16 by Jesse Hamlin
A construction crane has come to the boarded-up parcel of Jessie Square, across Mission Street from Yerba Buena Gardens.
“We have begun,” said Andy Kluger, chairman of San Francisco’s Mexican Museum, an institution whose long-delayed dream of building a new home South of Market is finally coming to fruition.
“After 40 years, it feels very good,” added Kluger, who joined the museum’s board five years ago and has spent the last three shepherding this project. It will bring the museum’s bountiful collection — 16,000 pre-Columbian, colonial, modern and contemporary works of Mexican and Latino art — from its far-too-small quarters at Fort Mason Center to a significant new building designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten.
Crews recently began shoring and bracing work on the site of the 52,000-square-foot museum. It will wrap into the 52-story luxury condo project Millennium Partners is building in the shell of the historic brick Aronson Building and in a tower that will adjoin it. The legal hurdles that delayed the project have apparently been surmounted.
The Mexican Museum, which will share the Jessie Square plaza with historic St. Patrick’s Church and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, will occupy four floors of both the 1903 Aronson Building and the new tower designed by San Francisco architect Glenn Rescalvo of Handel Associates.
As part of the deal with the city, which owns the land, the developer pays for the construction of the shell and core of the museum, whose total cost is now estimated at $60 million. The city puts up $14 million for the interior and will own the building.
Kluger and the board have raised $6.5 million toward the endowment and are talking to people who could contribute an additional $6 million this year (their names will be displayed on gallery walls). The long-term goal is $30 million.
Kluger, who was born in Mexico City — his father was a publisher who played chess with Leon Trotsky — just visited the museum’s architect and Jan Hendrix, the Dutch artist from Mexico City who is creating a vine-like metal work that will wrap around the glass facade.
“It’s going to be 1,000 meters long and three stories tall. It’s magnificent,” Kluger says.
The museum plans to open the building in 2019. Now, it has new shows in two San Francisco locations: “¡Que Rico, Que Bueno!,” a display of ancient and contemporary Mexican and Latino art, at the Jewish Community Center’s Katz Snyder Gallery through June, and “Art of New Spain: Highlights From the Mexican Museum Colonial Collection” opening Friday, Feb. 19, at the Fort Mason Center gallery.
New Mexican Museum Update: 01-06-15
New Mexican Museum to be worth the wait
From SFGate.com by Jesse Hamlin
In 2001, San Francisco artist Peter Rodriguez, who founded the Mexican Museum in a storefront on Folsom Street in 1975, attended the ceremonial groundbreaking for a bold new Mexican Museum at Jessie Square, across from Yerba Buena Gardens, designed by the celebrated Mexican architect Enrique Norten.
That red-stone structure was supposed to put the museum on the map and showcase its splendid collection — some 15,000 works of pre-Columbian, colonial, modern and contemporary works of Mexican and Latino art — housed in modest quarters at Fort Mason since 1982. Then the dot-com boom went bust, and the Mexican Museum, hobbled by stalled fundraising and ineffective leadership, had to scrap the Legorreta plans.
But Rodriguez, who’s now 89 and lives at the city’s Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, never lost faith that a new museum would be built.
“I knew it was going to happen eventually,” says Rodriguez, who hopes to attend the groundbreaking in July of the 54,000-square-foot, $43 million Mexican Museum at Jessie Square, designed by another major Mexican architect, Enrique Norten.
It will occupy the first four floors of a 43-story condo tower at 706 Mission St. being developed by Millennium Partners and designed by Glenn Rescalvo of the local Handel Architects.
The project includes the renovation and integration of the 1903 Aronson Building at Third and Mission streets, a 10-story Chicago-style brick beauty whose lower four floors will also be given over to the Mexican Museum.
The museum will have its own signature entrance on Jessie Square — adjacent to the Contemporary Jewish Museum and across from St. Patrick’s Church — with a vine-like sculptural metal mural by the Mexico City-based Dutch artist Jan Hendrix wrapping around the glass facade.
“It’s reflective of contemporary Mexican design,” says Mexican Museum board Chairman Andrew Kluger, who joined the museum board five years ago, got the institution’s financial house in order, and is the engine pushing this long-delayed project forward.
Kluger was born in Mexico City, where his father, Sidney, a Columbia University history professor who moved to Mexico in the 1930s and became a prominent publisher, was friends with Mexican artist Diego Rivera and played chess with Leon Trotsky, the exiled Russian revolutionary who lived next door until he was murdered by an ice-pick-wielding Stalinist.
Kluger, who moved to San Francisco at 13 and went to Lowell High and law school at the University of San Francisco, inherited some quality Mexican art from his godfather, actor Edward G. Robinson, including pre-conquest objects and modern paintings by Rufino Tamayo. The former honorary Mexican consul in Honolulu, Kluger plans to give much of his collection to the Mexican Museum, which will have more than eight times as much exhibition space at Yerba Buena.
The museum can show only a small fraction of its holdings at Fort Mason, where it’s showing “La Cocina: The Culinary Treasures of Rosa Covarrubias,” featuring the artist’s collection of traditional Mexican cookware and utensils, and pieces from the permanent collection, including an Expressionist painting by contemporary Cuban artist Nelson Dominguez and a clay figurine from 250 B.C.
Kluger was mesmerized by the collection when he got to know it, particularly the 800 works of Mexican folk art given from the collection of the late Nelson Rockefeller — “It’s tremendous,” he says — and the rich array of textiles. But he was concerned about the lax bookkeeping and other financial matters he found.
“It was a mess,” says Kluger, 63, founder and CEO of the medical technology firm Early Bird Alert and former head of Hawaii Air Ambulance. Audits had not been done regularly, and money from restricted funds had been used for other purposes. The collection had not been fully cataloged, and the museum was not sufficiently secured or insured. He sought advice from John Buchanan, director of San Francisco’s Fine Arts Museums, who died in 2011.
“John sat down with me and told me the collection had to be cataloged and insured. He guided me a great deal on how to do this properly.”
Once those things were accomplished, Kluger and his board focused on building a new home at Yerba Buena. The city, which owns the land, made good on its commitment to provide $14 million for the construction of the museum interior, which the city will own, and the architects’ fees. As part of its deal with the city, Millennium Partners will build the museum shell, estimated at about $30 million.
The developer is also giving $5 million to the museum’s endowment fund.
“We think it’s a great project,” says P.J. Johnston, spokesman for Millennium, which has surmounted the major planning and other bureaucratic hurdles and expects to win a pending legal challenge from residents of the nearby Four Seasons high-rise over shadows cast by the tower, which is scheduled to open in 2018.
An art-loving San Francisco family, anonymous at this point, is giving $5 million to the capital campaign, for the lobby. Rockefeller’s daughter Ann Rockefeller Roberts, a museum trustee, is heading up a $3 million drive for the gallery named for her father. Rivera’s daughter Guadalupe Rivera Marin is doing the same for a gallery named for him, and actor Edward James Olmos is helping raise $250,000 for a multimedia education center bearing his name. Community members of more modest means can give a buck a day for a year, or $365, to have their names inscribed on a wall.
Why did it take so long to finally get to this point?
“There have been a lot of egos, people who talked a good line,” Kluger says, “but they didn’t follow through. I’m not the most popular person in town, I’m sure, but I ask for deliverables.”
Norten, whose firm, TEN Arquitectos, has designed many cultural projects, including the Guggenheim Museum in Guadalajara and the Free Library in Philadelphia, says the challenge was to integrate the museum into the tower and the Aronson Building while “distinguishing ourselves from the tower, to create a presence on Jessie Square.”
The museum will have 13 galleries, several of them double-height, an amphitheater, cafe and classrooms. Norten, who speaks about looking to the future and “the new energy of Mexico and the Latino communities in the United States,” designed the galleries to be as open and flexible as possible for the permanent collection and traveling shows. The museum is now affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution.
“We’ve kept them very bare to allow the curators to transform the space according to the spirit of the exhibition,” he says. Architecturally, the new museum draws on a universal modern vocabulary and “ways of understanding light and quality of space that are difficult to express in words. I was born and raised in Mexico, so I hope a little bit of that will be expressed here.”
Jesse Hamlin is a Bay Area writer.
Thank You 2016 for “Mex I Am”
“Mex I Am” Festival Co-Sponsored by Book Bank USA
The Opening Gala of the 2015 MEX I AM festival at the Palace of Fine Arts on July 22, 2015 featured Isaac Hernández, principal dancer at the English National Ballet, and his brother Esteban Hernández, a promising international young star from the San Francisco Ballet.
The two brothers were joined on the stage by the talented Jurgita Dronina and the wonderful Yuan Yuan Tan.
The tenor Mario Rojas, recipient of the Plácido Domigo scholarship (for Mexico’s most prominent young artist program), delighted the overflowing audience during an opera presentation.
The Mex I Am Festival was proudly co-sponsored by Book Bank USA and looks forward to being a Supporting Sponsor again in 2016.
Introducing O.L.A.K. A.C. – A Non-Profit in Mexico Backed by Book Bank USA
Book Bank USA, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has partnered with Mexico’s nonprofit O.L.A.K. A.C. Together, they provide more helping hands for Mexico to become sustainable, not only ecologically but socially, culturally and economically as well.
We concentrate on the city we are located in (CDMX) and on four deeply vulnerable population groups:
- Women – physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse, agressions, femicide, discrimination
- Minors (under 18 y.) – abandonment, labor, emotional or sexual abuse, traffic, violence
- Elders (over 65 y.) – abandonment, abuse, “social load”, violence
- Non-human living beings (plants, animals, water) – pollution, resource exploitation, non-sustainable agriculture, abuse, mistreat, extinction, climate change
We are developing two projects for these groups:
- GTBA – Germinating Ties Between Associations – Children who live in foster homes for being orphaned or abandoned in CDMX interact and collaborate with elders to take care of an orchard located at the elders’ home.
- TDGEG – Taller De Género En General (Workshop: Of Gender in General) – Interactive workshop that informs the audience about gender matters and its relation to violence, in addition to strategies that help eradicate it; it’s tailored for nonprofit management staff and corporate staff.
CALCE Center and University of Maryland, College Park Activities - 2016
Pictured left to right: Visiting Senior Research Scientist, CALCE and Honorary Consul of Mexico Andrew Kluger, Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico for North America Minister Sergio Alcocer, and the director of Coordination and Innovations at UNAM, Maestro JM Romero Ortega.
- To foster collaboration, with the goal of participating jointly in academic, scientific and cultural activities in areas of common interest.
- To serve as a general framework for cooperation between the two institutions and will facilitate the development of specific bilateral programs of collaboration.
- To lead at UMD by the CALCE Center in CALCE’s core research and outreach areas of electronics reliability and prognostics.
This agreement was initiated by the Mexican Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for North America, Dr. Sergio Alcocer. The negotiations were successfully finalized by Maestro Juan Manuel Romero Ortega, Director of New Programs and Initiatives of UNAM, Dr. Michael Pecht, Director of CALCE at University of Maryland, College Park, Dr. Diganta Das of CALCE, and Dr. Andrew Kluger, Visiting Senior Research Scientist, CALCE and Honorary Consul of Mexico. Prof. Elizabeth Beise, Associate Provost for Academic Planning and Programs, Ms. Jen Gartner, esq. of the Office of Legal Affairs, and Dr. Joseph B. Scholten of the Office of International Affairs facilitated the agreement at the University of Maryland.
UNAM, founded in 1910, by Justo Sierra is the largest university in Latin America and boasts three Nobel Laureates and five presidents of Mexico among its alumni. It gained full autonomy in 1929 including the ability to set its own curriculum without interference from the government, unique among public universities in the Latin America.
Mexico Activities, 2010 - 2015
Mexican Museum Reveals Its New Interior Design
September 26, 2014: The new location of the Mexican Museum at 706 Mission St., revealed in this artist’s sketch and pending city approval, will include galleries, rotating exhibitions, an education center, an auditorium and a restaurant.
The Mexican Museum will accompany more than 15,000 pieces of art on four floors celebrating the Latino community when the first permanent home of the Mexican Museum since 1982 opens. Crews are expected to break ground on the new site at 706 Mission St. in spring 2015.
This week, renditions designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten were revealed showing the interior and exterior of the museum, which will be located on the first four floors of a new 43-story mixed-use Millennium Partners building, along with the first four floors of the adjacent Aronson Building.
The 52,000-square-foot museum — about seven times larger than its current site at Fort Mason — will include a two-story gallery and showcase art previously unable to be displayed due to limited space at Fort Mason, said Andrew Kluger, the Mexican Museum’s board chairman.
“It’s very beautiful,” Kluger said of the future museum space. “It really amplifies our tapestry to the community at large.”
A collection of tapestries and textiles, along with four of the museum’s more than 15 sculptures, are among the works of art unable to be exhibited at Fort Mason.
“We just have so many pieces that now, it will give much more ample space for those to be shown,” Kluger said. “We could have easily a tenfold number of people on a weekly basis.”
With its educational rooms and auditorium, the new museum will also accommodate more school programs.
“We really want to make this an educational space for young children and families as well,” Kluger said.
The $28 million needed for construction has already been raised, and the museum has been finalizing $8 million in grants from The City to build the interior. The museum has also received $5 million for its endowment fund and has been looking to raise another $25 million to help sustain museum operations.
Construction is also set to begin next year on the mixed-use building by Millennium Partners, which will include between 145 and 190 residential units. The project, slated to be completed by 2018, also includes restoring the historic Aronson Building, which will serve as the face of the Mexican Museum.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by condo owners at the nearby Four Seasons seeking to block the project is pending, though a separate, similar case was previously dismissed.
“We’ve been successful in every phase of the project to date,” said PJ Johnston, a spokesman for Millennium Partners. “We’ve already seen one legal challenge dismissed, and we expect to be successful in any litigation that comes our way. We’re maintaining our focus on the work we have ahead.”
Mex I Am Festival: Celebration of A Rich Contemporary Culture in San Francisco
When Isabel Yrigoyen, music curator and associate director of performing arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts tells you that “Mex I Am-live it to believe it” is the largest project of its magnitude ever sponsored by the center, she is not spinning you. Starting Thursday, July 31, 2014, YBCA (joined next week by the Contemporary Jewish Museum across Mission Street) will celebrate the classical and popular arts and intellectual ferment of contemporary Mexico in a panoramic manner this city has not witnessed previously.
The project, jointly presented by the Consulate General of Mexico, Conaculta (the Mexican government cultural agency), as well as YBCA, was the inspiration of Andrés Roemer, the dynamic consul general in this city. His intention, says Yrigoyen, was to showcase his nation’s artistic and cultural riches and the spirit of innovation that pervades contemporary Mexico.
YBCA seemed like the perfect space to hold the festival for which the Mexican government has defrayed all artist expenses. “They approached us about the possibility of participating in this project,” said Yrigoyen. “We were offered an unbelievably rich assortment of artists from which to choose.”
The schedule for Mex I Am suggests a desire to expand everyone’s image of the Mexican arts scene. The opening gala covers ballet and opera. First, Mexican-born Elisa Carillo, a soloist at the Berlin Staatsballett, and dancing colleagues Rocio Aléman, Ludovico Pace and Mikhail Kaniskin will perform in works by Marcia Haydée, Mauro Bigonzetti and Uwe Scholz. After intermission, the fine Mexican baritone Alfredo Daza, who sang at the San Francisco Opera in the 1998-99 seasons and now is a member of the Berlin Staatsoper, will offer arias and songs by Giuseppe Verdi, Ruggiero Leoncavallo and Joaquin Turina.
For her part, Yrigoyen booked the Tambuco Percussion Ensemble, pairing them with the internationally celebrated jazz pianist, Héctor Infanzón. She also initiated an electronic audiovisual collaboration between the composer Murcof and software maven Simon Geilfus. They will appear on the same bill as pop diva Natalia Lafourcade (pictured on the cover). Theater will be represented by an English-language performance of Vicky Araico’s monologue, “Juana in a Million.” Yrigoyen notes that Mex I Am belongs logically in California, which has the largest Latino population in this country.
Mex I Am Festival: Thursday, July 31 – Sunday, August 3, 2014: Check website for full schedule and prices. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St., S.F. (415) 978-2787.
Andrew Kruger, The Mexican Museum Board Chairman, Recognized by the Foreign Ministry of Mexico
The Mexican Museum, the premier West Coast museum of Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, Latin American and Latino art, culture and heritage, announces that Andrew Kluger, Chairman of the Board of The Mexican Museum, has been honored by the Foreign Ministry of Mexico for his seven years of diplomatic service as Honorary Consul to the State of Hawaii for the Republic of Mexico.
Pictured here: Andrew Kluger, Chairman of the Board of The Mexican Museum and Jose Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexico’s Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores (Secretary of Foreign Affairs).
At the presentation ceremony, which took place in June during a meeting in Mexico City of 108 Honorary Consuls from around the world, Kluger was presented with a special certificate of service by Jose Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexico’s Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores (Secretary of Foreign Affairs), and asked to continue in his capacity as Honorary Consul.
It was during this same trip that Kluger met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to promote The Mexican Museum and inform Peña Nieto and other Mexican government and civic leaders about the Museum’s new building project, the construction of which is slated to begin early 2015.
July 31 – August 5, 2014: Mex I Am: Live It To Believe It
Book Bank USA, the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco, Conaculta, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts are sponsoring the “Mex I Am: Live It To Believe It” arts, dance, music, ideas and theatre.
This is the first festival of its kind in the Bay Area, showcasing the best performing arts, culture, and ideas from Mexico. This four-day multi-disciplinary festival will feature some of the best Mexican performers from various genres and traditions, as well as presentations from some of the brightest and most influential Mexicans in their fields of expertise around the world.
It includes: Dance Gala with Elisa Carrillo and Opera Gala with Alfredo Daza, July 31, 2014, 7:00pm
Ideas: North and South of the Border, Aug 1, 2014, 5:00pm
Latin Jazz with Héctor Infanzón and Percussion Ensemble Tambuco, Aug 1, 2014, 8:00pm
Vicky Araico: Juana in a Million, Aug 2, 2014, 2:00pm
Music with Natalia Lafourcade and Electronic Art by Murcof + Simon Geilfus (Antivj), Aug 2, 2014, 8:00pm
60 Years of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández, Aug 3, 2014, 5:00pm
2013 – 2014: The Mexican Museum’s New Home in San Francisco:
Andy Kluger, Chair of The Mexican Museum Board of Trustees, as well as President & Executive Director of Book Bank USA, is helping to spearhead the raising of $63 million to move the Mexican Museum from Fort Mason Center to a new venue in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens arts district.
The new venue will include a retail center, an urban park called Jessie Square, and a hotel/residential tower run by Four Seasons.
Once completed, the Mexican Museum will house over 14,000 objects of American, Mexican American and Latino art, including many treasures never before exhibited to the general public.
Mr. Kluger added: “The new facility at Yerba Buena Gardens will provide the much-needed space for the numerous galleries envisioned, all of which will support the narrative of our permanent collection and allow for travelling exhibits from the United States, Mexico and Latin America.”
Also through the Mexican Museum in 2013 and 2012, Book Bank USA donated funds to support FREE FAMILY Sundays Art and Family Programs.
2010 – 2014: MexicoInSF.com
Book Bank USA has been a major sponsor to MexicoInSF.com, an initiative from the Cultural Affairs Department of the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco. Book Bank USA celebrated Mexican Independence Day in San Francisco last October. In its almost three years of existence, Mexico in SF has produced multiple art exhibitions, concerts, film screenings, and academic lectures, and is constantly working to bring a little bit of Mexico to San Francisco.
2013: Mexicans In Hawaii:
Book Bank USA helped sponsor a meeting on September 24, 2013, in Honolulu to present research released by the Migration Policy Institute about the little-known yet growing Mexican community in Hawai’i. Co-sponsored by the College of Social Sciences, University of Hawai’I at Manoa.
Panelists included: Jeanne Batalova, Senior Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
Monisha Das Gupta, Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Sue P. Haglund, PhD candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
The panelists present their research released by the Migration Policy Institute.
2012: Mexico & The Keiki Health Project: BookBank USA provided funding in Ciudad Juarez to educate students about health and promote a love of reading.
San Francisco Activities, 2014
San Francisco Ballet Company Sponsorship:
In May 2014, Book Bank USA joined with Sasha De Sola, principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet Company, to lead a program of introducing ballet to young students from schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As America’s oldest professional ballet company, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. A lively, vital ensemble, San Francisco Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States.
This Book Bank USA program, which began in 2013, includes attending a ballet, going backstage to see the wig room, costume room, dressing rooms, speak with the staff culminating with a visit, and some “prancing” on the stage.
Parents of the young participants are all welcome.
Book Bank USA plans to expand this program to the Hawaii Ballet Company in Honolulu next season as well.
Mexican Art Sponsorship:
Andy Kluger, President & Executive Director of Book Bank USA, with Ambassador Carlos Felix, Mexico’s representative to Malaysia, working on a sponsorship of cultural events promoting Mexican art.
University of San Francisco Sponsorship:
Book Bank USA support a sculpture exhibit at USF with Dr. Andres Roemer, Consul General of Mexico, and Sean Jeffries, head of a Millennium Partners and supporter of the exhibit and our humble charity.
North Korean Defector Documentary - 2014
Movies about North Korea have been a feature on the nightly news lately, mostly because of the media uproar over “The Interview” from Sony Films. But here’s a real-life documentary produced as a senior college project at University of Hawaii-– “Life As A North Korean Defector” –– from filmmaker Tommy Driskill.
Tommy explains it best… “In 2011 I went to North Korea, one of the most reclusive and oppressed countries in the world. I experienced what most outsiders would consider unfathomable (conditions). Through working with three defectors and befriending them, I’ve listened to their stories, and have taken it upon myself to make a change for the 25 million who still suffer under the dictatorship.”
The defectors featured in Tommy’s first documentary include the inspiring stories of a young man who escaped through China and Thailand, of a former North Korean prison guard whose family was locked up, and of Yeonmi Park, a young woman who has become one of the most outspoken defectors from the communist country.
“They all bitterly hate North Korea,” adds Driskill. “And they want to help start a movement that will eventually end in the collapse of the Kim regime. I’m going to do everything I can to help them tell their story so that people around the world can know what is going on.”
A Honolulu TV producer at WBFD requested that Tommy Driskill return to Seoul to produce more material for his first documentary. Because of that suggestion, Tommy is now working on a second documentary that will spotlight a North Korean artist –– Song Byeok — who paints satirical Kim regime portraits.
Tommy says, “His most notable piece is a painting of Kim Jung’il’s head on top of Marilyn Monroe’s body. It immediately became apparent to me that I needed to do a second and far more important documentary just on Mr. Song’s life because he tells the huge and terrible story of both repression and prison camps in North Korea that are still in tact today along with the total insanity that is taking place there in disregard for human rights. Mr. Song had turned against the Kim regime and fled.
“He was captured and imprisoned,” says Driskill, “but managed to escape and swim across a river to China with his father. However, his father subsequently drowned. Mr. Song and I decided together that I will direct a feature length documentary showcasing Mr. Song’s life and expose the atrocities of the Kim regime. I’m now in the process of raising funds to support our budget.”
Please donate now through Book Bank USA to support Mr. Driskill’s North Korean documentary efforts by making a donation to “Friends of North Korean Defector Documentary” via the Book Bank USA web page.
Watch the current version of “Life as a North Korean Defector”
Holocaust-Related Activities, 2013 - 2014
2014: “Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story”:
Helping to promote this book through the Hawaii, California and Arizona school systems. It was written by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee, and has an afterword by Hiroki Sugihara.
It was also a “Pick of the Lists” American Bookseller award winner and a recipient of multiple other literature awards, including a Parent’s Choice Award; Notable Book for a Global Society, IRA; Notable Books for Children, Smithsonian Magazine; and Texas Bluebonnet Award Masterlist.
Mr. Sugihara has traveled all over the world telling the story of how his father, Chiune Sugihara, saved as many as 10,000 Jewish refugees in Lithuania during World War II.
2014: Cartoonists Against The Holocaust (book) and Cartoonists Against The Holocaust: Art in the Service from Humanity, are both sponsored by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.
The book jacket asked: “Can a cartoon change the world? During the dark days of the Holocaust, a handful of American political cartoonists used their art to cry out against injustice – and to try to inspire the public to demand the rescue of Hitler’s victims.
“Cartoonists Against The Holocaust brings back more than 125 of these amazing cartoons. We can see the Nazi genocide and the world’s response as they unfold, through the eyes of some of America’s most beloved cartoonists, including the beloved Dr. Seuss, the Washington Post’s ‘Herblock’,and many others. It’s a unique way to learn abou the Holocaust — and a journey back in time to an era that we dare not forget.”
The “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust: Art In The Service of Humanity” project grew out of the seminar work by Dr. Rafael Medoff, the Institute’s director and historian, and J. David Spurlock, founder and CEO of Vanguard Productions. Artists who have participated have included Stan Lee, Michael Chabon, Harlan Ellison, Art Spiegelman, and more.
Stan Lee, Publisher Emeritus of Marvel Comics and co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the X-Men said, “I strongly applaud these important and innovative projects to teach young people about the Holocaust through cartoons and comic strips. The use of creative educational techniques can help ensure that the mistakes of the 1930s and 1940s will not be repeated.”
2013: David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies “Remembering The Future” Fundraiser & Wyman Conference 75th Anniversary of the St. Louis:
5 Years since the “Voyage of the Damned”: Are We Doomed to Repeat It?
The 11th national conference of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies will focus on the 75th anniversary of the voyage of the St. Louis and its implications for our own era. The conference chair is Andrew M. Kluger representing co-sponsor Book Bank USA; emcee is Prof. Thane Rosenbaum.
Sessions will include:
- “Answering Revisionist Attacks on the St. Louis” with historian Rafael Medoff
- “Voices of the Survivors” with St. Louis passengers Mrs. Ronnie Breslow & Mrs. Sonja Geismar, and longtime National Public Radio host Martin Goldsmith, author of a new book about the St. Louis
- “The Relevance of the St. Louis in Today’s World” with Rwanda survivor Jacqueline Murekatete; Armenian representative Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian, and Prof. Thane Rosenbaum
- Plus: a special screening of the short Disney film, “Voyage of the Doomed.”
It will be held on Sunday, June 1, 2014, from 1:00 to 5:30 pm, at the Fordham University School of Law, 140 West 62 St., New York City (right behind Lincoln Center). Admission is free, and there is no need to register in advance; seating is first come, first served. The conference is cosponsored by the Combat Genocide Association. For more information, call the Wyman Institute at 202-434-8994 or write to: email@example.com.
2013: FDR: and The Holocaust: A Breach of Faith:
Book Bank USA funded the publication of this book by Dr. Rafael Medoff of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. Buy the book through Amazon.com.
Amazon’s review states: FDR’s share of the responsibility of the West, and the U.S. in particular, for the failure to help rescue the Jewish victims of Naziism, has long been controversial. There is no doubt that FDR refused to help Jewish refugees enter the U.S. or, for that matter, any of the territories. Even when the Philippines, then a U.S. territory, offered to take thousands of refugees, it was blocked from doing so by the U.S. Government.
The problem with trying to evaluate and assign blame is that FDR had valid excuses for refusing to appear to be helping save Jews. He argued that if it seemed that he was steering the US into the war and risking the lives of American boys just to save Jews, he would not be able to get Congress to approve rearmament in 1940, or to help England in its battle with Germany before December 7, 1941. Another recent book, Breitman and Lichtman, “FDR and the Jews”, (one of the authors is the official historian at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC), makes this argument very forcibly, and should be read together with the Medoff book.
In retrospect, it is hard to believe the extent of anti-semitism in the U.S. during those years. Congress was even worse, and Jewish leaders were afraid to ask Congress to liberalize the immigration laws to help the refugees because of the likelihood that Congress would make the laws more restrictive, not less restrictive. Much of the blame is also placed on the State Department (on this point, another recent book, Larson, “In the Garden of the Beasts”, is devastating).
Wyman Institute Dinner: New York 2013
Book Bank USA supports the work on holocaust and genocide studies and the publishing of the academic studies they are producing for school students.
We were recently honored at their annual awards dinner at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial To The Holocaust in New York City on October 20, 2013, for our support in their mission.
Andy Kluger is shown introducing Sigmund Rolat, a Holocaust survivor of Auschwitz-Berkenau. Mr. Rolat was one of the main contributors and visionaries of the Museum of Jewish History of Poland in Warsaw.
Starting in the spring of 1942, Auschwitz became the largest site for the murder of Jews brought there under the Nazi plan. More than 1,100,000 men, women, and children lost their lives there.
Andy Kluger, President & Executive Director of Book Bank USA, introducing Beno Suchodowski (left), a prominent community leader at attorney in São Paulo, Brazil, to Dr. Rafael Medoff, CEO of the Wyman Institute (right).
Mr. and Mrs. Beno Suchodowski of São Paulo, Brazil with Mr. Andy Kluger at the Museum of Jewish Heritage dinner.
Hawaii & Other Global Activities, 2012 – 2014
October 2014 Cuauhtemoc Reception for Educational & Cultural Exchange Program
Cuauhtemoc, born around A.D. 1495 to a royal family, was nephew to both Moctezuma and his brother Cuitlahuac. He later became the last emperor of the Aztecs in 1520. Bernal Diaz de Castillo wrote, “Cuauhtemoc was “not more than twenty-five years old, and elegant in his person for an Indian.”
Today, Cuauhtemoc is a universal object of veneration in Mexico. Streets, parks, stadia — even a brewery — are named after him, as is this ship photographed in Honolulu this week where Book Bank USA hosted an educational and cultural exchange program.
John Balieix wrote to Andy Kluger, Honorary Counsel of Mexico through the Consular Corps of Hawaii: “The ship is beautiful, the crew could not have been more gracious, warm and generous. The food was exquisite, and it was interesting to learn the significance of the ship’s name.”
2014-2012: St. Andrew’s Priory School, Oahu:
Book Bank USA again provided the Annual Scholarship Fund at St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls in Honolulu, Hawaii of $10,000 per year.
This scholarship is used towards financial assistance for families of limited means to afford their daughters a college preparatory education.
Book Bank USA also donated books, and football equipment to the Moloka’i sports teams.
2013: Maui Youth & Family Services:
Maui: Book Bank USA contributed 35 computers to Mele Carroll of the Maui Youth and Family Services.
2014–2012: The Kosasa Foundation donated hundreds of books and dozens of computers to schools on the Big Island.
The Keiki Health Project continued to educate students in Honolulu. Every year, The Kosasa Foundation is recognized as one of the top 40 giving foundations in Hawaii.
2014-2011: School For The Deaf, St. Kitt’s, West Indies:
Book Bank USA donated 35 computers in 2011 and again in 2012 computer equipment to a Women’s Program on the island of St. Kitt’s, West Indies through our friend and her Dionne Warwick Endowment Foundation.
For the School for the Deaf Program, Book Bank USA provided 300 hearing devices between 2011 and 2013, plus 60 computers.
2014 – 2012: Books for Africa:
Donated a grant for hundreds of books and computers to Books for Africa, the world’s largest shipper of donated books to the African continent. Since 1988, Books for Africa has shipped over 30 million high-quality text and library books to children and adults in 49 African countries. Millions more are needed. www.booksforafrica.org‘
2014: Hawaii Educational Programs:
Andy Kluger with Patty Okimura and Lorraine Sugimoto. These tireless volunteers in Honolulu have been coordinating Book Bank USA educational programs throughout the islands.
Mildred Kluger, 1922 – 2013
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mildred Kluger in November 5, 2013. She was born in Chicago in 1922 and died at the age of 91 in San Francisco.
Book Bank USA President and Executive Director, Andy Kluger, said, “Thank you all so much for your kind offers to send flowers and donations in memory of our mother, Mildred. It was her wish to have donations made to a number of charities, or a charity of your choice, in lieu of sending flowers.”
Some of Mildred’s favorite groups were:
- Book Bank USA – Founded by Mildred’s husband, Sidney Kluger, Book Bank USA has sent millions of books to public and school libraries and community centers worldwide.
- Hadassah – A Women’s Zionist organization in America supporting the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in Jerusalem that serves over one million patients each year.
- Yemin Orde – The Yemin Orde Youth Village is home to more than 500 at-risk children from around the world.
- David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies – Teaches the history and lessons of America’s response to the Holocaust and genocide, through scholarly research, public events, publications, and educational programs.
- Congregation Sherith Israel – Mildred’s congregation in San Francisco. It is one of the oldest synagogues in the United States.
Read this obituary from The Northern California Jewish Bulletin:
In San Francisco on Nov. 5, 2013 at the age of 91. Beloved wife of the late Sidney Kluger for 59 years; loving mother of Andrew Kluger, Rochelle (Haim) Schwartz and Debbie (Eitan) Zuberi; adoring grandmother of David (Meredith) Kluger, Alex Kluger, Avi (Mindy) Schwartz, Yael (Asaf) Gaon, Jonathan (Natasha) Kluger, and Adam, Noam and Talia Zuberi; aunt and friend to many.
Mildred was born on Dec. 9, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Abraham Gerber and Rose Slobovi Gerber, sister of Claire Gerber Krauss and Jack Gerber. She graduated from the Illinois Teachers College and Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education.
Mildred was an educator all of her professional life, who taught on the faculties of Yale University, Chicago Public Schools, the American School in Mexico City and the Daly City School District. She was loved and admired by her colleagues and students throughout over 40 years of teaching.
She married Sidney Kluger in 1948 in Mexico City. She and Sidney were leaders in the Jewish community in Mexico for over 16 years prior to their settling in San Francisco when Sidney assumed the position as Executive Director of Congregation Sherith Israel, where Mildred was active in sisterhood and the Rae Levy drama group for many years.
Mildred assumed leadership positions in many philanthropies. She was President of the Hadassah Northern California chapter, a national board member of Friends of Yemin Orde, Girls Town of Israel, Boys Town Jerusalem and Book Bank USA.
The family wishes to acknowledge and thank her wonderful and kind caregivers Lilia Romova, Marina Flores and Lorraina Nagogo for their compassionate care in her last years.
Gravesite services were held at Hills of Eternity Cemetery on Nov. 6 with family and friends. She loved and was loved by many. She will be greatly missed.
Donations may be made to Hadassah, Book Bank USA, Yemin Orde, the Wyman Institute, Congregation Sherith Israel or the charity of your choice.
Supported Activities 1972 – 2012
Each year’s event honors the vision of Queen Emma Kaleleonalani and celebrates her living educational legacy, St. Andrew’s Priory School.
The 2012 event was proud to honor the Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, for their commitment to perpetuate authentic Hawaiian culture and to share it with the world.
Proceeds from the auction and this special evening support the Priory’s scholarship and its financial aid program for this private girls school.
The Frida Kahlo Festival was held on June 29, 2012 at The DeYoung Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Presented in partnership by the DeYoung Museum with the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco and The Mexican Museum San Francisco, this fun festival was co-sponsored by Book Bank June 29, 2012.
Among the 35 people competing in a Frida Kahlo look-alike contest, a transvestite won the competition! Andy Kluger, who had met Señora Kahlo during his youth spent in Mexico City, attended the event.
A Visit by Deborah Zuberi, Chairperson of Book Bank USA and Marlene Konsens, representing Book Bank USA to the Holocaust Museum in Budapest, Hungary in May 2012.
This facility, which opened its doors in 2004, is one of eight museums and universities around the world which contain the archival records of Sidney Kluger, founder of Book Bank USA.
Today,The Holocaust Museum, also known as the Holocaust Memorial Center, is built upon the site of a former synagogue, which is now a part of the permanent exhibition of the museum. The importance of the museum has become even greater as some people in our days deny the fact that there ever was a holocaust.
Las Caras/Cuentos (Faces/Stories) Art Exhibit, June 2012
This exhibit, held at the Mexican Museum of San Francisco, co-sponsored by Book Bank USA, the Mexican Consulate of San Francisco and the Mexican Museum.
This event drew approximately 1,100 school children who celebrated by painting a number of faces.
The Mexican Museum of San Francisco, at Fort Mason near the Marina Green and the Golden Gate Bridge, holds a unique collection of over 14000 spectacular art objects representing thousands of years of Mexican history and culture. Here, the soul and spirit of the arts and cultures of Mexico and the Americas are fundamentally linked.
Through its many programs, The Mexican Museum voices the complexity and richness of Latino art throughout the Americas, encouraging dialogue among the broadest public.
The Mexican Museum is nationally recognized for our education programs that engage youth, adults and families. Check its upcoming calendar of events.
In Memorium: Rafael Kshevatsky, 3/2/1951-1/17/2012
Our dear friend and long-time associate Rafael Kshevatsky passed away in early 2012 after a valiant battle with cancer.
This valued employee coordinated all the efforts within the Book Bank USA warehouse for 15 years, organizing stacks of crates filled with hundreds of books and boxes stocked with dozens of computers.
We will miss his winning smile, his quick wit, his affable demeanor, his unending dedication, as well as his innumerable contributions to the Book Bank USA family.
Book Bank USA delivered 5 truck containers including over 8,000 books, 134 computers and 1,040 packages of software and games to the public schools in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, in February 2012.
This massive project was coordinated under the direction of Dr. Jorge Monterrubio, Esquire, Book Bank USA’s attorney and coordinator in Mexico. Lic. Monterrubio and his daughter Gina are shown here thanking Andrew Kluger at the reception in Ciudad Juarez.
Accomplishments, March-May 2012
Book Bank USA is very proud to have been a generous sponsor of the Rafael House for its Fourth Annual Benefit Luncheon supporting families in crisis, March 7 at The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
Raphael House, the first shelter for children and families experiencing homelessness in Northern California, provides an environment of loving support where families are able to move toward brighter and more hopeful futures. Their mission is to help at-risk children and their parents achieve stable housing and financial independence, while strengthening family bonds and personal dignity.
They provide a spectrum of full family support through various programs, including Residential Services, AfterSchool Tutoring, ChildReach and AfterCare Services where we partner with parents to engage the heart and minds of the whole child as they experience the world around them.
Book Bank USA is also proud to sponsor Books For Africa, whose simple mission is to collect, sort, ship, and distribute books to children in Africa. Their goal: to end the book famine in Africa.
Books For Africa is the world’s largest shipper of donated books to the African continent. Since 1988, Books For Africa has shipped over 24 million high-quality text and library books to children and adults in 46 African countries. Millions more are needed.
In May 2012, Book Bank USA sent 2,500 text and library books to the Free Education & Reading Group (FERG), Madina, Accra, Ghana.
Book Bank USA was praised by FERG’s Education for All Africans Conference held in Accra, Ghana in November, 2011.
Daraja Academy Activities 2012
Through the ongoing generosity of the James Gallagher Endowment Fund, we wish to thank the Gallagher Family for their efforts to help Book Bank USA supply donations of books, computers and equipment to the Daraja Academy in Kenya, Africa.
Book Bank USA coordinator, Andy Harley, with one of the Daraja Academy students.
This Academy is a boarding secondary school for Kenyan girls with top academic scores and exceptional leadership skills, but have no means to continue their education.
The expanded library and computer center were made possible by a generous endowment from the James Gallagher Foundation Fund.
Here, one of the students at Daraja Academy is learning in the Science Lab.
The Academy provides shelter, food, healthcare and counseling services which allows its students to focus on their academic and personal potential, without being hindered by the everyday barriers of poverty.
Book Bank USA provided a grant to donate 20 electric menorahs to hospitals through the Electric Menorah Project.
Electric Menorahs are especially important to Jews in Hospice, Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Hospitals, where an open flame is not permitted.
Mexico in San Francisco 2012 Events
During 2012, Book Bank USA continues to be a proud sponsor of Mexico in 2012 events, including the following:
Project I // O
Partner: Mexican Museum, the first Smithsonian affiliate in San Francisco
Time: June – September 2012
Where: Consulate of Mexico, 532 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Why: Every person has their own way of identifying with their Mexican/Latino heritage. Project I//O is a platform from the Mexican Consulate and the Mexican Museum to the Mexican Community to showcase their way of identifying with their culture. The Consulate will arrange a call to submit objects that represent people’s identity (I/) and origin (/O). Certain pieces will be selected, and placed in the Consulate Gallery for the public to view, curated alongside the Mexican Museum collection.
Audience: Entry Call: 500,000 people ages 18+ who are Mexican and Mexican descent
Exhibition Attendance: 5,000 people 18+ of diverse origins
Mexico Day at The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
A Public Concert at the Yerba Buena Gardens featuring 2-4 Mexican musician groups (3Ball MTY, Bengala, Toy Selectah, TBC)
Time: 1 September 2012
Where: Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
Why: This event not only gives Mexican Musicians the opportunity to expand their reach to the United States, but it also allows the United States to be exposed to music from another culture.
Audience: 5,000 people of diverse origins
IME BECAS: SCHOLARSHIP FUND
A Scholarship Program for Young Mexican and Mexican-American students, and the general community
When: March – April 2012
Where: Different involved organizations
Why: This is a program through the government of Mexico designed to raise the educational levels of the Mexican and Mexican-American population in the United States. Grants are provided to educational institutions and non-profit social organizations that educate and train Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans interested in continuing their education.
Audience: 1,000 schools and community organizations
De Young Frida Kahlo Night
Partners: De Young Museum, Consulate of Mexico, & The Mexican Museum.
When: Similar to the special night hosted by the Mexican Consulate during the Olmecas exhibition, in 2012 the Consulate will join The Mexican Museum in hosting a special night honoring Frida Kahlo. Todos somos Frida will invite people from all over the Bay Area to dress up as a Jean Paul Gaultier´s inspired Frida Kahlo. It will feature special performing arts. View photos of the event.
When: 29 June 2012
Where: De Young Museum
Why: The De Young Museum will be showing one of its blockbusters for this summer: The fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. Gaultier has been inspired by Kahlo and her works in various designs; the three institutions will honor both icons by hosting this special night where Gaultier meets Frida.
Muralism Symposium with SFAI
Partners: SF Art Institute & Consulate of Mexico
When: SFAI, in collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico, will host an art symposium featuring American and Mexican experts in Muralism., which will reflect upon the influence of Diego Rivera in the Bay Area. It will include a tour through the three Rivera Murals in San Francisco to enhance the pride of sharing a cultural icon with the San Francisco community.
When: 12 – 14 July 2012
Where: San Francisco Art Institute
Why: There is a long tradition of cultural exchanges between Mexico and San Francisco, from individuals being culturally influenced by one another. San Francisco has 3 Murals by Diego Rivera and has a rich tradition of Muralism, embraced by artists generation to generation. It is still very relevant to reflect upon the heritage of Rivera and the power of Muralism in contemporary art.
Images of events on September 4th at SF’s Yerba Buena Gardens from the Consulate General of México in San Francisco.
During the concert, six banners featuring the logos of the official sponsors, including Book Bank USA, were in the public view.
Other events of the Consulate during September 2012 include:
- Wednesday, September 12 – National Days of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, Reception at City Hall 10:00 am. See invitation.
- Thursday, September 13 – VIP Reception Independence of Mexico, San Francisco Art Institute, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
- Saturday, September 15 – Community event in San Francisco City Hall, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
- Sunday, September 16 – Solemn Event, Statue Miguel Hidalgo, Dolores Park, 11:00 am
Below are some of the Mexico in SF activities from Friends of Mexico, a member-supported nonprofit organization that advocates, fundraises, and provides support for the promotion of Mexico. Book Bank USA is proud to be an ongoing sponsor to provide the community with cultural, business and travel resources related to Mexico, especially its presence in San Francisco.
June-September 2011 Cultural Events Newsletter: Consul General of Mexico in San Francisco.
Summer events include:
- “Celebrating Mexico: The Grito de Dolores and the Mexican Revolution”, June 8 – September 15, San Francisco Public Library.
- “Colorfest Demonstration: Oaxacan Dyes and Textiles”, July 1 – 10, The Exploratorium.
- “Women in Mexican Independence”, July 16, San Francisco Public Library.
- “Tokeson Cumbia”, July 28, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.
- “Que Rico el Mambo!” by Julio Morales, July 21 – September 22, Mexican Consulate.
- “Going South: American Noir in Mexico”, July 1 – 29. Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.
¡PROYECTO: A ZAPATEAR! (PAZ)
La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley
May 21st, 2011
XV Children’s Drawing Contest
“Este es mi México”
March 17 – May 31, 2011
Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest, Oakland Museum of California
February 26 – May 29, 2011
1. Las Catrinas Event in October 2011 at the Mexican Museum, co-sponsored by Book Bank USA and the Mexican Consulate of San Francisco, as part of its series of Mexico in SF cultural activities.
In the second photo, Andy Kluger, Book Bank USA and Executive Director, is getting his face painted with a skull to symbolize Day of the Dead(Día de los Muertos). This day is particularly celebrated in Mexico as a national holiday every year on October 30th and focuses on gatherings to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.
In the third photo, Andrew Kluger is shown with Bea Lieberman, who helped coordinate Book Bank USA founder Sidney Kluger’s archival papers for museums in Mexico, Israel, Hungary, New York , and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
In 1968, Mr. Kluger donated a bookmobile to the City of Jerusalem as a result of a feature story in Life Magazine in which Mayor Teddy Kollek of that city appealed for such a gift to promote better relations between the Arab and Israeli populations of that city.
That marked the beginning of Book Bank USA. Today, our organization continues to evolve and develop a wide range of programs to 37 countries globally.
2. Michael Kluger, cousin of Book Bank USA President & Executive Director Andy Kluger, in November 2011 at the completion of his ascent to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
At 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), Mt. Kilimanjaro is both the highest mountain in Africa, as well as the world’s highest free-standing mountain.
This accomplishment celebrated the funding of a grant of 10,000 books and computers by Book Bank USA to Books for Africa.
This non-profit group is the world’s largest shipper of books to the African continent. In fact, since 1988, Books for Africa has collected, sorted, shipped, and distributed over 26 million high-quality text and library books to children and adults in 46 African countries. Book Bank USA is very proud of this alliance with another world-class organization who wants to end illiteracy among the world’s children.
3. Book Bank USA provided scholarship support to the 59th Chrysanthemum Festival sponsored by the Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans in Maui, Hawaii. Our donation provided financial support for the many programs for the Nisei Veterans, their families, Maui’s students and the Maui community. The funds also assisted the building of the Educational Center and the completion of the Oral History project of the Center. In addition, this project provided Scholarship funds for High School Seniors in Maui County. (Pictured: Queen Alyssa McAliden and escort Aaron Dela Cruz perform during the 2011 Chrysanthemum Festival on Dec. 3 in Wailuku.)
Book Bank USA provided scholarship funds and 27 computers to the Daraja Academy in Kenya during 2011. Daraja Academy is a boarding secondary school for Kenyan girls with top academic scores and exceptional leadership skills who have no means to continue their education. The academy provides shelter, food, healthcare and counseling services which allows students to focus on their academic and personal potential, without being hindered by the everyday barriers of poverty.(Pictured on the left.)
Book Bank USA provided 86 cases of books as well as 35 computers to the public schools in Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico under the direction of Dr. Jorge Monterrubio, Esquire, Book Bank USA’s attorney and coordinator in Mexico.
Book Bank USA provided an entertainment center to the Women’s Shelter (for battered women and children) in the Finsbury District of London, England.
Book Bank USA contributed to the Annual Scholarship Fund at St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls in Honolulu, Hawaii towards financial assistance for families of limited means in order to afford their daughters a college preparatory education.
Book Bank USA supplied a full lending library to The California State Prison facility in Corcoran, California.
Mexico in San Francisco 2011 Events
In the past several years, the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco has increased the awareness of the Latino presence in the Bay Area.
With Book Bank USA’s sponsorship of Mexico’s Bicentennial for Mexico 2010 San Francisco, we are proud to celebrate all of the wonderful and diverse cultural events of Mexico in San Francisco for 2011 and beyond, including the arts, music, history and culture of Mexico. Below are the most recent events that Book Bank USA has been honored to sponsor for our friends in the Latin community.
“Dia de los Muertos”/Day of the Dead, La Catrina:
Keeping The Spirits Alive, Oct. 29, 2011, from 6:00 pm to 11:00 in S.F., sponsored by Book Bank USA. Concourse Exhibition Center, 8th Street and Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.
“Dia de los Muertos”/Day of the Dead: Celebration at the San Francisco Symphony Hall
This special visual arts project in collaboration between the Mexican Consulate and the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts included a special visit by Lapiztola, an artist collective from Oaxaca.
Mexico Day at The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, July 28
Presented Cumbia Tokeson, a local Latino group that mixes cumbia and rock with accordian-driven melodies, while adding a touch of Southern Mexico’s son jarocho. Special invitations were sent to 1,000 people for this event held on a Thursday during the summer lunchtime rush.
Los Covarrubias was an exhibition at the Mexican Consulate Gallery as a collaboration between the Mexican Museum and San Francisco State University. It drew an audience of over 1,500 attendees.
Mexico at The De Young: OLMECS Exhibition, May 6
This event paralleled the activities of The Olmecs exhibition organized by the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco De Young that reached more than 100,000 people.
The Mexican Consulate hosted a special night with music and dance performances; traditional and contemporary, from Tabasco and Veracruz. Reaching 3,000 people, the exhibition was free to the public that night.
Numina Femenina: Latin Women in the Arts – On display October 20 – December 13, 2011 at the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco, sponsored by Book Bank USA
Numina Femenina celebrates the contribution of women from Latin origin to the aesthetics and poetics in the arts. Women impact the aesthetic creation and the poetical reading of the world through their femininity.
This event invites women artists to gather together in the creative process. The Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco will work as point of connection and coordination, around which a network of artists will evolve to facilitate creative projects from women artists between cultures and languages.
Latino Heritage Month
Latino Heritage Month, Celebration and Awards, October 13, 2011, City Hall Rotunda. Sponsored in part by Book Bank USA.
Mayor Edwin M. Lee was joined by District Attorney George Gascón, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Supervisor John Avalos, and Supervisor David Campos at the 2011 Latino Heritage Month Celebration and Awards Ceremony at San Francisco City Hall. Mayor Lee was pleased to join dedicated community leaders to honor and recognize the vital economic, social and cultural contributions the Latino community and its leaders continue to provide for our great city.
Gourmex 2011, A Gala Event: Sponsored by The Friends of Mexico and the Mexican Consulate of San Francisco. Date: To be determined.
Gourmex is an exclusive gastronomic experience designed to bring the best in Mexican cuisine to the culinary scene of the San Francisco Bay Area.
This event invites you to navigate through this website and learn more about our attending celebrities, Top Chefs from the best regraded restaurants in the Bay Area and Mexico, finest agave spirits, wines and distinguished gourmet food producers. Tease your senses with Mexican delicacies edible, audible and visual.
Fleet Week: Honoring The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor at Ford Island, Hawaii – October 7, 2011.
Sponsored by Andrew M. Kluger, Founder/ Chairman of Early Bird Alert; Pat & Bruce Fitzgerald; Carole & Mike Shealy, this event celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation and the 70th Year of the Attack of Pearl Harbor during the annual Fleet Week. The celebrated US Navy and Marine Corps flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, thrilled the crowd of well over 100,000 people with their aerial displays of speed and courage.
Recent Accomplishments 2007-2011
- Mele Carroll of the Maui Youth and Family Services with students who are using computers at a Christian School donated by Andrew Kluger of Book Bank USA.
- The www.Mexico2010SF.com website was created to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Independence of Mexico and the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution. This project was funded by Andrew Kluger and The Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco. Book Bank USA was invited to spearhead the planning and implementation of the 15-month event. We’re happy to report that after 46 events, there were over 100,000 participants. In addition, you can download the Mexico En El Cine/Mexico In Films April 2011 Newsletter PDF.
- The Belmont Public Library and the Novato Community Library donated a complete non-fiction history section to St. Andrew’s Priory School in Honolulu – 86 cases of books with 30 books in each case. This was funded by Andrew Kluger and The Kosasa Foundation.
- Autodesk, The Belmont Public Library and Stanford University donated 136 cases of books, 40 books in each case, to the Daraja Academy, Kenya, including two computer labs that were fully equipped through Condé Nast Publications, New York. This was funded by Andrew Kluger and The Kosasa Foundation.
- Autodesk, three private collections and Stanford University donated 40 cases of primary school books to St. Andrew’s Priory School Library, 40 books in each case. This was funded by Andrew Kluger and The Kosasa Foundation.
- Book Bank USA donated cases of books to the Shelomy Public Library in Israel (shown on the left).
- Time-Warner Oceanic donated 11 computers to SHAPE, the Society for Health Advancement Policy and Education, formerly Friends of Maui County Health, for women’s health projects. This was funded by The Gallagher Family Foundation and The Kosasa Foundation.
- The Dakin Corporation and Sega Corporation donated over 2,500 stuffed toys and animals, plus children’s books and toys to Project Sunshine’s Kenya Aids Project. This was funded by Andrew Kluger and The Gallagher Family Foundation.
- The Keiki Foundation and The Kosasa Foundation donated 90 computers to five schools on the Big Island, coordinated through Dr. Josh Green. This was funded by The Kosasa Foundation. The Keiki Health Project, as shown on the left, educated students at the Le Jardin School in Honolulu in March 2011 about blood pressure and first aid training.
- MacMillan Books donated 300 books to a children’s learning program for Aoy Elementary School in El Paso, TX. This was funded by Andrew Kluger and The Gallagher Family Foundation.
- Dionne Warwick coordinated the sending of 500 children’s books, computer equipment and software to the Pediatric Unit to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. This was funded by Andrew Kluger and The Kosasa Foundation.
- The Starkey Foundation donated 300 hearing aids, plus 5,000 books were given by the Novato and San Francisco Public Libraries, and 12 computers were donated by Andrew Kluger and the Kosasa Foundation to the Special Education Unit, School for the Deaf, St. Kitts, West Indies through a Dionne Warwick Endowment.
- Home Depot donated a complete art and sculpture department to a high school in St. Kitts through Lloyd Lazar, Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Sports & Culture. This was funded by Andrew Kluger and The Gallagher Family Foundation.
- Condé Nast Publications donated 60 computers and 600 cases of books to the Daraja Academy in Kenya; Genentec, The Kosasa Foundation and the James Gallagher Family Foundation donated funds for a science lab.
- Solatex of Rehovot Israel donated a solar lab to the Daraja Academy in Kenya. This was funded by Andrew Kluger and The Gallagher Family Foundation.
Mexico 2010 SF Sponsor
Beginning in September 2009 and continuing through December 2010, Mexico and all of its diplomatic representatives around the world will be celebrating MÉXICO 2010: the 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence and the 100th year since the Revolution.
To commemorate these historic events, MexicoSF2010 is a website that we helped create. It’s been archived on our site.
The Consulate General of México in San Francisco is presenting a series of cultural projects.
Book Bank USA is proud to participate in and sponsor these cultural and community events, as we transmit the values and legacy of the Mexican culture to the diverse population of Northern California.
An important part of your donation will be used to help fund educational programs delivered by the Consulate General of México in San Francisco. These programs will benefit the San Francisco Bay Area community at large and are offered to everyone, regardless of their national origin or socio-economic status. Please send your tax-deductible contributions to Book Bank USA to help us celebrate each nominee’s individual achievements. You can make a donation lower on this page.
On the following pages are a list of activities by month –– Book Bank USA will be sponsoring an additional 10 events throughout 2010:
- Fiestas Patrias, Mexico’s Independence Celebration, September 15, 2009, City Hall of San Francisco.
- From Bach to Beethoven, A Bicentennial Celebration with Horacio Franco, September 14, 2009, Berkeley; September 17, 2009, San Francisco.
- Sinagogas De México , Photographs by Moy Volcovich, Exhibition on view from September 6 – November 1, 2009, Katz Snyder Gallery at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.
- Día De Los Muertos, Mojigangas Presentation at Galleria La Raza, November 2-6, 2009, San Francisco.
CONSULATE OF MEXICO CELEBRATES BICENTENNIAL PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Consulate General of Mexico celebrates the Bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence and the Centennial of its Revolutionary Movement.
There will be celebrations all around the Bay Area and recognitions to the achievements of Mexicans in Northern California.
San Francisco, Cal, February 16th, 2010 – 2010 marks the celebration of 200 years of Mexico’s Independence and 100 years of its Revolutionary movement. With this in mind, the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco has created a committee of community leaders within its circumscription with the objective of commemorate this significant occasion and at the same time recognize the efforts and achievements of the Mexican communities in the region. The “Friends of Mexico 2010” committee is headed by Hon. Ambassador Carlos Felix, Consul General of Mexico in San Francisco, Ms. Olga Talamante, Executive Director of Chicana Latina Foundation and Mr. Andrew Kluger, Chairman of the Board Hawaii Air Ambulance, Inc., and is comprised by more than 120 members in many areas, all of whom responded to the invitation by the Consulate and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is also part of the committee. Hon. Carlos Felix, Consul General of Mexico, commented: “We feel very proud of celebrating this important year in Mexico’s history along with all Mexicans living in Northern California. It’s a momentous occasion to strengthen ties between Mexico and California, as well as recognize and celebrate the contributions of all Mexicans in this region, of which they have been an important part of its history.”
As part of the activities planned for this year, the Consulate General of México and the Friends of Mexico 2010 committee have created the program “Luminaries” with the goal of recognizing prominent Latino community leaders in areas such as philanthropy, community organization, government, business, arts and culture, etc. Starting in January 2010, the Executive Committee of Friends of Mexico 2010 has selected the first group of recognitions, all of whom have made important contributions to the communities of Mexican and Latin American origin in Northern California, some of them are Mr. Mario Diaz, Vice President of Wells Fargo Foundation and Mrs. Edda Caraballo, Bilingual Education Programs Consultant for the California Department of Education. With the goal of promoting active participation among all people interested, the nomination process for Luminaries is open to the community at large.
With the goal of encourage active participation among the Mexican communities and people of any background who love Mexican culture and history in all the Bicentennial activities, the Consulate of Mexico and Friends of Mexico 2010 will launch the “Vive Tu Independencia, Mexico 2010 Bicentennial” Campaign, that will be promoted through mass media communication channels. Throughout the year the Campaign will promote active dialogue and reflection about who Mexicans have been, who we are, who we would like to be as well as the impact of Mexico’s history in shaping the current Mexico-California relationship. Latino Agency and Contemporanea Marketing Communications have been designated by Friends of Mexico 2010 to organize and coordinate this campaign, including sponsorship and donations.
In order to facilitate communication of all the Bicentennial programs, events and initiatives, the website “Mexico 2010 – San Francisco” has been created and is available at mexico2010sf.com. It contains a calendar of celebrations and events, an up-to-date list of the Friends of Mexico 2010 Committee, an up-to-date list of the Luminaries program including its nomination form, and much more information regarding the Bicentennial celebrations.
About the Consulate General of Mexico and Friends of Mexico 2010.
Consulate of Mexico is the official representation of the government of Mexico in the region and Friends of Mexico is an organization created for the celebration of Mexico’s Bicentennial, lead by of committee community leaders in the region, and operating as a non-profit organization. The fiscal sponsor of Friends of Mexico is Book Bank USA, a non profit foundation, established in 1966 and with over 40 years of operating experience. Over this period, Book Bank has been dedicated to the development of public school libraries and specialized educations programs in the US and developing countries.
For more information, images or interviews, please contact:
Mexico’s Bicentennial Celebration Comes To The Bay Area
From the San Francisco Chronicle
By Christine Delsol
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
For those who won’t get to Mexico this year, the Mexican Consulate is bringing its Bicentennial Celebration to us. From Ballet Folklórico to a tequila and tamales festival to Mexican sci-fi classics (who knew?), the scheduled events fit seamlessly into the mix of favorite Bay Area cultural pursuits.
These events are designed to appeal not just to Hispanic residents of the Bay Area but to anyone interested in Mexican culture and history. A special Web site, www.Mexico2010SF.com, has a calendar with further details, as well as background on the bicentennial of Mexican independence and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, plus a section on Mexico’s role in shaping Northern California.
A performance of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández in Marin and an appearance of Mexican poet/environmentalist Homero Aridjis at City Lights Bookstore have already taken place; here’s a sampling of events coming up:
April 18: Tequila and Tamales by the Bay
Fort Mason Center’s “A-Maize-ing Benefit Event” for Benchmark Institute is a chance to sample tamales as they should be made — be sure to check the Web site for recipes and cookbook recommendations — and discover tequila beyond Jose Cuervo. Mixologists will vie to concoct the best tequila cocktails. Heirloom beans, specialty nuts, coffee and other Mexican delicacies will also get their turn.
April 22-May 5: SF International Film Festival
The longest-running film festival in the Americas will feature four Mexican films in its 2010 edition, including the ever-fascinating Tilda Swinton playing an alcoholic kidnapper spinning out of control and a poetic story by new director Rigoberto Perezcano of a young man who tries over and over to cross the border into the United States. Two of the films are documentaries, one following a Maya father and his half-Italian son’s last summer together on the Caribbean coast, the other an expose of Mexico’s dysfunctional criminal courts.
May 13-18: Hola Mexico Film Festival
This touring festival of the best recent Mexican cinema comes to San Francisco for the first time this year. The line-up is still being finalized, but at least one of the SF festival films will be included: “Alamar” (”To the Sea”), the documentary about the Maya father and son, which has won top honors in nearly every film festival it has entered. The handpicked selection from major festivals around the world will be a mix of documentaries, features, shorts and “Sexy Comedies.”
June 12-13: Tribute to the Bicentennial, 2010, San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
Mexican folklore organizations have been one of the strongest presences at this festival for 32 years running. This year, the festival’s second of four weekends commemorates Mexico’s bicentennial and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. This new work, focusing on revolutionary heroines, the courageous soldaderas, will bring together renowned choreographer Zenón Barrón and dancers from six local companies: Ballet Folklórico Alma de México of South San Francisco, Ballet Folklórico de Carlos Moreno, Compañia Mazatlán Bellas Artes, Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco, Los Lupeños de San Jose and Raíces Grupo Folklórico.
June 24-27: El futuro esta aquí: Sci-fi Classics from Mexico, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
The Pacific Film Archive has scheduled the following Mexican films as part of its Mexican bicentennial program: June 24, “The Ship of Monsters” (La nave de los monstruos), Rogelio A. González, 1959; June 25, “The Stronger Sex” (El sexo fuerte), Emilio Gómez Muriel, 1945; June 26, “The Aztec Mummy versus the Human Robot” (La momia azteca contra el robot humano), Rafael Portillo, 1957; June 26, “Santo versus the Martian Invasion” (Santo vs. la invasion de los marcianos), Alfredo B. Crevenna, 1966; and June 27, “Planet of the Female Invaders” (El planeta de las mujeres invasoras), Alfredo B. Crevenna, 1965. In mid- to late August, PFA will screen films related to the Revolution, including “The Fernando de Fuentes Trilogy (Prisoner Number 13, El Compadre Mendoza, and Let’s Go with Pancho Villa!), Jose Bolanos’s “La Soldadera” and “Revolución.”
July 25: San Francisco Symphony Celebrates Mexico’s Bicentennial
The Symphony’s annual free concert in Dolores Park includes a special tribute to Mexico with an afternoon of musical favorites conducted by rising star Alondra de la Parra, a native of Mexico City now based in New York, who is founder and artistic director of Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas.
Details remain to be finalized for the following events. Check the Mexico 2010 – San Francisco Web site or individual venues’ sites as the dates draw nearer.
July 31: Mexico in the Gardens, Yerba Buena Arts Center
Sept. 7: Celebrating Mexico, Bancroft Archives, UC Berkeley. The Bancroft Library opens its archives for a public celebration of Mexican history.
Sept. 15-16: Fiestas Patrias – El Grito
Independence Day celebration at San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday, ceremony at Hidalgo statue in Dolores Park on Wednesday.
Sept. 17: Mexico Twenty Ten, De Young Museum
The museum’s Cultural Encounters: Friday Nights at the de Young will honor the bicentennial with tributes to Mexico’s artists, live performances, art-making activities, a special dinner menu at the cafe and a no-host bar.
Nov. 7: Day of the Dead Concert, San Francisco Symphony
For the third straight year, the symphony will perform a Día de los Muertos Family Concert. Last year’s concert was conducted by Alondra de la Parra and included a reading by author Laura Esquivel (”Like Water for Chocolate”).
Events in 2011:
Exhibit on Northern California missions at the Museum of California at Oakland ; Olmec exhibition at de Young Museum.
Christine Delsol is a former Chronicle travel editor and author of “Pauline Frommer’s Cancún & the Yucatán.
Fiestas Patrias, Mexico’s Independence Celebration, September 15, 2009, City Hall of San Francisco.
From Bach to the Beatles, A Bicentennial Celebration with Horacio Franco, September 14, 2009, Berkeley; September 17, 2009, San Francisco.
SYNAGOGUES OF MEXICO
Photographs by Moy Volcovich
Exhibition on view from September 6 – November 1, 2009
Katz Snyder Gallery at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
Exhibition sponsored by: Book Bank USA
Co-chairs: Andrew Kluger, Ruth Levy
Special thanks to Daniel Chait, David Chait, Olga Howells, Andrew Kluger, Mildred Kluger, Mauricio Simbeck, Ruth Levy, Richard Levy, MD and Joanie Silverstein
The Consulate of Mexico, the Friend Center for the Arts at the JCCSF and American Jewish Committee proudly present: Shalom from Mexico: An Evening of Jewish & Latino Connection, Discussion and Gallery Tour
Featuring: Monica Unikel, expert in Jewish Life in Mexico; Dina Siegel Vann, AJC National Director of the Latino & Latin American Institute, presenting “The Case for Latino-Jewish Cooperation: Common Histories, a Shared Future”; Moy Volcovich, “Sinagogas de México” photographer
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
3200 California Street San Francisco, CA 94118
Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 7-9:00 pm
Día De Los Muertos, Mojigangas Presentation at Galleria La Raza, November 2-6, 2009, San Francisco.
Mexico is one of the countries where “Day of The Death” is celebrated with a variety of ceremonies to the dead observed by the Aztecs, Toltecs, Chichimecs, and Mayas.
The consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco, in collaboration with the community of Altacomulco in Mexico State, decorated the Consultate’s premises with an Altar de Muertos, which was on view for visitors and users until Friday, November 6th.
Summary of Activities & Libraries, 2005-2006
Elizabethtown Book Donations to Fort Knox (left) & TK Stone Elementary School (right) , October, 2005.
(Left) Elizabethtown Book Donations to Hardin Memorial Hospital, October, 2005.
Country / Recipient(s)
American Samoa / 6 schools, 3 public libraries
Botswana / 3 rural libraries
China / 2 college language schools
Costa Rica / 14 community libraries
Czech Republic / 1 university, 5 high schools
Guatemala / 16 schools, 4 community libraries
India / 3 college libraries
Israel / 3 universities, 41 schools
Kenya / 9 schools, 2 fine arts colleges, 1 university, 8 Montessori schools
Macedonia / 3 high schools
Mexico / 20 schools, 35 community libraries
Philippines 2 universities, 30 schools
South Africa 15 school libraries
Spain 1 university
Sri Lanka 4 public libraries
Taiwan 1 foundation for the mentally disturbed
United States 4 senior activities centers,
16 youth health educational programs (Keiki Health Program in Hawaii),
2 pharmaceutical educational conferences,
9 rural libraries,
36 school libraries
Israel-Related Activities 1972- 2013
2013: Boys Town Jerusalem: Dormitories built by the generosity of Sidney Kluger and Book Bank USA founder, between 1983 and 2013.
2012: Aliza Begin Elementary School.
2012 – 2011: The Computer Center in Bersheba, Yemen Ord Youth School, and the Ariel Begin Junior High School, Israel. All supported by the generosity of Book Bank USA.
2002: Book Bank USA Donated a Machine Shop to Yemen Ord, Israel.
1989: Prime Minister Shamir thanking Sidney Kluger for building libraries in Israel.
1989 – 1985: More Israeli activities:
Book Bank USA funded a College for Women in Orot Israel.
1985: Sidney Kluger, Founder of Book Bank USA: He generously supported many Israeli schools during his tenure on the Board of Directors. The school at Kiryat Shmona has donated a gymnasium in his name.
1989: Shipping books from San Francisco to American Samoa.
In the photo with all the boxes of books is Sidney Kluger, Bill Rubin and Golda Kaufman with shipments of books going to American Samoa.
1983: Sidney Kluger visits Boys Town Jerusalem.
Yochi Grosswirth, supervising engineer at the Institute of Practical Engineering discusses the building under construction with Mr. Kluger.
1972: Book Bank USA volunteers packing books in San Francisco for shipment to Israel.
Since 1972, Book Bank USA is extremely honored to have been a supporter of over 162 schools, colleges and universities, libraries and health centres, federations, hospitals, kibbutzes and more through the state of Israel. Below is a list of the entities that have received hundreds of thousands of books and computers.
Name of Group, Most Recent Address
AACI English Library Kinerit Laor, Be’er Sheva
Amana Ulpanit B’Nei Akiva, Kfar Saba
Amidrashiyat Noam, Pardess Chana
Amit Women, Tel Aviv
Arad Municipality Library, Arad
Argon School, Jerusalem
Ariel High School, Tirat Carmel
Bar Ilan University, Rawar Gan
Bayit Lepletot Girls Town Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Beit Yurach High School, Jordan Valley
Ben Gurion University of Neger, Be’er Sheva
Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem
Bloomfield Library for Humanities and Social Sciences, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem
Bnei Akiv Girls High School for Torah & Secular Education, Tzafaria, Beith Dagan
Brenner High School, Petach Tikvah
Chazon Ovadia School, Be’er Sheva
City Library, Ofakim
Civia Malka, Kiriat Bialik
Community Mental Health Centre, Tel-Aviv
Cultural Education Center, DN Merom Hagalil
Elementary School, Kibbutz Amir
Elementary School, MP Jordon Valley
Emek Hefer Regional School, Emek Hefer
English Center, The Pedogogical Center, Afula
Esher Hannasi High School, D.N. Negev
Euni High School, Zefat
Evelina de Rothschild High School for Girls, Jerusalem
Everymans University, Tel Aviv
Family & Community Health Dept., Haifa
Frankel Elementary School, Jerusalem
Friends of Migdal Ohr Institutions, Jerusalem
Friends of the Mahariya Municipal Library, Nahariya
Galilee Academy, Migdal Haemek
Gesher Haziv, Western Galilee
Hamenchina L’midrashiyat Noam, Kfar Saba
Hasharon Jr. High School, Ra-anana
Herzl School, Herzl Street, Yehud
Higher Institue of Senior Educators, Jerusalem
Huleh Valley Regional High School, Upper Galilee
International Graduate Centre of Hebrew & Jewish Studies, Arad
Israel Arts & Science Academy, Jerusalem
Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
Jerusalem Municipal Libraries, Jerusalem
Jerusalem Public School of Givat Shapiro, Jerusalem
Jewish Community Federation, Kiryat Shmona
JK Gordon, Jerusalem
Karari High School, Rishon Le Zion
Katznelson High School, Kfar Saba
Kazenelson Public Library, Nhariyh
Kehilat Ya’ar Ramot of the Masorti Cons. Movement, Jerusalem
Kibbutz Alumim, Negev
Kibbutz Beit Hashitta, Beit Hashitta
Kibbutz Center for Study & Research, Tel Aviv
Kibbutz Cfar Haruv, Ramat HaGolon
Kibbutz Dafna, Galil Elyon
Kibbutz Ein Hashofet, Kibbutz Ein Hashofet
Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, Kfar Etzion
Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi, Kfar Hanassi
Kibbutz Ma’agan, Jordon Valley
Kibbutz Ma’aleh Gilboa, Gilboa
Kibbutz Ma’anit, Ma’anit
Kibbutz Machanyim, Mobile Post
Kibbutz Mahanayim Upper Galilee
Kibbutz Malkiya, Ha Galilee
Kibbutz Mesillot, Gilboa
Kibbutz Ortal, Ramut Hagolan
Kibbutz Ruhama, Ruhama
Kibbutz Sasa, Sasa
Kibbutz Yiftach, Upper Galilee
Kiryat Arba, Public Library, Kiryat Arba
Kiryat Malachi, Malachi
Kiryat Yakou Herzog, Kfar Saba
Kohl Teacher Center, Be’er Sheva
Kugel High School, Tel Aviv
Laniedo Hospital, Natanya
Leo Model Public Library, Gilo
Ma’alt Galil Education Centre, Ma’alt Galil
Machanaim High School, Kiryat Gat
Massiou Camp, Ramle
Mekor Branch 13, Kiriat ATA
Me’or Modi’im, a Communal Agricultural Settlement, Modi’Im
Metar English Library, Metar
Midrashiat Amalia Library, Jerusalem
Mizpe Ramon Community Center Public Library, Mizpe Ramon
Moshav Shitufi of Hapoel Hamizrachi, Gush Etzion
Moshe Sharett High School, Nazareth Illit
Municipal Library, Yad Labaim Cultural Center, Kfar Saba
Municipal Library “Pely”, Holon
Municipal Library Council of Mitzpe Remon, Mitzpe Ramon
Municipality of Rishon Le-Zion, Rishon Le-Zion
Municipality of Tel-Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv
Naphtali School , Lower Galilee
Natanya School Industrial Zone, Natanya
National Medical Library, Jerusalem
Nativ Angli, The Midrasha of Sde Boker
National Medical Library, Jerusalem
Nativ Angli, The Midrasha of Sde Boker
Nazareth Illit Municipality, Nazareth Illit
Netanya Municipal Library, Netanya
Netzach Yisrael L’Bonot, Petach Tikvah
Nizanan Project, Israel
Omarim Community School, Omer
Omarini School, Afula
Omer Comprehensive School, Omer Industrial Area
Orot Israel College, Harie Ephraim
Orot Israel College for Women, Harie Ephraim
Ort Ramot High School, Jerusalem
Ort Tel Hashomer School, Zaha
Pardes Elementary School, Jerusalem
Pisqat Ze-ev Religious, Rechov Hashisha Asor, Jerusalem
Providence Prep School, Accra-Newtown
Public Library, Shlomi
Public Library, Mes Ziona
Public Library of Metulla, Metulla
Raaya – Academy for Girls , Mizrach Benyamin
Raaya Ben-Avraham, Kibbutz Naan
Ramat-Gan Municipal Library, Ramat Hasharon
Ramat Hasharon Public Library, Ramat Hasharon
Regional Cultural Center & Library, Ruppin Institute of Agriculture
Regional Library, Negev
Regional Library Ledoroth, Lod
Regional Library Ledoroth, Lod
Regional Secondary School, Ervek Hefer
Religious High School Moreshet, Kfar Saba
Rubin’s Cultural Center, Yerucham
Sederot Public Library, Sederot
Sha’alvim Educational Center, Shimson
Shaar Zion Central Public Library, Tel Aviv/Yafo
Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem
Shapiras College for Technology, Netanya
Sharett Junior High School, Kfar Saba
Shderot High School, Shderot
Shikma Regional School, Hof Ashkelon
Shomron School, Shavey Shomron
Sinai School, Be’er Sheba
State of Israel Ministry of Education, Culture & Sport, Jerusalem
Tahkemoni School, Tiberias
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
Technion Faculty Wives Club, Haifa
Telaviv University, Tel Aviv
The Center for Conservative Judaism in Jerusalem, Jerusalem
The Central Library for the Blind Visually & Physically Handicapped, Nathanya
The Channa Weingarten High School for Girls, Jerusalem
The College of Judea & Samaria, Ariel
The Horeb Schools Jerusalem, Jerusalem
The Israel Association of Community Centers, Jerusalem
The Jewish National & University Library, Jerusalem
The Kadoorie Agricultural School, Galil Hatahton
The Pevsner Public Library, Haifa
The Public Library, Kivyat Ono
The Public Library, Ness – Zione
Ulpana High School for Girls, Kfar Saba
Ulpanat Horev Library, Jerusalem
United Synagogue of America, Jerusalem
University of the Negev Library, Tel Aviv
Ussishkin House (Regional Museum for Natural History), Upper Galilee
Wingate Institute for Physical Education & Sport, Netanya
Yemin Orde, Hof Carmel
Yeshiva, Herzlia Heights, Herzlia
Yeshivat “Native Meir” High School, Jerusalem
Yeshivat Horev Rehov Elroi, Jerusalem
Yeshivat Shaalvim High School, D.N. Shimshon
Youth Towns of Israel, Tel-Aviv
Zofit Regional School, Kfar Saba