National Museum of American Jewish History comes out of bankruptcy

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(JTA) – The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia will come out of bankruptcy in the coming weeks after a former administrator stepped in to buy the museum building and rent it for a nominal monthly rent of $ 1,000.

Mitchell Morgan, a local real estate CEO, will pay the museum around $ 10 million for its downtown property under a plan approved by a federal judge on Wednesday.

The plan also settles a debt with bondholders, including Morgan, who agreed to accept $ 14 million less than they were owed.

“We live in a time that requires us to reflect on our values, and a time when our country needs institutions like the National Museum of American Jewish History that represent freedom and inclusiveness,” Morgan said in a statement.

The deal allows the museum to buy back its building after 42 months for the sale price of $ 10.1 million plus 4%, Bloomberg Law reported.

The museum filed for bankruptcy in March 2020 because it could not afford the debt for the construction of its new building, which opened on Independence Mall in 2010.

Jay Rosenblatt, National Museum of American Jewish History (credit: Jay Rosenblatt, National Museum of American Jewish)

The following month, the pandemic and bankruptcy process led the museum to lay off two-thirds of its staff, the bankruptcy rendering the institution ineligible for federal relief under the Paycheck Protection Program.

The museum was closed to visitors for public health reasons and has since operated virtually. A reopening date is coming, the museum said in an update released in July.

Museum CEO Misha Galperin responded to the bankruptcy deal by calling Morgan a “mensch and a hero.”

“The initiative that Mitch and his family have shown brings stability to this Philadelphia institution and preserves a magnificent treasure for the Jewish community, for the city of Philadelphia and for our nation,” Galperin said in a statement.


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