(Philadelphia) – The National Museum of American Jewish History plans to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this month, a process that has taken a year longer than expected.
The Independence Mall-based museum had filed for bankruptcy on March 1, 2020, unable to overcome a debt burden of around $ 30 million, much of it left over from the $ 150 million construction of its building. five floors.
CEO Dr Misha Galperin expected the legal and financial process to take around six months. But just days after filing, on March 13, the coronavirus pandemic forced the museum to close.
âBetween COVID and the other issues, it took a lot longer and required a longer negotiation,â he said.
Not only was the museum unable to generate revenue from visitors, but because it had filed for bankruptcy, it was not eligible for the types of federal emergency financial assistance that were helping to float other cultural institutions. .
The NMAJH successfully discharged its debt for two main reasons: several creditors, including members of its own board of directors, agreed to collectively write off $ 14 million in debt; and one of the museum’s trustees, Mitchell Morgan, agreed to buy the building for $ 10 million and rent it out for just $ 1,000 a month.