NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY EMERGES FROM CHAPTER 11 REORGANIZATION
September 1, 2021
A commitment of $10 million from the Morgan Family, coupled with support from Museum contributors, helps Museum eliminate debt and sets stage for reopening
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sept. 1, 2021) – The National Museum of American Jewish History will emerge from its Chapter 11 Reorganization on or around September 15th, thanks to a $10 million commitment by former Trustee Mitchell Morgan and his family.
The Morgan Family’s commitment allows the institution to eliminate its debt and provides a pathway to stability for the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to exploring and interpreting the American Jewish experience.
NMAJH initially filed for Reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on March 1st, 2020; the Reorganization plan was confirmed on September 1st by Chief Judge Magdeline D. Coleman, of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“We’re living 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 inclusivity,” Mitchell Morgan said. “Our family’s commitment is the gift of time to ensure the Museum can offer all its visitors the chance to explore American history through the lens of the Jewish experience. We wish this to be a contribution that will encourage more people to play a role in the Museum’s future by providing different perspectives on how immigrants and religious minorities have positively impacted our great nation for centuries.”
“Mitch is a mensch and a hero in the Jewish community,” said Dr. Misha Galperin, NMAJH CEO. “The initiative Mitch and his family have shown brings stability to this Philadelphia institution and preserves a beautiful treasure for the Jewish community, for the City of Philadelphia, and for our nation.”
Through their commitment, the Morgan Family will purchase the Museum building on terms that are highly favorable to the Museum, providing the funds necessary for the Museum to eliminate its burdensome debt. The facilities will be leased back at a nominal rate, alleviating the costs of day-to-day operations and instead giving the Museum time to focus on its important mission, anchored in the James Polshek-designed building at the historic corner of Philadelphia’s Market Street and Independence Mall. The Museum will have the option to buy back the facilities in full at a later time.
The Morgan Family is not alone in its generosity to the Museum as it has worked in earnest to reorganize in the midst of a pandemic. A number of the Museum’s individual bondholders, a list that includes Morgan, are also contributors who generously forgave debt totaling $14 million.
Since its galleries closed to the public, the Museum has been steadfastly focused on a strategic planning process to ensure a stable, visionary future. Among these initiatives, the Museum is being promoted for inclusion into the Smithsonian Institution, a proposal that is earning bipartisan support in Congress. Thirty-seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives and twenty-three U.S. senators have championed legislation encouraging the Smithsonian to explore a plan for acquiring the Museum.
The Museum will continue operating virtually with a robust online programming schedule while strategizing for reopening.
“We are champing at the bit to carry the NMAJH story into its next decade,” said Galperin, the Museum’s CEO. “We stand today energized for our bright future.”
ABOUT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY
Established in 1976, and situated on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, the National Museum of American Jewish History is the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to exploring and interpreting the American Jewish experience. NMAJH presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore, and celebrate the history of Jews in America. Its purpose is to connect Jews more closely to their heritage and to inspire in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which Americans aspire. http://nmajh.org
ABOUT MITCHELL MORGAN
Mitchell Morgan is a former NMAJH Trustee who served for 12 years. The Mount Airy native worked full-time through business school and law school at Temple University, where he currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Since 1985, he has served as founder and CEO of Morgan Properties, the nation’s largest private multifamily owner. Through the Morgan Family Foundation, Mitchell and his family have supported NMAJH, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Barnes Foundation, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and many more local institutions.