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National Museum of American Jewish History files for bankruptcy protection

(JTA) — The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it owes more than $30 million to bondholders.

Much of the debt is from the construction of its building on Independence Mall, the museum said in its Chapter 11 filing, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The museum, which is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, opened in 2010.

The proceedings launched Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia will not affect museum operations or staffing, according to the Inquirer, which cited museum officials.

Fundraising for the museum hit a recent high of $7.4 million in fiscal 2017, the newspaper reported, citing the museum’s audited financial statements. The museum raised $5.9 million in 2018 and $4.8 million in 2019.

Its revenue has fallen from a recent high of $9.4 million in 2017 to $6.3 million in 2019, and attendance has fallen from 108,745 in 2017 to 82,950 in 2019, according to the report.

Recent special exhibits include “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg”; “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music”; and “Sara Berman’s Closet.”