One Kenton Alzheimer’s Centre of Excellence (One Kenton) and B’nai Brith Hillel of Toronto were declared bankrupt last week after failing to make a proposal to creditors by a court-imposed deadline of Nov. 23.
B’nai Brith Hillel was found to have liabilities of nearly $11 million, while One Kenton owed nearly $90,000, according to records from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada.
The bankruptcies likely mean that more than two dozen of One Kenton’s unsecured creditors will receive little or nothing, despite the sale of the facility last month.
At the same time, Isaac Weinroth, One Kenton’s original executive director, has also been left high and dry in a separate court claim of $140,000 for unjust dismissal. His case was subject to a stay of proceedings in June after One Kenton and B’nai Brith Hillel sought court protection from creditors.
The bankruptcies are the latest developments in a series of events that have marked the decline of what had been billed as a first-class facility offering state-of-the-art care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. One Kenton opened in December 2013 to much fanfare and with a $5.4-million federal government grant to support it. It was the brainchild of former B’nai Brith Canada CEO Frank Dimant and other members of the B’nai Brith board. The facility was constructed on two plots of land at 1 and 3 Kenton Place, owned by B’nai Brith Hillel, and offered 45 beds, charging residents more than $7,500 a month.
B’nai Brith Hillel is a non-profit corporation headquartered at 15 Hove St., the same address as B’nai Brith Canada. Its officers and directors are current and former B’nai Brith Canada personnel, including Dimant, its vice-president, and Gerry Weinstein, a former B’nai Brith Canada national president, who is president of B’nai Brith Hillel.
One Kenton was never more than half full, and as of two weeks ago, it was home to only 19 people.
One Kenton sought court protection from its creditors in June, when it became clear that its debts far exceeded its income and it was rapidly running out of money.
The trustee was tasked with, in part, finding a buyer for the facility.
Two weeks ago, One Kenton was acquired by One Kenton Memory Care Limited Partnership, a new entity that will continue to operate the facility as an Alzheimer’s residence. It is headed by Avi Gottlieb, the president of Avcon Construction, the company that built One Kenton and held a second mortgage on the property.
Weinroth was hired to serve as the facility’s new executive director.
Gottlieb declined to reveal the purchase price, and neither Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Hillel, B’nai Brith Canada and One Kenton, nor Farber & Associates, the trustee overseeing the facility, responded to CJN requests for an interview.
Whether there is any money to pay Weinroth or the creditors listed in court documents remains to be seen. Two meetings of the creditors of One Kenton and B’nai Brith Hillel are set for Dec. 15.
Weinroth said he had been told by the trustee not to expect any funds.
Shlomo Assayag said he is unaware of any proposal to creditors. His company, KosherMeats2U, which provides meats, poultry, cold cuts and other items to retail and wholesale customers, is owed $1,551.56. “My understanding is that the money is gone,” he said.
KosherMeats2U has continued to supply One Kenton with food, and it has been paid since June.
But any debt accrued before that “is pretty much lost, from the last time I heard, about a week ago,” Assayag told The CJN last week.
According to court documents, B’nai Brith Hillel had debts in June totalling $10.9 million. At the top of the list are secured creditors, who are paid in priority to unsecured creditors.
The Bank of Nova Scotia held a first mortgage of $8 million, of which more than $7.3 million was still owing. The bank had advanced another $500,000 in a credit facility that was implemented in June.
In addition, the trustee and its legal counsel incurred bills of around $300,000, most of which had been paid by early November.
Among the unsecured creditors of One Kenton, with claims of $250 or more are ACE INA Life Insurance, $1,017.36; Bond Securcom, $2,555.21; Dr. Ilana Horvath, $1,000; Ecolab, $2,100.95; Green House Processing & Marketing, $1,869.75; Isaac’s Bakery, $1,213.90; Kosher City Plus, $413.90; KosherMeats2U, $1,551.56; R.L. Landscaping, $6,045.50; Rochelle Berg, $1,734.08; The BAMM Group, $45,251.25; Veritas Investments, $5,121.16; and Pearl Gladman, whose given address at 15 Hove St. is the same as B’nai Brith Canada’s headquarters, $2,500.00.
B’nai Brith Hillel’s creditors include B’nai Brith Canada itself, which is listed in court documents as being owed nearly $1.6 million; B’nai Brith Congregation Synagogue, $16,666.00; B’nai Brith Foundation District 11, $24,195.00; and the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith, $5,310.25.
The Canada Revenue Agency has bills outstanding of $650,000.
Weinroth is frustrated with the turn of events that has left him with a claim of $140,000 that remains unaddressed, plus substantial legal fees.
He believes that it should never have come to this and that B’nai Brith Canada has a moral and ethical responsibility to compensate him, since One Kenton was always a B’nai Brith project.
According to Weinroth, he was let go in April 2014 and was not provided sufficient severance. Attempts at mediation proved unsuccessful and he filed his claim in September 2014, well before One Kenton’s court-sanctioned restructuring efforts.
Weinroth said he saw the writing on the wall when One Kenton sought court protection from creditors – he did not expect to receive what he believes is owing to him.
Nevertheless, “they have a moral and ethical responsibility to resolve my case and provide me with the severance I’m entitled to,” he said.
“I should have received a severance package on April 10, at the same time I got a letter saying I was terminated…I think for an organization that claims it looks out for human rights and social advocacy, it’s not leading by example,” he said.