Conn. Woman Settles Non-Jewish Burial Suit

By JTA

Published May 17, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Jewish woman suing her congregation over the burial of a non-Jewish black woman in its cemetery has settled her lawsuit.

Maria Balaban, 73, settled her lawsuit with Congregation Ahavath Achim in Colchester, Conn., on Wednesday after two days of negotiations in the middle of the trial, which began last week.

Balaban, a member of the congregation’s board of directors, sued the congregation for allowing the burial of a non-Jewish woman in the newly established interfaith section of the congregation’s cemetery, which she says should be reserved for Jewish members and their non-Jewish spouses and family members, The Bulletin of Norwich, Ct., reported.

Juliet Steer, 47, was buried in the cemetery in 2010 after dying of cancer. She was not affiliated with the congregation, and is the first burial in the interfaith section.

The agreement must be approved by Congregation Ahavath Achim’s board of directors and membership by June 15.

During the trial, the congregation had accused Balaban of filing the lawsuit because Steer was black, something Balaban denied. Balaban also dropped her request to have Steer’s body exhumed and moved to a different cemetery, according to the newspaper.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.