A Connecticut condominium association has reversed its decision to prohibit mezuzahs on the doorposts of residents’ apartments.
The Stanford, Conn.-based California Condominium Association’s agreement with residents previously allowed the display of items on doors but not doorposts. This meant that residents could affix Christmas wreaths and crucifixes to their doors, but Jewish residents could not affix mezuzahs to their doorposts.
The association had threatened in a letter to fine Jewish resident Barbara Cadranel $50 a day until she removed her mezuzah from her doorpost. Cadranel turned to Washington DC attorneys Nathan Lewin and Alyza Lewin, who have brought numerous successful anti-discrimination suits, to help resolve the situation.
The attorneys announced late Tuesday that the matter had been resolved.
“We are very pleased that we were able to resolve this matter without having to resort to litigation. The outpouring of public support for Ms. Cadranel was extraordinary,” Alyza Lewin said in a statement.
The attorney for the Association, Kurt Ahlberg, sent a letter Tuesday to the editor of the Connecticut Post informing him that the matter had been resolved. In his letter, Ahlberg said that “Ms. Cadranel acted with full propriety and within her legal rights in affixing the mezuzah to her door post.” He also extended a “personal apology to her as well as the Jewish community for this incident” and explained that neither he nor the Board “were aware of the significance of her placing the mezuzah upon her door post.”
The letter also said that the “California Condominium Association regrets this incident and condemns any and all forms of discrimination of every nature. It was never our intent to discriminate against Ms. Cadranel, nor cause her any discomfort, embarrassment or distress. “
The right of condominium owners to display mezuzahs has generally prevailed in similar cases in Connecticut and other states, and a number of states have enacted laws upholding that right.
This story "Connecticut Condo Reverses Mezuzah Ban" was written by JTA.