Conn. congregation, member settle suit on non-Jewish burial

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

Maria Balaban, 73, settled her lawsuit with Congregation Ahavath Achim in Colchester, Conn. Balaban, a member of the congregation’s board of directors, argued that the newly established interfaith section of the congregation’s cemetery should be reserved for Jewish members and their non-Jewish spouses and family members, the Bulletin of Norwich reported.

Juliet Steer, 47, was buried in the cemetery in 2010 after dying of cancer. Steer was not affiliated with the congregation; the African-American woman was the first burial in the interfaith section.

During the trial, Balaban denied the congregation’s accusations that she filed the lawsuit because Steer was black. — jta