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Trial set in Colchester Jewish cemetery burial case

Associated Press

Publication: theday.com

Published May 05. 2012 1:00PM   Updated May 05. 2012 1:40PM

New London (AP) — A trial is set to begin in the case of a Jewish woman in Connecticut who is suing her own congregation over the burial of a black woman in the interfaith section of their cemetery.

Maria Balaban's lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial Tuesday in New London Superior Court. She wants the remains of Jamaica-born Juliet Steer exhumed and relocated from the Congregation Ahavath Achim's cemetery in Colchester.

The 73-year-old Balaban, who is white, claims the congregation broke its rule against burials of non-Jews at the cemetery when it allowed Steer to be buried in an interfaith section of the cemetery in 2010.

The congregation's lawyer has said the lawsuit is frivolous and accused Balaban of suing only because Steer was black. Balaban denies being racist.

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