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Mezuzah Ban Reversed

Connecticut condominium association reversed its decision to ban the display of mezuzahs; Jewish residents will not be forced to pay fine.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 4/11/2012, 1:23 PM

Mezuzah
Mezuzah
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A Connecticut condominium association has reversed its decision to ban the display of mezuzahs on the doorposts of residents' apartments.

Barbara Cadranel, who had been instructed to remove her mezuzah from her doorpost or face a $50 fine per-day, has learned that she will be permitted to display the religious artifact.

Cadranel’s attorneys, Nathan Lewin and Alyza Lewin, announced on 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," Alyza Lewin said in a statement. "The outpouring of public support for Ms. Cadranel was extraordinary.

“The chorus of criticism of the condominium association and the expressions of support for our client not only provided Ms. Cadranel with much appreciated comfort but also brought about the dramatic turn of events we witnessed today,” she stated.

Attorney Kurt M. Ahlberg, who represented the condo association, said, “The mezuzah, of course, shall remain upon the doorpost, and no penalties or fees shall be assessed or levied upon Ms. Cadranel. In addition, henceforth, any resident may place a mezuzah or other religious symbol upon their doorpost without prior approval from the association board of directors.”

Ahlberg also extended a “personal apology to her as well as the Jewish community for this incident.”

The condo association's original policy was that residents would be allowed to display items on doors but not doorposts, meaning that Christian residents could display wreaths and crucifixes to their doors, but Jewish residents could not affix mezuzahs to their doorposts.

In a statement released by her attorneys, Cadranel said, "The entire episode was unfortunate, and I am grateful that the Association expressed its regret. Now we can begin to heal and put this difficult experience behind us.”

The Connecticut Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League supported Cadranel last week and urged the condo association to allow the mezuzah.

“A mezuzah is not a decorative choice for Jews, or a choice of any kind. Requiring its removal is tantamount to requiring a Jewish person to move,” ADL Regional Director Gary Jones said. “Thousands of condominium owners throughout Connecticut display mezuzahs on their doorposts without any issue.”