S... P... U... R... N.
Synagogue Protest UNACCEPTABLE! Respond Now
SPURN is solely an effort by individuals who participate. It does not necessarily represent the views of Beth Israel Congregation, its members, board or Rabb
$222,429 !!!
as of 1/4/19
Pledge campaign begun 07/31/04
How are we spending the funds?
To save lives! more
Donors to date:
553 world-wide!
An "All Purpose Hate Group" with ties to German neo-Nazis
is targeting Jewish families arriving for Sabbath worship in Ann Arbor.
Our response: A FUNDRAISER !
- Pledge-per-Picketer. Scroll down for details

City Council Deplores Them
October 18, 2004
x x
Ann Arbor City Council Unanimously Condemns Pickets
full text

Area Clergy Deplore Them
December 15, 2004
Religious Leaders: Picketers "violate any reasonable norms of civil and mutually respectful behavior."
full text

(June 5, 2005)
Ministers warn
congregations of area
Interfaith Roundtable





Thom Saffold (front center), teacher at the
Michigan Islamic Academy in Ann Arbor,
videotapes Jewish families arriving for worship.
(Ann Arbor, Aug 14, 2004)

The Mayor Deplores Them
"...and I believe that opinion is shared by an overwhelming majority of Ann Arborites. No one should be subjected to this type of behavior at their place of worship.

~ Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje

The Ann Arbor News Deplores Them
(10/19/04 )

full text

(Nov. 2005)
"hurtful and counterproductive"

Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice says end the picketing.


Aimee Smith positioned herself outside children's services on Rosh Ha-Shana 2006 with a sign reading "Israel Lobby Inside"
Photo: June 2006

Mozhgan Savabieasfahani and Blaine Coleman

-Ann Arbor News

Catherine Wilkerson

Gloria Harb: Jewish prayers should
be disrupted: "You pray for genocide!"
See below
Our response: A fundraiser!
Join us. Make a Pledge-Per-Protester-Per-Shabbat to the Magen David Adom (Israel's
Red Cross) . It's tax deductible.

We SPURN the obnoxious protesters by transforming them into a vehicle for doing good. Through this campaign we are raising funds for Israel's national emergency responders. The Magen David Adom is a humanitarian organization serving all victims of violence without regard to ethnicity or religion.

We welcome and strongly encourage all people of conscience to SPURN bigotry, divisiveness and infringement on religious freedom. Join us and make a pledge!

Beth Israel Rabbi, President
"We wish to express our appreciation to The Ann Arbor News for its editorial objecting to the protests occurring outside our synagogue "
in Ann Arbor News (9/22/2004 - not posted)

Ann Arbor News (9/12/2004)
"Synagogue Pickets a Cynical Exercise"

Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County, Michigan
"Allow Worship to Be in Peace"
in Ann Arbor News (9/12/2004)

Detroit Jewish News (8/14/04 )
SPURN "A Satisfying Gesture"

Ann Arbor News (10/19/04 )
Council Criticizes Temple Protests

Ann Arbor News (12/15/2004)
"Religious Leaders Denounce Protest"

We're Reaching Our Goals

SPURN (Synagogue Protest UNACCEPTABLE! Respond Now) was organized at the end of July, 2004 with 2 major goals in mind:

1) Provide a sense of community for our besieged congregation, with a positive outlet of expression that makes something good out of this misguided protest.

2) Urge the wider community to support us, and to castigate the picketers for a tactic that has no place in American life.

We have made significant progress on both fronts!

With pledges from synagogue members, former members, and friends unrelated to our congregation we are gaining momentum as the picketing continues into its second year. It is rewarding to have so many good people involved, and to see support increasing with time.

Interfaith Support
On October 16, 2004 there was significant interfaith attendance at our re-dedication ceremony for our renovated sanctuary. Leaders of 15-20 Ann Arbor congregations were in attendance. Dr. Kenneth Phifer of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Ann Arbor spoke eloquently of the difficult siege we have faced. Then, on December 15, 2004 a letter signed by 34 area clergy denounced the picketers as violating " reasonable norms of civil" behavior. They joined our congregants "in solidarity across all faiths and across religious traditions" to denounce "this ill-conceived and illegitimate protest". The religious leaders noted that left unchallenged it is just a matter of time before worshippers of other faiths are intimidated and harassed on any number of issues.

It's Not About Them. It's About Us.
Our efforts to increase support for SPURN continue, unabated. Ultimately, though, this isn't at all about the picketers. It isn't even about those outside the congregation whose generous support warms our hearts. This is really about us, and how we choose to respond to this challenge. We are standing together to support each other, not allowing the misguided souls outside our doors to make us respond in a negative way.


Send checks to:
American Friends of
Magen David Adom
3175 Commercial Avenue
Suite 101
Northbrook, IL 60062

Please write SPURN on the check or on an accompanying note. If you
need pre-addressed envelopes, I have some to share; just let me know (or
you can call the toll-free number below and they will send you

Or else call AFMDA with credit card information and specify that your
donation is for SPURN.

The toll free number is :

You can now donate on-line
Select "Donate Now" and then "Click Here if You Wish to Make Your
Donation to SPURN"; however, this site will not yet allow you to donate
to SPURN and make a donation in honor of or in memory of someone. That capability will be available soon.

Witnessing the "Witnesses"
Encounters with the people targeting our families

Jews "Pray for Genocide!": Part I >

Jews "Pray for Genocide!": Part 2 >

Picketer Meltdown Leads to Exposure Threat >

It's All About Hating Israel, Not About Loving Human Rights >

more to come

Frequently Asked Questions