Jewish Witnesses for Peace and friends have organized weekly vigils on Saturday morning at Beth Israel Congregation, a Conservative synagogue in Ann Arbor, since September, 2003. From mid-April 2004 through January 30, 2005, JWPF also held vigils at Hiller's Market, in a shopping plaza fronting on busy Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, every Sunday afternoon, until it declared victory and withdrew, as described in Highlights. The organization is led by Henry Herskovitz.
Beth Israel vigil and peaceful protest.
AKA, The Vigil.
This provocative, weekly demonstration of solidarity with the people of occupied Palestine is, apparently, the only one of it's kind in the country. It has stirred ire and debate all it's short history and has brought the issue of Israeli military aggression in Palestine to public awareness. The on-going vigil is set to end only once the administrators of the Beth Israel Temple agree to a meaningful dialog regarding their organizational support for the state of Israel, and thus support for military occupation of Palestine and the aggression that accompanies it. Temple Beth Israel refuse to meet with the Vigilers, much as George Bush would refuse to meet with rogue terrorists, like, say the state of Iran or N. Korea.
It is, however, a fitting addition to the local activist scene in Ann Arbor, home to the MC5 rock band, the Rainbow Peoples Party, and other such radicalism (all of which needs more research and development in these pages).