The mass shooting that took place in a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday has caused many Kingstonians to speak out and seek ways to combat anti-Semitism in the local community.
Suche James has lived in the Kingston area for more than 30 years. After years of facing racism and discrimination, he chose to get involved in the public school system to make a difference.
“Anti-Semitism and racism have been around for years, and it needs to be our goal to educate our children,” said James, who is an equity and inclusion consultant for the Limestone District School Board.
Twenty-four hours after the mass shooting, James took to Twitter to ask his followers thought-provoking questions about how to address anti-Semitism.
“As district educators reflecting on the anti-Semitic shooting in Pittsburgh, here are a few questions we may want to ask ourselves: 1. How is this impacting the Kingston Jewish community in my classroom/school? 2. How can we best support them?” James tweeted.
James says the Twitter thread was intended to spark a conversation about combatting anti-Semitism because many teachers, parents and students have these questions on their minds.
Debbie Fitzerman, vice-president of the Kingston Jewish Council, is standing with local students, teachers and parents and urges people to have discussions with their children and in their communities to make a real difference.
“I’ve taught my kids people are people, and you have to get to know them and respect them,” Fiterzman said.
On Tuesday at 5 p.m., the Kingston community is invited to honour the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting at Confederation Park across from city hall.