Park East Synagogue, Jewish Elementary School, Kenny Werner discussed on UN News
Deadliest attack ever on the jewish community in the united states and took place the time of rising antisemitism as well as increasing levels of hate crimes against other groups including african americans and muslims in the us four days off the shootings the secretary general of the united nations antonio cherish honored the victims. At new york's park east synagogue. He denounced the mass shooting as a horrendous act. And as you just heard noted that antisemitism is the oldest form of hatred to have endured in human history. There's a big jewish population score hall. So is easy for me to stay really close to my jewish roots. I went to jewish preschool. Jewish elementary school. I spent my summer is a jewish summer camps. Why on the swim team. Kenny werner is a high school student in the squirrel hill neighborhood of pittsburgh the shooting the tree of life. Synagogue was a home away from home for her and her family. By the time. I was six or seven years old. I'd be able to run around that synagogue tree of life in just do what i wanted. We felt safe. One of katie's relatives was among those killed at the synagogue. Although she wasn't in the line of fire on the day of the shooting her mother malla says that the family has struggled to come to terms with the tanks if tree of life and what happened there daily still. It's part of my everyday existence. Part of the fiber of who. I am and who my family is. My children have all been scarred to different degrees knowing people that were there knowing where certain people were standing at the time that they were likely murdered. So not only am. I dealing with my own feelings towards it. I'm working with four teenagers. who are really struggling with. Why do people hate us. just because we're jewish. I didn't really know how. I was supposed to react. Or how i could react or what i should be doing. All i remember is yelling. My momma wadden or so. She says that. I just got really mad at her for everything she did was wrong. Like crying was wrong calling. My grandmother was wrong like everything everybody in our community has been affected in some way or another. I started going to therapy. And i've been diagnosed with ptsd. And i'm continuing to work through it sometimes in class. Sometimes when i'm bored and you know like your mind just wanders and sometimes i'll just think about it or more than that. Just think about like shootings in general. There's one classroom is the farthest costume you can get in the building. And there's a door next and i always think if something were to happen and it were to be at that door. There's nowhere to go. You're there you're trapped in the building. That's it today katie. Who is well aware of the long history of prejudice against jews campaigns on both religious tolerance and gun safety. She's also a prominent member of the bb. Yo jewish youth organisation which provides jewish youth with an opportunity to develop their leadership potential. I'm an activist. Because i simply cannot allow injustice to go unchallenged. I'm an activist. Because i can't unsee all the damage that has happened in the lives. That have been to me. What happened to tree of life is put into two different categories one of anti-semitism and one of gun violence and both are really strong. Powerful issues that our country faces. Today i was one of the younger kids on the bus and this older kid gets up in the back of the bus and he was like who was jewish and another girl and i we looked at each other. Both jewish really And she said she goes. Well why do you want to know. And he because all of you deserve to be in a gas chamber and she just sat down and we drove home in my history class last semester. Our teacher had a stoop project to write a research paper. So i'll just read the beginning part of my essay. Recent american history has been a scene for a series of high profile acts of antisemitism spending from the synagogue shooting in pittsburgh to the shooting in powei to the white supremacy demonstrations charlottesville where marchers chanted. Jews will not replace us. These acts of hatred are nothing new. The un is actively engaging with social media companies including facebook to find ways to prevent hate speech from spreading around the world. The man responsible for the shootings at the tree of life is believed to have been radicalized by right wing extremist groups operating online. He posted racist and hate-filled messages containing slurs against jews migrants an african americans session. Leaney is a scary terrible invention. And i think it is the perfect way to spread propaganda. A lot of these people in the hate groups joined the hate groups because they were told stuff that just one hundred percent false not true all and they just were like this is bad in my life but if i am able to blame it on those people it gives me a res an ability to not be so upset we should not be defined by hatred that people feel towards us. There's so much more to who i am as a person who the rest of my family is our as people. Twenty twenty one marks the twentieth anniversary of the un durban declaration and programme of action which is considered to be a milestone in the global fight to tackle racism racial discrimination xenophobia and is a fundamental development and human rights fighting racism in all its forms will be a major focus at this year's general assembly in new york when anniversary events will serve as a spur to more action and whilst firm action is needed in order to combat the worrying rise in attacks on religious communities worldwide. It's hoped that they would also be counted by more and more people coming together as the un secretary. General declared his remarks at the park east synagogue. Slowly that solidarity with the victims. So that the family solidarity solidarity's jewish community in pittsburgh worldwide's until utility also the people of pittsburgh and the people of the united states of america overwhelming reject. These rentals act one of the most special moments after the shooting was on the friday night. Which was the first show by after there were hundreds of people from local churches lining the street of the synagogue to pave our way in and everyone was holding a candle and the kids who were too young to be holding candles just there with hearts and nobody spoke. Everyone had tears and there was so much comfort.