Inter-faith group visits KDHS to raise awareness of discrimination

The Other People’ initiative spearheaded by Jewish Federation’s inter-faith liaison Rabbi Bregman, is now brining their important message to the next generation.  With the objective to share their experiences and give people the opportunity to meet “other people” the team took to the classroom to challenge the perspectives of students at King David High School (KDHS).

In their classroom debut, the Other People engaged with Grade 11 and 12 students, shared their experiences with discrimination and answered all their questions ranging from religion and culture, antisemitism and terrorism, to racism, bigotry, being isolated, and residential schools. The sessions provided students with some hard truths and context that they were able to relate back to Jewish experiences.

Deemed a huge success and tremendously educational by everyone involved, 98% of the Grade 11 & 12 KDHS students said that they have a better understanding of the negative effects of discrimination on people who are different from themselves.

“It was evident throughout the presentation how essential it was for our students to have been given the opportunity to sit down with a panel that reflects the diversity of our city and our country. In a world that has become increasingly divided in religious, political, and philosophical spheres, it is important to create safe and open opportunities where youth can sit down together and engage in meaningful dialogue with a goal of understanding ‘the other people.’”  said King David High School teacher, Anna-Mae Wiesenthal

The Other People

‘The Other People’ representing Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, the Indigenous community, the Black community, and Judaism, has each been at one point or another, “the other person”, the outsider, the one who was/is discriminated against in Canada. Now, their goal is to break down biases and prejudices by presenting their differences and shared experiences. They will be going into schools, community centres, houses of worship, to not only share their experiences but give people the opportunity to meet face to face, with “other people”.

The Other People team: 

PHOTO: Rabbi Philip Bregman, Gary Gaudin, Jahmira Lovemore, Inderjeet Singh, Tariq Tyab, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Terry Yung