Three faiths came together to fight a dangerous surge of antisemitism in Los Angeles and around the world through a giant graffiti mural designed by Artists 4 Israel.
Measuring more than 60 feet, it honors Irene Gut Opdyke, a nurse who saved Jews during the Holocaust in Poland before living the rest of her life in Southern California less than 25 miles from where her mural now covers the exterior of Art At The Rendon (2055 E. 7th Street).
A diverse group joined hands at the dedication. Irene’s daughter, Jeannie Opdyke, spoke about how her mother’s example fuels her Christian faith. Beside her stood rock legend Gene Simmons of KISS who is an Israeli-born Jew whose mother survived the Nazi concentration camps. On her other side was Muslim Sarah Idan, former Miss Iraq, who had to flee her homeland after taking a picture with the Miss Universe contestant from Israel led to death threats.
The Los Angeles mural was created by artist Andrew Hem and is the latest in the “Righteous Among the Nations Global Mural Project” led by non-profit Artists 4 Israel and the Combat Antisemitism Movement.
These towering paintings of Holocaust Rescuers inspire resistance by telling the story of local heroes visually and with a QR code embedded in the art that open mini-documentaries. So far, murals have been created in Greece, Portugal, and New York City with more planned as funding is secured.
The location of the cities for the murals are chosen for either being the home of one of the Holocaust Rescuers or – like Los Angeles – because it has become a hotspot for antisemitism.
Gene Simmons of KISS said at the dedication, “antisemitism is the same as Islamophobia, gay hatred, or hating African Americans. The idea that you could love someone who looks different, talks differently, or comes from a different place – that’s the only hope humanity has.”
“History has showed us time and time again why we must stand up to antisemitism and hate,” said Miss Iraq Sarah Idan. “At this point we shouldn’t be asking why – only how.”
Said Jeannie Opdyke, “the global mural project is a reminder that anyone can provide help, hope, and healing. These murals are a constant reminder that we are all part of one human family.”
Source : Prnewswire