New York Broadway Play: “Irena’s Vow” Soars – Irena Opdyke A Polish Catholic, Stood Up Against Fascism To Save Jews – Honored by ADL

“Irena’s Vow” Soars

Irena Opdyke
Irena Opdyke

“Irena’s Vow” is an extraordinary Broadway play that has a special appeal to Catholics and Jews. It is the real-life story of a Polish Catholic housekeeper, Irena Gut Opdyke, who hid twelve Jewish refugees in the house of a German major during the Holocaust.

There is no greater testimony to the faith than this heroic venture. It was Irena’s deep love for Catholicism that allowed her to demonstrate her love to these Jewish men and women in need.

Catholics who go to this play will not only be moved by this riveting account, they will help support the work of all those wonderful persons associated with this dramatic production.

-Bill Donohue

“Irena’s Vow” is playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 West 48th Street, New York City. It is 90 minutes long with no intermissions.

Irena Gut Opdyke, whose courageous story of hiding and ultimately saving Jews during World War II and who is the subject of the current Broadway play, Irena’s Vow, was honored posthumously by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) this week for her heroism in risking her life to save others.

The ADL’s “Courage to Care” Award, which honors rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust era, was presented to Irena’s daughter, Jeannie Opdyke Smith, during a ceremony at the League’s National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Past recipients of the Courage to Care Award include Gilberto Bosques Saldívar, Eduardo Propper de Callejón, Khaled Abdelwahhab, Ernst Leitz II and Emilie and Oskar Schindler.

“Irena Gut Opdyke stood up against great personal odds to save Jews,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor who was saved by his Polish Catholic nanny, in presenting the award. “At a moment of moral collapse, she did not forget the essential principle of leading a moral life: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Ms. Odpyke’s story is being told on Broadway every night in the new play Irena’s Vow by Dan Gordon, starring four-time Tony nominee, and three-time Drama Desk Award-winner Tovah Feldshuh, and directed byMichael Parva. The complete cast of Irena’s Vow includes Sandi CarrollTracee Chimo, Steven Hauck, Scott KlavanPeter Reznikoff, Thomas Ryan, Gene Silvers, John Stanisci and Maja Wampuszyc.

Irena’s Vow is the uplifting true story about one of the most courageous and unsung heroines of World War II. During the German occupation of Poland, Irena Gut Opdyke (Feldshuh), a Polish Catholic, was forced to work as head housekeeper for a very prominent German major. Over a two year period of service, Irena would risk her own life in order to save the lives of twelve Jewish refugees whom she secretly took under her care. Irena’s Vow is the extraordinary story of one woman’s choice and the twelve lives that would ultimately be saved – or lost – by her decision.

Irena’s Vow is produced on Broadway by Stan RaiffDaryl RothDebra BlackJames L. Nederlander/ Terry Allan Kramer and Peter Fine.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Irena’s Vow

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