My Iona

Jewish-Catholic Studies

The Brother John G. Driscoll Professorship in Jewish-Catholic Studies celebrates the common values and shared roots of the Jewish and Catholic faiths, fostering dialogue and exploration within our community and beyond. Iona has earned an international reputation in the field of Jewish-Catholic relations. Through the Driscoll Professorship, the the University continues to be a leading voice for mutual understanding and reconciliation.

As Iona’s first endowed chair, the Professorship is a testament to our late President Br. John G. Driscoll’s legacy and serves to add a unique perspective to the fulfillment of Iona's mission, supporting the values of justice, peace, and service.

Iona is a member of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (CCJR), the national scholarly organization coordinating university centers of study in this area. Through the CCJR, Iona is represented at the International Council of Christians and Jews.

Jewish-Catholic Studies Events

Engaging the community

The Professorship brings nationally and internationally recognized scholars from around the world to the Iona campus and community at large, creating opportunities for community education at all levels. The Professorship supports courses across the curriculum as well as dramatic and musical explorations of themes in Jewish-Christian Relations.

Passionate about student enlightenment, the Driscoll Professorship has assisted Iona students in gaining internships at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in lower Manhattan. The Professorship sponsors other key programs such as:

  • Shared Roots, Divergent Paths Series: In its 17th year, this collaboration with the American Jewish Committee is a semi-annual program sponsoring a dialogue between a Jewish and a Catholic scholar on topics as diverse as bio-ethical dilemmas and faith in the public square.
  • Memory and Reconciliation: This transformative study abroad experience brings faculty and students to Auschwitz, Poland, for an intensive week of study during spring break.

The Brother John G. Driscoll Professorship in Jewish-Catholic Studies is a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Jack Rudin, New York City, to Iona University to honor President Emeritus Br. Driscoll's 50 years as a member of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. As a program in Jewish-Catholic Studies, the Driscoll Professorship will add a unique perspective to the fulfillment of Iona's mission to prize the values of justice, peace, and service.

The Driscoll Professorship dedicates itself to:

  • effecting mutual understanding between the peoples of the Jewish and Catholic faiths;
  • fostering learning about the similarities and differences surrounding shared beliefs in God, faith, and the values of justice and life; exploring a common foundation in the themes of covenantal relationship;
  • deepening understanding about the effects and implications of the Shoah;
  • celebrating the spiritual vitality and gifts of the two faiths.

In the spirit of Br. Driscoll's passion for Jewish-Catholic studies, the Driscoll Professorship takes Br. Driscoll's hopes as its own:

That ancient truths will be revered,
That hidden truths will be revealed,
That new ways will be found to touch the human heart
– Adopted 9-99, rev. 9-00

The Brother John G. Driscoll Professorship is made possible through a generous endowment from Jack and Susan Rudin. Additional annual funding comes from the Jean and Henry Pollak Division of the Lucile and Maurice Pollak Fund.


Elena Procario-Foley

Elena G. Procario-Foley, Ph.D.

Director, Core Curriculum

Br. John G. Driscoll Professor of Jewish-Catholic Studies

Professor of Religious Studies