STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — Franciscan University announces that in the wake of the horrific Hamas terrorist attack on October 7 and the ongoing Israeli military response, Franciscan University has created an expedited transfer process for Jewish students in danger of antisemitic discrimination and violence on campus across the United States.

“With our fellow Christians around the world, we are praying for justice and peace,” said Father Dave Pivonka, TOR ’89, president of Franciscan University. “But with too many universities preaching tolerance but practicing prejudice, we feel compelled to do more. We are witnessing a very troubling spike in antisemitism and serious threats against Jewish students. We want to offer them the chance to transfer immediately to Franciscan.”

Franciscan University’s administration has taken action to expedite its transfer process and make plans to accommodate any additional students despite the logistical challenges of this year’s record-breaking enrollment.

The administrators believe creating a safe haven for these students is the right thing to do.

“Our community will welcome them with generosity and respect,” said Father Pivonka. “Our religious differences will not cause any conflict. On the contrary, at Franciscan, our radical fidelity to Christ and the Catholic faith demands of us fraternal charity toward our Jewish brothers and sisters, as it does toward all people.”

Mindful of the many Jewish students who may want to transfer immediately from universities where they face hostility, Father Pivonka has invited presidents of other faithful Catholic universities to join Franciscan in this effort.

Franciscan University and The Philos Project recognized the need to confront a resurgent antisemitism many months ago when it organized a joint conference, Nostra Aetate and the Future of Catholic-Jewish Relations at a Time of Rising Antisemitism, for October 24-26.

The conference coordinators never imagined the tragic timeliness their event would take on.

Jewish students who would like to transfer to Franciscan University of Steubenville can email

(Video in the story shows the top stories for Wednesday, October 18, 2023)