For Rudin, 88, “staying in drive” is a natural continuation of a lifetime of work and a notable career. He is an internationally known leader in interfaith relations, having served as interreligious affairs director for the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for more than 30 years. He still serves AJC as a senior adviser and sits on the organization’s Board of Governors.
Rudin’s career has involved endless international travel, relationships with popes and other religious and political leaders, and activism on religious tolerance and human rights. In November, Rudin received The Papal Knighthood of the Order of St. Gregory for his life’s work in building Catholic-Jewish relations. He is only the third American rabbi to receive the honor.
Though Rudin says he’s retired, he remains active as a writer, public speaker, and historian. His fifth book, “The People in the Room: Rabbis, Nuns, Pastors, Popes, and Presidents,” published last year, tells the inside story of the significant issues and relationships at the heart of his life’s work. He writes regularly for Religion News Service and serves as an advisor for the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Saint Leo University near Tampa. Rudin was a co-founder of the Center in 1998.