History – Our Founders

History – Our Founders

The Seattle area became an unlikely place of leadership in interfaith dialogue in the early 1960’s. It was founded on the belief that dialogue could erase distrust and could lead people of very different faith and ethnic backgrounds to build and cross the bridge to their common humanity. The original leaders were a Rabbi born in Lithuania, Rabbi Raphael Levine, and a Catholic priest born in Ireland, Father William Treacy.

Together, they created the groundbreaking TV show Challenge which for 17 years aired interfaith conversations at prime time on KOMO TV. Rabbi Levine and Father Treacy also founded Camp Brotherhood, a retreat center that brought over 250,000 people from different wisdom traditions together into interfaith experience.

After Rabbi Levine died in 1985, Father Treacy carried on the vision with the organization’s board until the camp property was sold in 2016 and the Treacy Levine Center began transitioning to become Paths to Understanding in 2018. Father Treacy continued to be an inspiration and act as a sounding board for Paths to Understanding until he passed away on October 16, 2022.

Click here to see books by Rabbi Levine and Father Treacy.

On the 100th birthday of Father William Treacy, this episode of Challenge 2.0 examined the origin and growth of interfaith dialogue and its importance today.

Watch Rabbi Levine Interiew