In 1990, the late Monsignor Thomas Hartman (popularly known as one-half of the “God Squad”) and Roger Tilles, past president of Temple Beth-El, created Project Understanding, a program for Catholic and Jewish youth. Each year a group of Catholic and Jewish 11th graders, recommended for selection by their congregations and teachers, engages in a series of interfaith activities designed to promote understanding and respect for their similarities and differences. The highlight is an extraordinary trip to Israel, usually during school vacation in February, with leaders from the Catholic and Jewish communities.

Those who have participated in Project Understanding have had only the highest of praise for the program. They state that they have developed a depth of understanding that would otherwise have been unattainable. They have formed lasting friendships and their lives have been forever changed for the better.

One or two 11th grade students from Temple Beth-El are usually among those selected each year.

Project Understanding 2015 Group

           2015 Project Understanding Group with
           Founder Roger Tilles, standing second from right