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Purpose of the Project: This project is designed to help you: Learn about a religion or culture that is different than your own. Learn about the values of the religion or culture. Introspect about your own values. Critically evaluate and apply theory to help you understand your chosen culture’s values. Improve your written communication skills. Project Description: Research and attend a religious meeting or cultural function. Submit a word-processed report in which you relate your experience to one of the following value theories: The Cultural Environment , Hofstede (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, pp. 102-105) Value Orientation, Kluckholm & Strodbeck (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, pp. 94-102) (I can attach / send these pages to inbox) How to Proceed: Select a religion different from your own (not Christian), that you would like to know more about. Research the religion and culture to discover what they believe and value. Attend a religious meeting or cultural function of your chosen religion or culture. Write a report about your experience, using the following headings: Overview The overview of the report serves as a brief summary. An effective overview will include one or two sentences for each section of the report. Summarize the content of each section. Although the overview consolidates your information from a number of topics, it should read as one smoothly flowing paragraph. Religion or Culture Give a brief overview of the religion or culture that you investigated. Include some of the values of the religion or culture. Include your research in this section. Religious or Cultural Function Give some background on the religious meeting or cultural function. Explain your experience as you attended the religious or cultural function. Value Theory List and explain the Value Theory that can be applied to your religious or cultural experience. You should explain the basic concepts and assumptions of the theory. You should use quotes and citations in this section from the text, Reading Packet, or online lecture. Analysis Analyze your experience using the chosen theory. Use specific examples from your experience to illustrate the concepts of the theory. Reflection Reflect on your experience by asking yourself the following questions: How did you feel about this project before attending the religious or cultural function? What did you learn about the religion or culture that you investigated? Did your attitude change throughout this project? Did the application of theory help you to understand your experience? How can you incorporate what you learned in your project in future classes, in your career and in your life? References Cite all sources of information using APA style. STUDENT EXAMPLE- Student Example-Project 1 Ima Smartie Project # 1 COMM 2150-042-F13 OVERVIEW I elected to visit a meeting/cultural function of the Judaism faith. During my visit to New York, I spoke with Rabbi Bennett M. Hermann of the Temple Emanu-El in the city of Long Beach located in Nassau County in Long Island. The Rabbi and I discussed the History of the Religion, the Reformed Jewish population in Long Beach, and the history of that Particular temple. He shared their values and beliefs and was very kind about me attending the meeting and the cultural Function. In comparison to the Value Orientation by Kluckholm and Strodbeck, I was amazed at how close Judaism was to my own personal beliefs. My experiences with Rabbi Hermann and with Judaism opened my eyes to the life of the modern Reformed Jew. My opinion has changed and my respect for the Jewish population has grown. RELIGION I have always been fascinated with Judaism. It started with reading in the bible, and then it progressed more and more as I lived among many people who follow its teachings. I have also been lucky enough to have a really close friend who went to rabbinical school and later changed his faith to that of my own. He has told me a lot of the history and background of the religion. The religion is not a strange one in beliefs. If we look back into biblical times, the Bible gives us a very good description of what was believed by the Jews of ancient times. The Jews of the Bible were a very strict people. They followed the Law of Moses and The Ten Commandments with exactness. They were also firm believers in justice. If one was caught breaking the laws and commandments they were severely punished. They were a people who believed in being educated and involved in leadership of the time. These beliefs from the biblical Jew have laid the footwork for the way of the modern Jew. The modern Jews have changed a little from that of their earlier ancestors. They believe many of the same things that modern day Christians believe in today. Namely: having faith and living righteously is important, the deliverance by a Messiah, the existence of Heaven and Hell (Sprunger, 2013). They also do not perform animal sacrifices anymore. The practices are the main thing that set them apart from other religions. The wearing of the Yarmulke, or the Yam mica, is one of the most familiar differences. Also, the use of the Menorah and the celebrating of Hanukkah are common differences among our societies today (Wigington, 2013). RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL FUNCTION As I decided to make my visit to Temple Emanu-El, a reformed Judaism Temple, I was at first a little nervous. I walked in and spoke with the Rabbi of the Temple. His name is Rabbi Bennett M. Hermann. He showed me around that temple and shared with me their beliefs and their values. The first meeting ever held in this area of New York was in May of 1945, then meeting in a little hotel. Later in 1951 a ground-breaking ceremony was held, a celebration of finally obtaining a permanent place of worship for these anxious Jews. Ever since that date meetings, ceremonies, and many festivals have taken place in this spectacular building. Rabbi Hermann explained to me that as reformed Jews they are more open to other’s ideas about religion. He also explained that they see the Jewish laws, the Toarh and Talmudh, more as guidelines. They adopt all good principles and strive to be the best people that they can be (Hermann, 2013). During my visit Rabbi Hermann invited me to their annual Multi-Cultural/Religion night. This is where all the religions in the area met together to have a large meeting where they all share something of their faith; whether it is a special prayer, a song, a reading from their Holy Writ, or nothing more than a statement on their beliefs. Again, he emphasized that all good should be a part of everyone’s life. This meeting was an amazing one to be a part of. There were 13 different religions present; ranging from Hinduism to Taoism, Protestant to Latter-day Saint. Rabbi Hermann started the meeting expressing his gratitude for everyone who came to participate. He again talked about the importance of laws and commandments, followed by expressing his desire that we all learn something from other religions. All the different religions then had 15 minutes each to relate what they had prepared to present. There was a lot of good that could have been pulled out of the presentations. VALUE THEORY This was a little tough for me to decide which one to use. My experience was a unique one in that it was both a religious and a cultural function, but not only one religion. There were multiple religions in attendance. At first glance, the “Comparison of Beliefs of Major Religions” compiled by Meredith J. Sprunger seems like a good fit to my experience. This comparison chart illustrates the common and different ideals of the major religions. This chart helped me to make sense of all the religions that presented. The theory that really helped me to gain a better understanding of the Jewish religion was the” Value Orientation” theory by Kluckholm and Strodbeck. The “Value Orientation” theory is a little more complex. Kluckholm and Strodbeck studied contemporary Navaho and Spanish descendents in the 1950s. The scholars “emphasized the centrality of cultural values in understanding cultural groups” (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 95). Values are deeply shared by cultural groups and are often the causes of intercultural conflicts between cultures (Martin & Nakayama, 2018). Kluckholm and Strodbeck developed five questions that members of a culture answer to reveal the values of that culture. There are three possible answers to each question (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, pp. 97-102). What is human nature? Possible answers: Human nature is fundamentally good. Human nature is a combination of good and evil. Human nature is essentially evil. What is the relationship between humans and nature? Possible answers: Humans dominate nature. Nature dominates humans. Humans live in harmony with nature. What is the relationship between humans? Possible answers: Individualism-emphasizes the individual over groups. Collectivism-emphasizes the extended family and group loyalty. Collateral-emphasizes connection to other individuals even after death. What is the preferred activity? Possible answers: Doing Orientation-emphasizes productivity. Growing Orientation-emphasizes spiritual aspects of life. Being Orientation-emphasizes self-actualization. What is the orientation toward time? Possible answers: Past-an awareness of the history contributes to an understanding of contemporary life. Present Orientation-living fully in the moment. Future Orientation- planning for the future. “Kluckholm and Stodbeck believed that, although all responses are possible in all societies, each society has one, or possibly two, preferred responses to each question…” (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 96). ANALYSIS When comparing my experience with the Kluckholm and Stodbeck Value Orientation, I would like to focus on two major questions: “What is human nature?” and “What is the relationship between humans?” First, What is human nature? Reformed Jewish people hope and wish that humans are basically good, but they recognize that a mixture of good and evil is more actual. This is expressed by their firm belief of justice. Justice exists to handle those who do not follow the laws and commandments. Although modern day Jews do not believe in stoning people as they did in the Bible, they do however believe in consequences of your actions. Although someone may need to be the recipient of justice, they understand that everyone will sin at some point in their life. Second, “What is the relationship between humans?” As I was walking through the temple with Rabbi Hermann, he showed me what he called his “favorite hallway in the Temple.” (Hermann, 2013) This hallway was covered with pictures of people of the congregation. Some were of people completing their confirmation, others were of past rabbis and their families, and some were of different people advancing in the religion. The pictures that he referred to the most were those with families in them. He told me that the family is the most important unit one can be a part of. The Reformed Jewish answer to this question is the individual is important. It is the individual who has agency to act and the individual who has consequences for those actions. However, the individual without the family is not as significant. During the meeting, everyone from the Jewish congregation came as a family. Again, showing me how important the family is to them. It seems to me that the Jewish people are a combination of individualism and collectivism. REFLECTION I have to admit, this experience has been a good one. I was skeptical at the beginning, but I now appreciate what I have experienced. The Reformed Jewish Community is not that different than that of my own. We share a lot of the same beliefs and goals in this life. This whole experience showed me that Jews from the Bible are a lot different than Jews of today. I always thought that they were a little weird, but my attitude has changed, and I have found a new respect for these people. Going into this project with the Value orientation at the ready really helped me. It gave me direction as to what to be looking for and what questions to be asking. I have learned that I need to get to know people, cultures, groups, etc… before I can place a judgment on them. I also came to the realization that I would want people to offer me the same kindness. By going out of my comfort zone, I was able to learn more about another religion, another way of life, and more about who I am, and what I want to become as a human being. WORKS CITED Hermann, B. M. (2013, September 19). Visit to the Temple Emanu-El. (J. G. Heap, Interviewer) Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural communication in contexts. (7th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. Sprunger, M. J. (2013). Belief Comparision of the World’s Major Religions. Salt Lake Community College. Wigington, J. (2013, September 14). (J. G. Heap,


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