Evaluation Report - Executive Summary

2014–2015 School Year

Average score to selected statements (1= fully disagree; 5=fully agree)

 a.  4.19 I would like everyone to keep the Ten Commandments.

  1. 4.42 The Ten Commandments entered the world via the Jewish people, and I am proud of that. 

  2. 3.60 As a result of the program, I have a better understanding of the meaning of the Ten Commandments.

  3. 3.83 I want to live and behave according to the values of the Ten Commandments.

  4. 3.83 I think that everyone can apply the Ten Commandments in his/her daily life. 

Aggregate Agreement

  1. 56%  As a result of the program they decided to be more careful about fulfilling these Commandments in their lives.

  2. 42%  Shared the information they had acquired in the program with people outside school (family, friends…).

  3. 68%  Would recommend to a friend entering 7th grade to take part in the program “to a great extent” or “to a very great extent.”

  4. 77%  Think that the workshop leader led the program in an interesting manner “to a great extent” or “to a very great extent.”

  5. 64%  Think that the program is innovative “to a great extent” or “to a very great extent.”

  6. 57%  Reported that the topic of the Ten Commandments interested them “to a great extent” or “to a very great extent.”

  7. 57%  Reported that the Climax Program (the interactive multimedia “Ten Commandments Game Show” at the end of the year) was meaningful for them “to a great extent” or “to a very great extent.”

 

Selected Quotations

In response to the statement: “Indicate two things that you have taken away from the program,” a range of responses were received, which can be divided into the following areas:

Familiarity with the Ten Commandments and Their Significance for Building a Better World
  • “I learned that the Ten Commandments were intended not only for the Jewish people, but influence the whole world. I think that every person alive ought to behave according to the Ten Commandments. If everyone does his part and behaves with respect toward others, contributes, helps, and behaves with human decency and consideration, we will build for ourselves a better and nicer world.”

  • “I came to know the Ten Commandments better, especially during my bar mitzvah year! Now I will act to a great extent according to the Ten Commandments.”

  • “I learned that the Ten Commandments are not just slogans but things to be done every day as a simple but effective way of life.” Improving Behavior

  • “I learned to be caring towards people and I got ethical value from the Ten Commandments.”

  • “I learned to be a better person and help those around me.”

  • “I learned how important it is to be a moral, reliable person, sensitive to those around me, etc. The Ten Commandments are (higher) values and are important.”

  • “The things I learned and that benefitted me from ‘Project Aseret’ are to be more tolerant to those around me and to know that there are things about which I simply need to be happy with what I have.”

Strengthening Jewish Identity and Pride
  • “Project Aseret helped me connect more to the heritage of the Jewish people and enabled me to learn the importance of the tradition and the mitzvot ( commandments) of the Jewish people.”

  • “The first thing is not to be afraid of anything but God, and the second thing is to be prouder Jew than everyone.”

  • “I learned that l ought to pay more attention to Judaism in my daily life.”

  • “I learned more about Judaism and the core values and the most important values for the Jewish people and for life in general.”

 

New and Deeper Understanding of Specific Commandments (among the Ten)

  • “I learned that even if you take a simple and inexpensive item from someone, it is considered stealing. In addition, I learned how much the Ten Commandments are something considered very ancient that are (still) connected to our lives today in the 21st century.”

  • “I decided to keep Shabbat more and to know that it has a very important value for the Jewish people today."

  • “Don't Steal"’ – I learned that [taking something] without the permission or knowledge [of the owner], even if ( I think) he would let me borrow it from him, it can be considered stealing." 

  • "Don't commit adultery" – I learned the meaning of this Commandment.”

Teacher Questionnaire

Average score to selected statements (1= fully disagree; 5=fully agree)

  1. 4.20 The students are familiar with and aware of the Ten Commandmxents. 

  2. 4.00 The students understand the Ten Commandments and their underlying values

  3. 3.90 As a result of the program, the topic of the Ten Commandments came up in class discussion 

  4. 3.90 The students see the Ten Commandments as relevant for them and for Israeli society

  5. 3.70 The program generated curiosity about the Jewish heritage

  6. 3.20 The program had a (positive) influence on the students’ behavior. 

  7. 3.80 The project contributes to the students’ development in the realm of values

  8. 4.18 The project contributes to the enrichment of the students’ Jewish identity.

  9. 4.55 It is important to have this project in a school. 

  10. 4.55 I will recommend to a coordinator from another school to adopt the project 

  11. 4.00 The project contributed something to me personally

  12. 4.40 The students participated in the workshop. 

  13. 4.30 The program is relevant to the students’ lives. 

  14. 4.60 The lesson plans of the workshops are constructed in a professional manner. 

  15. 4.80 The program workshop leaders were professional.

  16. 4.80 The program workshop leaders communicated a message clearly. 

  17. 4.80 The program workshop leaders retained the students’ attention. 

  18. 4.60 The climax day program added and contributed significantly to the project. 

 

Aggregate Agreement

  1. 59%  Replied that they were interested in a Faculty Bet Midrash (study sessions) for them on the topic of the Ten Commandments.

  2. 79%  Replied that they were interested in the follow up program for the 8th grade.

 

In response to the question “Why is it important to have this program in the school?” the following various responses were received:

  • “The project constitutes a link connecting secular young people to the roots of faith and tradition in a way that does not generate antagonism on their part, and that is so, in my opinion, because the workshop leaders who teach the sessions do not express judgment, condescension, or any other dismissive attitude. The workshop leaders listen, express acceptance and understanding, and engage in an authentic dialogue with the young people. I too, as the teacher, have no feeling of a group coming with missionary motives.”

  • “The students were exposed to the Ten Commandments not only from the Jewish angle but as social laws and universal values. The Ten Commandments became relevant to their daily lives.”

  • “The project creates a different discourse, on another level from what regular teachers offer. The project transforms the content to be more relevant for the students.”

  • “The program is conducted in a special experiential manner that brings about perceptual and ethical change in the student.”

  • “To imbue the foundations upon which is built a more proper and value-driven society. Especially important in our times with the disconnection (of so many) from the tradition.”

  • “Generates curiosity among the students, and the program gives them efficient tools for dealing with issues among the students in the class with greater respect, empathy, and inclusion.

  • “The Ten Commandments, in the manner in which you teach them, become ‘friendly’ for the most unbelieving Jew. Especially at this life stage of becoming Bat/Bar Mitzva, they are preparing their "Family Roots Study Project" (every 7th grade student has this assignment), and dealing with their connection to their family, the youth need guidance when it comes to values. The study of the Ten Commandments in this unique fashion enables them to take a good look inside themselves and understand the magnitude of their responsibility and the mission they have to disseminate the great light (that is contained) in the form of the Ten Commandments. What, if not the Ten Commandments, is appropriate to be taught in a Jewish school as core values?

The Parents’ Perspective

"Judaism has significant basic values for interpersonal relationships and if we follow them, we’ll be a better society and I’m not referring to the religious aspect but the social.”

 

“The best program we had. Both this school and the previous school I worked at, have had plenty of special programs and this is the best ever – relevant to the children in terms of their abilities, age, and environment”.

 

As a part of the questionnaire at the end of the year (given at the end of the Climax Program), the parents of students who took the program were asked to articulate their general impression of the Project Aseret program. A high percentage of the responses were very positive and focused on their satisfaction with the added value the program gave the students. 

 

Parents referred to the importance of teaching values at schools (“I’m in favor of teaching the children values, humility and to learn to accept others”, “It is important that children will study the Ten Commandments which are the basis of everything that exists”, “Learning the Ten Commandments is very essential and important, to provide the children with life values and life in a better world”) and their satisfaction with the connection to Jewish tradition (“enables him to learn and feel part of Jewish history and learn the core values”).

Distribution of Parents’ responses to items regarding “Climax Day” (end of the year)

 

Question                                                  To a Very great extent     Great extent     Moderate extent    small extent    Not at all

 

 

The  “Climax Day” was enjoyable                    65.6%                        26.1%                       6.1%                       1%                1.3%

 

The quiz was interesting                                        69.5%                             21.6%                          6.7%                           1.3%                1%     

 

The quiz was unnecessary                                      9.6%                                3.8%                            5.5%                          8.2%                73%

The Climax Day enabled me

to have quality time with my child                          54.3%                              26.5%                          8.9%                          5%                   5.3%

I learned new things through the quiz                    50.5%                                24%                             16.6%                        4.5%                 4.5%

The “Climax Day” created a desire

to deepen my knowledge about

the core values of the Ten Commandments           40.5%                                28.4%                           18.7%                        8%                   4.3%

 

 

Parents’ verbal responses were mostly very positive and related a general positive impression from the Climax Day, high satisfaction with the content, as well as with the educational aspect of the day and its contribution to family unity:

 

  • "Very important and enjoyable day. I’m happy I participated. Well done!!"

 

  • “Excellent instructors, it was very exciting at the entrance to the Western Wall plaza with drums and shofar blowing. The interactive quiz is a great idea for kids”​

  • “Contemporary and authentic up-to-date approach; it was very interesting to hear the presenter  and especially the quiz added and strengthened my knowledge of values”.

 

  • “It was very instructive and the emphasis on how to behave was reinforcement for us parents who teach our children about values that are based on the Ten Commandments. The quiz demonstrated this to the students in a way that enabled them to understand and appreciate why we insist to educate them with these values – very important!”

 

  • “Great day, great to spend time with my son and be with him”, “Needed quality time with my daughter. An excellent experience”.

 

 

The Climax Day contributed to the parents’ attachment to the program, their awareness of its content and it was also a learning experience for them:

 

  • "It is very important to educate the parents as well – usually children go with their parents to malls and this time they had a whole day of values education and connection to our Jewish roots. This day strengthened the sense of belonging and commitment to the Jewish people, and its beauty. The basis of values on which our entire essence is based on.  It was educational also for parents –  the tour was educational in an innovative way.”

 

  • "After the Climax Day parents said it was amazing. They said it connects to values, the roots of the Jewish people and they were very excited to understand what the children learned during the year”.

 

  • "The Climax Day in Jerusalem was so impressive and exceptional and had a lot of added value for both parents and children. It was important that parents were a part of it in order to understand the process their children went through during the year. Although we had told them, it wasn’t as significant as the quiz where they experienced for themselves the meaning of things and understood more”.

 

Student Questionnaire

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