Our Philosophy

The Torah states:

“I have placed life and death before you, blessing and curse. And you shall Choose Life, so that you will live, you and your offspring: To love Hashem your G-d, to listen to His voice and to cleave to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days. To dwell upon the land that Hashem swore to your forefathers, to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Yaakov, to give to them.” (Devarim 30:19-20)

At Shirat Devorah, we aim to help women understand the greatness of their lives. Each of us works to experience the Divinity around us, but especially the Divinity within us. To feel so full of life that we can only do great things in the world. We aim to foster a zest for life and a respect for its sanctity.

This philosophy is expressed through our three main principles: Perspective, Integration, and Balance.

At Shirat Devorah, we believe in educating women about the story of the Jewish People, our ideas, and our relationship to the world around us. We believe that a student who has the “big picture” will be empowered to find her place within it. We aim to answer the questions:

Who are the Jewish People?

What is their role in World History?

Who are the major players in Jewish History?

What are the major schools of thought in the Jewish World?

How can I find my place within the larger picture?

Torah is not simply a way of thought, it is a way of life. The focus of the learning at Shirat Devorah is personal growth. Everything we learn becomes integrated into how we relate to ourselves and the world around us. For example, the laws of Kashrut and Shabbat can be learned from a book, but are best absorbed and understood through hands on application. We thus have hands on experiential learning, allowing students to apply these laws in a similar way as they will in their own homes. Similarly, there are many books on prayer, but no book will give you a relationship with G-d. Our courses on prayer, our hikes in the woods, are focused on creating a deep personal relationship.

We look at our students as complete beings, with intellects, bodies, psyches and souls. Living a complete Jewish life means becoming strong in all of these areas. When our minds and bodies are functioning at their best, our souls can use them to achieve greatness. The Shirat Devorah program emphasizes nutrition, exercise, rest, and joy. We foster a respect for ourselves, each other and our Holy Land.

Each woman comes into our doors with a bouquet of experiences, passions, and talents. Her Torah learning is not to replace her previous experience, but rather give it meaning and purpose. Each woman’s learning can empower her to use her gifts in the service of humanity.

The Jewish people are given the mitzvah to serve Hashem with Joy. We thus work on being more joyful through song, dance, and playful laughter.