JACKSON, NJ – Jackson Township has always had musical and athletic talent. We have had several Major League ball players, an NHL player and even a world famous popstar and her daughter who appeared on American Idol.
Now, as the community changes dynamics, an Orthodox Jewish woman and singer has taken the spotlight, being featured this week in Glamour Magazine.
Moved to Jackson from Monsey, New York, Devorah Schwartz is breaking the mold of the traditional Orthodox Jewish woman. According to the Glamour article, Schwartz can only perform in front of women and girls in her virtual concerts as men are prohibited from listening.
“Here, traditional laws of modesty dictate that men are forbidden from hearing female singing—kol isha, which translates to “the voice of a woman” and is taken literally,” Glamour reports.
Schwartz taught singing and dance at an all-girls school, but she was told by her voice coach, Steven Schnurnman she can be an international star. At the time, she was a newlywed. Her husband was a Yeshiva student in Lakewood.
“I just didn’t look at it like a choice,” she said in the Glamour interview. “My songs would never be sung at weddings, would never be played in stores, like the men’s songs. It’s sad, but that’s a choice I’m making.”
She had her husband’s approval as long as her music stayed true to their religious values and he even told her she’s not responsible or should be concerned about how other people feel about what she is doing. It wasn’t easy, she said she received harassment online about her new career path. She now has a growing YoutTube channel and the mention in Glamour is sure to give her following a boost.
You can read Devorah’s full story at Glamour.