David Jay Derovan
Born and raised in Los Angeles, David studied Torah at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, Yeshiva University, and Yeshivat HaKotel. He studied for Semicha at the
Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He is a graduate
of UCLA (BA) and the Ferkauf Graduate School of Yeshiva University (MS in
Secondary Jewish Education).
For over 40 years, David has taught Jewish studies and administered in Jewish schools. He has taught on every educational level and in every Jewish educational setting. He is a master teacher who excels in teaching Jewish texts and the necessary
skills for studying those texts independently. David has administered Jewish
schools and educational programs on the high school, university, yeshiva and
adult education levels. His expertise is in the design of curricula and the
preparation of curricular materials.
While still in university, David published his first book, Prayer, Yavneh
Studies #3 (New York: Yavneh, 1970) an anthology of articles that included a
comprehensive annotated bibliography. From 1972-1976, David was the Educational
Coordinator of the Yeshiva High School Seminars sponsored by Yeshiva University
and he designed the Yeshiva High School Seminar Source books. He also produced
all of the YU Torah Leadership Seminar Source books.
In 1978, he published the third edition of the SOY Haggadah as The
Passover Haggadah, edited with Moshe Berliner (Los Angeles: 1978), a
bestseller that sold over 30,000 copies. He also published a unique Shabbat
and Festival Shiron, edited with Robert Ives (Los Angeles 1982, 1985,
1991), which provides easy to follow instructions, as well as an English
translation and transliteration of all of the Shabbat rituals and songs. He
edited Spirituality Today [Jerusalem, 2002] and The OU Israel Center Anthology [Jerusalem, 2003] for the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
David also translated and edited Simcha Gelbard’s Judaism
for the Rite Reasons [Petach Tikva, 2003]. In addition, David has
published numerous articles and source books for educational use.
For the past 28 years, David has lived in Israel with his family, which has expanded to include eight grandchildren (Kein Yirbu!). He lives with his wife of 38 years, Linda (Billauer), in Ramat Beit Shemesh. David has taught in numerous schools in Israel. He was instrumental in founding the She’arim College in Har Nof, Jerusalem,
and served as its Associate Director for six years. He was the director of the
Jewish Values Education Institute at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem, and the director of Oraitah, an adult education Torah studies program in Ramat Beit Shemesh. He was a contributing editor to the second, revised edition of the Encyclopedia
In 2010, David published a book of essays on the Pesach Haggadah, You Shall Tell Your Son [French Creek Press].
David offers Shi’urim and lectures in the following areas:
- Kabbalah & Jewish Spirituality (“The Tikkun of the Sin of Dina: A Kabbalistic Approach to Chumash,” & “The Spirituality of Learning Torah”)
- Prayer (“Mystic Tools for Improving the Experience of Prayer,”
“The Interface between Tehilim and the Siddur”)
- Midrash and Aggadah (“The Resurrection Motif in the Midrash on the
Akedah,” “Women of the Talmud: A Case Study”)
- The Purpose of a Life of Torah & Mitzvot
- Shabbat and the Chagim (“Shabbat, Time & Again,” “Into the Depths of the Pesach Haggadah,” “The Secrets of the Shofar”)
- Guided, skills-based text study (“Acquiring an Independent Chumash
Study Method,” “Peeling Away the Layers to Reveal What’s Underneath:
A Gemara Sugya,” “Jazz Variations in the Last Chapters of Tehilim,”
“Chassidic Insights into Parashat HaShavu’a”)
David’s Shi’urim combine a sophisticated approach to Torah study aimed at an
educated audience. His Shi’urim are eye-opening experiences that expand the participant’s understanding of the depth of Torah.
David currently writes and distributes a weekly essay on the Shabbat Torah reading and the festivals. French Creek Press will soon publish David’s exciting new
work that features authentic Chassidic Torah in a fictional framework. Each
episode offers words of Torah taught by Reb Aharon, a fictional Rebbe, which
relate to the adventures of the Rebbe and his Chassidim.
Please support my efforts to bring to you Torah essays that are interesting, informative and inspiring. Thank you.