The Layers Project Magazine

Insights Into The Lives of Jewish Women


Al Chet

September 18, 2018 | Merri Ukraincik
Categories: Features

My G-d, the G-d of Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah, May all my cries of al chet reach you through my tears –   For the sins I have sinned in my praying For the sins I have sinned when I could not pray at all For the sins I have sinned by shouting in Continue Reading »

Apologizing to Mrs. S

September 17, 2018 | Rachel Hercman, LCSW
Categories: Features

Until I got to college, I was a fairly lazy student and found most classes to be unstimulating. Looking back, I certainly had good teachers, but between the many school rules, academic pressure, and being forced to sit at a desk for hours, it just didn’t do it for me. I spent much of class Continue Reading »

Ilui Neshama: Elevation of the Soul

September 17, 2018 | Ariele Mortkowitz
Categories: Features

On Rosh Hashanah, I saw holiness in the sanctuary. It was a most beautiful moment in its rawness, its honesty, its sincerity. As we waited as a kehillah, a collective, to hear the final shofar blasts, we paused for the recitation of the Mourner’s Kaddish. The individual voices of those amongst us who had felt the Continue Reading »

Forgiving, For You.

September 13, 2018 | Shira Lankin Sheps
Categories: Features

We all know the feeling. The heart-pounding, reverberating through our whole bodies. Heads feeling swollen with anger. The full body ache of hurt. That feeling when someone close to us betrays us. When someone rebuffs our efforts of kindness. When someone plays “the victim.” When they twist our words and mangle our intentions. When they Continue Reading »

When He Wouldn’t Say My Name

August 12, 2018 | Shira Lankin Sheps
Categories: Features

Recently I went away for Shabbos. People close to us sponsored a kiddush in our honor, and it was to be hosted at shul. When I got to shul, it was already pretty late and davening was almost over. I slid into the back of the women’s section and opened a siddur, and began to Continue Reading »

26, Jewish, Single Mother

August 2, 2018 | Jennifer Grinberg
Categories: Features

It can be a magical time of exploring. What happens when you’re a 26-year-old Jewish single mother? What happens to the magic? For the last six years, I have struggled in more ways than I thought possible. Before I went on my journey to find spirituality, I got married because I got pregnant. I overlooked Continue Reading »

Should We Still Mourn on Tishaa Ba’av? An Olah Chadasha Perspective.

July 21, 2018 | Shira Lankin Sheps
Categories: Features

As I prepare myself to listen to Eicha, I step out of my new home in the hills of Jerusalem and observe her. The barren, destitute city that I know is waiting for me within those pages is nowhere to be seen. Instead, I see a landscape full of twinkling lights, highways full of cars, Continue Reading »

It Could Happen to You: How I Became Addicted to Painkillers

July 15, 2018 | Rachel Cohen
Categories: Features

In my world, drugs were a shrouded secret, spoken about in hushed voices, whispered behind cupped hands as though the mere utterance of the word aloud was dangerous. As children, we were warned to ‘say nope to dope’, as teenagers, accosted with cautionary tales of those whose lives were ruined by one taste of the Continue Reading »

When G-d Says No: Coping with Miscarriage

July 11, 2018 | Emily Wind
Categories: Features

When we found out I was pregnant, we were overjoyed. We couldn’t wait to share the news. In line with my type-A, plan-ahead personality, I wrote out a schedule of exactly who we could tell and when over the next three months, starting with immediate family. Thankfully, we were about to visit them in the Continue Reading »

Say it Out Loud: Struggling with Childhood Speech Apraxia

July 9, 2018 | Golda Hutchison
Categories: Features

The first few moments of my life were nearly my last. While my mother was in labor, my heart rate dropped rapidly and the doctor had to perform an emergency c-section to save my life. He found the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around my neck, cutting off the flow of oxygen to my brain. To Continue Reading »

Learning and Growing From a Life Fully Lived

June 27, 2018 | Esther Snyder
Categories: Features

I will never forget the text that I received on January 12th, 2014: “I know that you can’t get texts while you’re away but I don’t know if you heard that Daniella passed away.” I had to read the message a few times in order to comprehend that Daniella, my friend and former roommate, a Continue Reading »

The Things They Tell You

June 25, 2018 | Gigi Bergman
Categories: Features

I wrote this piece in response to the onslaught of negative messages we get about our bodies every day. Each person gets them from different sources. “They” might be the media’s singular portrayal of beauty. “They” might be a shadchan. “They” might be ads for weight loss programs, gyms, or even food packaging.  “They” might Continue Reading »