The Layers Project is a response to our society's projection of the need to be "perfect," on today's Jewish woman.
It explores our complex and nuanced lives, full of challenge and triumph. The space between the truth, what we tell ourselves, and what we tell others.
Women, especially Jewish women are layered. What we choose to expose about ourselves, our bodies, relationships and struggles is carefully curated within the confines of our culture and how we understand our religious fulfillment. We sometimes struggle with defining "modesty" and how much of ourselves can we share without censure. We want to be a part of the community, yet we struggle when our challenges or obstacles make it impossible to fall into the expected sameness.
This conflict of censoring ourselves leads to alienation and suffering. We hurt not only because we have been given specific challenges, but now we often are wrestling with them "alone".
So let's embrace "our tough stuff"- let's talk about it, support each other, appreciate the complex blessings of our successes and struggles. Let's learn from what makes us different, and cherish what we share. We also need to begin to talk about what makes our lives wonderful, and flesh it out beyond a single Facebook status or tweet. Let's talk about what we want, what we dream for, what we pray for. Let's embrace and share what brings us joy, so we can help other's find their own happiness.
Jewish femininity can be heartbreaking, impatient, nerve-wracking, devastating and isolating. Jewish femininity can also be sacred, secret, essential and sweet. It is as diverse as our identities, the labels we give ourselves, and the beliefs we hold true.
So let's dig a little deeper and discover together what lies beneath those layers.