As a writer, photographer and trained clinical social worker, I have been looking for a project to inspire me, and an opportunity to help other people begin to embrace the nuance and complexity in our lives. 

 

Around a year ago I started a blog, where I began to tell my story of chronic illness and journey to recovery. I started it because I felt like I was hiding and lying about what made my life complicated, messy, challenging and ultimately beautiful.

 

Hiding my challenges also stunted my growth. Telling people, “I’m fine,” robbed me of the healing connections of friendship. The veneer of social media masked my unique life experience and perspective.

 

When I reached out and let people see me- the real me, struggles and all- I felt more complete and secure than I ever could have, while hiding.

 

I think probably the most important lesson that I learned from living a highly active and invisible inner life, is that there are endless variations of challenges, struggles and triumphs that exist within each person. Human connection can make the hard things more bearable and joys more purposeful.

 

In a time of extremes, polarity and difference- I want to shine a little light on the inner life of Jewish women- who may be different for a multitude of reasons, but getting to know them may help us discover that we share things too.

 

This blog will host in depth profiles of real Jewish women- of all kinds, who would be willing to share their complicated, messy, beautiful lives. These profiles will be a series of images and an interview where we get to learn about what makes each woman unique. We will discuss challenges and triumphs. The space between how they see themselves, and how the world sees them. The blessings and the moments we say, “this too shall pass.”

 

I believe that every woman has hidden depths and an interesting story to tell.

 

If you are ready to be honest, we are ready to listen.

 

Shira

The Layers Project: 

In Depth Insights into the Lives of Jewish Women