Featured Essays

Liba’s Story: Living & Healing Through Grief

By Liba Lurie | December 5, 2022

Written By Liba Lurie in The Layers Writing Workshops. Photos by Shira Lankin Sheps (1/5) “When Will She Be Home?” It had been months since I had heard from my father.  It’s Friday night, on May 28th, 1993. I’m 8 years old and it’s 8pm, which means only one thing: I’m perched in my self-designated…

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Giving it to G-d

By Sarah Pachter | September 22, 2022

“Is everything okay?” I timidly ask in the examination room. I’m anxiously waiting as the doctor performs the very first ultrasound. “I hear the heart. It sounds good,” she says and I breathe a sigh of relief knowing all too well what it feels like when the doctor doesn’t. But that feeling is short-lived. The…

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The Life Waiting For Me: A Letter

By Rivka Mazal Tauber | September 15, 2022

This essay was workshopped in The Layers Writing Workshops. Dear Hashem,  You know everything that I have been through.  You know that when I was 15 and struggling with deep mental health challenges, I had to drop out of high school. You saw how I could no longer continue being in school and pretend to…

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Where I’m Meant To Be

By Sefira Lightstone | August 29, 2022

THIS ESSAY WAS WORKSHOPPED IN THE LAYERS WRITING WORKSHOPS. There was something I wanted.  Something I was so busy dreaming of, it consumed my daily thoughts and seeped into my sleep.  When I thought of it, my chest would feel heavy because of how much space it took up.  I had a vision of a…

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Meeting Myself In the Attic

By Nathalie Levy Riess | August 18, 2022

This essay was workshopped in The Layers Writing Workshops. I never thought I would have the courage to finally face the world. For so long I was afraid to admit it, because really, I was avoiding it. I grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, in a very well-to-do Jewish community where many kids my age had…

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When It Was Enough

By Perry Dozetas | August 11, 2022

This essay was workshopped in The Layers Writing & Publishing Workshop. They would say something hateful.  I was so young, I couldn’t comprehend why they were hurting me for no reason.  I had so much love to give and they would bat it away. I was drowning in rejection.  No matter how I reacted to…

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Looking Toward the Heavens

By Shira Lankin Sheps | August 7, 2022

Last night was surreal. I sat with some of my sisters, my mother, and my daughter in the darkness listening to the reading of Meggilat Eicha. In the distance we could hear rumbling; of warplanes, rockets, and the explosions of the Iron dome. My daughter was squeezing my hand, I could feel fear making her…

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All The Things I Can & Cannot Remember

By Sarah Raanan | July 5, 2022

This Story Contains: Pregnancy Loss, Pregnancy Termination, Grief This essay was written and workshopped in The Layers Writing & Publishing Your Personal Essay Workshop.  “In a town called Kfar Saba, not far from where I live, in a tall building above a ‘Fresh Market’ supermarket, there was a gynecologist’s office. Don’t ask me what the…

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Forever On A Blurry Road: Memories of A Past Relationship

By Anonymous | May 12, 2022

He drove a red Jeep Cherokee Laredo. It’s a noticeable car, and for years, I noticed them everywhere. I would be hit with a rush of bittersweet memories, thinking all at once of every time he drove up to my house and I ran out to meet him, every time we drove together. That time…

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The Night I Was Redeemed

By Yael Saffra | April 14, 2022

It was the night of the Exodus.  There we were in our homes; waiting, terrified, and exhilarated.  As per Moses’s command, we prepared the sacrificial lamb. We marked our doorposts with its blood, and as a family unit, hastily ate its roasted meat.  Loins girded, sandals on our feet, and staffs in our hands; we…

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Layers Profiles

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Ahava Emunah’s Story: Living with Love and Faith


Aliza’s Story: The Ultimate Gift


Aliza’s Story: My Body, My Babies


Mila’s Story: You Can Never Erase Them


Abbie’s Story: Anything for You


Brooke’s Story: Love Beyond Loss

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