Jessica is currently developing a radio documentary about the life of Gloria Segovia Cruz. Born in San Miguel, El Salvador Gloria’s tumultuous early years were spent at an abusive orphanage for young girls. Married at an early age, she promptly had two children and soon faced the looming threats of the Salvadoran Civil War. Walking mostly by foot, Gloria crossed the border illegally into the United States in 1984. Twenty-two years later and thanks to amnesty laws—now a resident, Gloria’s story is one of hard work, determination, and luck. Given her green card in October 2006, Gloria returned to her native El Salvador and visited family members for the first time in twenty-two years. Jessica hopes to document Gloria’s life as an immigrant to the United States focusing on her experience in two countries, both old and new.
Jessica and project partner Devorah Shubowitz are in the exploratory phase for the development of a sex-education/awareness curriculum for Modern Orthodox and Hassidic Jewish women, specifically future brides. After engagement, Jewish women routinely take “kallah” classes in order to prepare themselves for their new lives as wives and future mothers. Besides purity laws, the discussion of physical anatomy, functions of sex, wedding-night expectations, and sexual health varies by community. We aim to develop a religiously respectful, community-approved, and halachically (Jewish law) sound curriculum that answers questions and dispels popular myths about this very important experience in all young women’s lives.