Haviva Ner-David is a post-denominational interspiritual rabbi, spiritual director, writer and social activist living on Kibbutz Hannaton in the Galilee. She is the founder of Shmaya: A Mikveh for Mind, Body and Soul, the only human-built mikveh in Israel that is open to all to immerse as they choose. At Shmaya, she facilitates mikveh workshops for a wide variety of groups from across Israel and around the world, and creates and officiates both traditional and innovative immersion ceremonies.
Haviva is a spiritual director both online and in person for individuals and couples, and she loves combining her mikveh work with spiritual direction when appropriate by helping mikveh clients create kavanot (holy intentions) and personalized ceremonies for their immersion experiences. Her certification in spiritual direction is from The One Spirit Interfaith-Interspiritual Seminary in NYC, where she was also ordained as an interfaith minister. Haviva did intensive trainings in dreamwork, inner child work and nature soul work. Her rabbinical ordination is from Rabbi Aryeh Strikovsky, an Orthodox rabbi in Jerusalem (she was the first woman to be publicly ordained by an Orthodox rabbi), which she received while also earning her doctorate from Bar Ilan University on the subject of mikveh and menstrual purity.
Haviva is the author of three spiritual journey memoirs. The first, Life on the Fringes: A Feminist Journey Towards Traditional Rabbinic Ordination, was a runner up for the National Jewish Book Award, and the second, Chanah’s Voice: A Rabbi Wrestles with Gender, Commandment and the Women’s Rituals of Baking, Bathing and Brightening, was hailed as an even more important book than her first. Both are published by Ben Yehudah Press, who is also publishing her forthcoming Getting (and Staying) Married Jewishly: Preparing for your Life Together with Ancient and Modern Wisdom. The third spiritual journey memoir, Dreaming Against the Current: A Rabbi’s Soul Journey, came out in December 2021 and is about her journey into interspirituality and dreamwork. Her debut novel, Hope Valley, came out in April 2021, and is about an unexpected friendship between two Israeli women, one Palestinian and one Jewish.
Her second novel, To Die in Secret, came out in July 2023 and takes place during the Covid pandemic. It is about a woman who goes back to the U.S. after having lived on a kibbutz in Israel for 40 years, when her only sister and only nephew are found dead in their big farmhouse in the outskirts of Salem, Massachusetts. Haviva also co-authored the only children’s book about mikveh, Yonah and the Mikveh Fish, which also came out in 2023.