Hope Valley:

a Novel

by Haviva Ner-David
Publication Date: April, 2020

hope valley

Hope Valley is the story of two women who come together to form the unlikeliest of friendships… 

Hope Valley is the story of two women who come together to form the unlikeliest of friendships. Tikvah, a Jewish-Israeli second-generation Holocaust survivor, is a frustrated artist with multiple sclerosis and a husband who suffers from trauma from the First Lebanon War. Ruby, a Palestinian-Israeli second-generation Nakba survivor, is a renowned artist who has come back to her village after many years abroad, to be treated for cancer.

At first, Ruby befriends Tikvah to get into her house and find the diary her own late father left hidden there, before he was expelled from the village in 1948.  But as a relationship develops, the women begin not only to open up to each other’s narratives and humanity, but also to uncover secrets from their own lives—past and present—that will have lasting consequences for their futures and well as those of their families.


How the women ultimately come to terms with life’s difficulties, disruptions and disappointments, and with each other, speaks to the enduring strength of the human spirit.

Articles, Reviews, Awards and Event Recordings

Gila Green – Guest Post: Author Haviva Ner-David

Bedazzled Ink: Conversation between Orna Taub and Haviva Ner-David

Awards: Hope Valley is a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Best Book of the Year 2021 Awards!

Recording of a book talk the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Review of Hope Valley in Reading Jewish Fiction

Book Club: Jewish Women’s Archive

Review – Hope Valley in Reading Jewish Fiction

Book Talk – Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Awards: Hope Valley was chosen for the Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) Bookshelf

Book Talk Recording: Hadassah Baltimore Lunch and Learn

Book Review: Telling Stories of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Book Review: Elizabeth Palmer, editor at the Christian Century Magazine

Book review: The New Hampshire Jewish Reporter

Book talk with the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism

Torah Commands Both Love and Vengeance. In Israel, We Face that Contradiction Every Day.

Literary Modiin April Author Event

Looking for Hope: A writer finds inspiration in Jewish-Palestinian friendship, especially now

The Gathering: A Nun, a Rabbi and Hope Valley (Book Talk)

Hope Valley: A Novel Approach to Israeli and Palestinian Women’s Lives

Review by Linda Gradstein

Hope is a much-needed, often used, and often little understood concept.

Tablet Mag – Rabbi Haviva Ner-David joins us to talk about the partnership between head and heart

A Book Talk with Haviva Ner-David & Amy Gottlieb

Memoirist turns to fiction with tale of Arab, Jewish women’s unlikely friendship

Review from the Neshamah Center

Writing from Another’s Point of View

Book Event at the American Jewish University

Interview on the FSHD Society Radio Show

Tikkun magazine – Israeli Dirt Becomes Hope Valley

FSHD Society – Partners in Pain, Harbingers of Hope

Book Launch Event

About the Author

Haviva Ner-David is a writer and rabbi. In 2006 she became the first woman to publicly receive Orthodox rabbinic ordination, only to leave Orthodoxy and call herself a post-denominational rabbi. Ten years later, she received interfaith ordination from the One Spirit Interfaith-Interspiritual Seminary and now goes by post-denominational inter-spiritual rabbi.

She writes both fiction and non-fiction and is the author of three spiritual journey memoirs, a novel, short stories, essays, a blog on Times of Israel, scholarly articles and a guidebook for engaged couples. Her short story, “Blame,” won the 2016 Lilith Magazine short fiction contest.
Link to short story.

Her rabbinic specialties are spiritual companionship, water immersion rituals, wedding and marriage preparation, coming of age ceremonies and other ritual and ceremony creation and innovation. Founding rabbi of Shmaya: A Mikveh for Mind, Body and Soul on Kibbutz Hannaton in the Lower Galilee, she officiates and helps create on-site personalized immersion ritual ceremonies and facilitates group mikveh workshops. As a spiritual companion, she works with individuals and couples and specializes in dreamwork, inner child work and nature soul work, as well as general sacred listening.

Photo credit: Carmel Avivi

Other books by the author

Life on the Fringes:
A Feminist Journey Towards Traditional Rabbinic Ordination

Chanah’s Voice:
A Rabbi Wrestles with Gender, Commandment, and the Women’s Rituals of Baking, Bathing and Brightening

Getting (and Staying) Married Jewishly:
Preparing for your Life Together with Ancient and Modern Wisdom

Dreaming Against The Current: A Rabbi’s Soul Journey

Yonah and the Mikveh Fish