Yonah and the Mikveh Fish:

a childrens book

by Haviva Ner-David

Jonah and the Mikveh Fish

Meet Yonah, a quirky kid obsessed with fish, who is about to start kindergarten. 

Meet Yonah, a quirky kid obsessed with fish, who is about to start kindergarten. The day before school starts, Yonah’s parents take her to the mikveh, a ritual immersion pool, to mark her transition from preschool to kindergarten. When her brother, who also went to the mikveh when he was starting kindergarten, tells her she’ll love the fish at the mikveh, she is excited to go. But when she goes into the pool to dunk, she can’t find the fish. Was her brother just teasing? Read Yonah and the Mikveh Fish to find out!.

Yonah and the Mikveh Fish was born from the desire of Rabbi Haviva Ner-David and Cantor Rachel Stock Spilker, both involved in the open mikveh movement, to introduce the ritual of full body mikveh immersion to children and their families. Mikveh is an experiential and meaningful option for people of all ages to mark transitions, significant occasions, and life cycle events.

Over the past twenty years, there has been a mikveh renaissance in the progressive Jewish world. Open community mikvaot (plural of mikveh) — where people can immerse how and when they choose – are popping up around the globe. By following lovable Yonah as she prepares for kindergarten at the mikveh, we hope children and adults will begin to imagine going to the mikveh themselves.

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

Hope Valley:
a Novel


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

To Die in Secret

To Die in Secret