Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist, playwright and journalist who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. Naomi has written for the Jerusalem Post and other publications in Israel and abroad, as well as to her mailing list, about Israel and Jewish issues.

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Join Naomi in New York at the Skirball Center's Meet the Author Evening on April 25, 2017 at 6:30PM.



Naomi's tenth novel The Devil in Jerusalem has been chosen by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency as the number one Jewish book of the season.
The story - inspired by true events - is a chilling tale of the paths that so easily lead us astray, and the darkness within us all. “שטן
Click the book’s cover to learn more.


Watch Valérie Abécasis' interview with Naomi on French Channel 24's Culture program. The interview (in French) begins at the 4:00 minute mark.





Naomi has published ten internationally best-selling novels, and is the author of a hit play (Women's Minyan) that has been performed more than 500 times in Israel's National Theatre (Habimah) as well as in the United States and Argentina.
An Orthodox woman, feminist and iconoclast, Naomi is a tireless advocate for women's rights in Israel, waging a relentless campaign against domestic abuse and bias in rabbinical courts, as well as a successful Supreme Court case against gender segregation on Israeli buses.
With her tenth novel, The Devil in Jerusalem, Naomi continues her ground-breaking exploration of women in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world she began in 1989 with Jephte's Daughter, followed by Sotah and The Sacrifice of Tamar.
Naomi is a sought-after lecturer all over the world. If your group is interested in hosting Naomi, please click here.


March 2017 - Naomi spoke in the Paris region about her new book Les Soeurs Weiss, the French translation of The Sisters Weiss.
January 2017 - Naomi is interviewed by Valérie Abécasis on French Channel 24's Culture program. The interview (in French) begins at the 4:00 minute mark.
“LesDecember 2016 - Les Soeurs Weiss, the French translation of The Sisters Weiss, is published.
October 2016 - The Devil in Jerusalem is published in paperback.
November 2015 - The Jewish Telegraphic Agency puts The Devil in Jerusalem at the top of its list of the best Jewish books of the season.
November 2015 - Naomi lectured in Newton (MA), Boca Raton (FL), Miami (FL), St. Louis (MO), New York City, Atlanta (GA), Cherry Hill (NJ) and Santa Fe (NM).
“שטןAugust 2015 - Naomi’s new book, שטן בירושלים, a translation of The Devil in Jerusalem, is published.
Le Dixieme Chant8-19 March 2015 - Naomi toured France and Switzerland, speaking to her readers in Paris, Marseilles, Strasbourg and Geneva about her new French book, Le Dixieme Chant, a translation of The Tenth Song.
12-20 November 2014 - Naomi lectured at the Windsor Writer’s Conference in Windsor, ON as well as in Detroit, Toronto and Winnipeg.
The Sisters Weiss7 October 2014 - Naomi's ninth novel, The Sisters Weiss, was published in paperback. It's the story of two sisters from an ultra-Orthodox family in 1950s Brooklyn who take very different paths, and then find their lives unexpectedly intersecting again forty years later. To order the book from Amazon, click the book cover above.

8-17 August 2014 - Naomi was the scholar-in-residence on Kosherica's Kosher Baltic Cruise aboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines Star. The 9 night cruise visited Copenhagen, Rostock, Tallinn, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Stockholm.

Salone Internazionale del Libro 8-9 May 2014 - Naomi took part in a panel discussion on women in Israel, together with Fiamma Nirenstein and Elena Loewenthal, at the Salone Internazionale del Libro 2014 in Turin, Italy.

December 2013 - Watch an interview (in French) with Naomi about her struggle against the haredi war on women in Israel.
Watch an interview (in French) with Naomi about Le Serment.


December 2013 - Naomi visited Île-de-France to promote her new book Le serment (the French translation of The Covenant).


Sotah 15 March 2012 - Sotah was published in Italian as L'amora proibito. Read a review (in Italian).

Jephte's Daughter March 2012 - Jephte's Daughter was published in an Italian paperback edition, as Una moglie a Gerusalemme.

Le Fantôme de Dona Gracia Mendes October 2011 - The Ghost of Hannah Mendes was published in French as Le Fantôme de Dona Gracia Mendes. Read a review (in French).

The Tenth Song October 2011 - The Tenth Song was published in paperback.

May 2011 - Four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh directed a staged reading of Women's Minyan at New York's Westside Theater. The reading was produced by One Circle Productions, in partnership with Safe Horizon.

Watch the reading. Watch an interview with Naomi and Tovah Feldshuh.

Le serment November 2013 - The Covenant was published in French as Le serment.

November 2013 - Watch an interview with Naomi by Sharon Mor of Shaulina Productions about Naomi's new book The Sisters Weiss in Hebrew or in English.

6 November 2013 - Israel's Supreme Court reversed the District Court's decision against Naomi in the Sarah Shapiro case and ordered Shapiro to return the money she was awarded. Naomi agreed that the money be donated to charity.
October-November 2013 - Naomi toured the US, visiting twelve US cities and speaking about her new book, The Sisters Weiss.
The Sisters Weiss October 2013 - Naomi's ninth novel, The Sisters Weiss, was published. Read an article about it in the San Diego Jewish World.
Chains Around the Grass August 2013 - Chains Around the Grass was published in an Amazon Kindle edition.
July 2013 - An interview with Naomi about her trips to Spain to research her best-selling The Ghost of Hannah Mendes was featured in Jewish Travel.
December 2012 - Naomi's play Women's Minyan was performed by the West Boca Theatre Company at the Levis JCC in Boca Raton, Florida.
November 2012 - Naomi visited Île-de-France speaking about her books.
5 November 2012 - Naomi spoke at the Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue in London, England.

Categories

Shrieking at the Kotel

I found myself at the Kotel, or Western Wall, yesterday. Even though I live within walking distance of this profoundly moving site, the holiest in all Judaism, I don’t actually go very often. But a Bar Mitzvah invitation from American friends saw us get up early and walk through the Old City.

We took a shortcut through the Arab souk, deserted and a bit eerie so early in the morning. I was glad when we reached the turnoff to the security area leading to the Kotel. To my surprise, extra guards were stationed before the …

…continue reading Shrieking at the Kotel

The Lev Tahor Cult Exposed (Again)

Some of you might have heard about the cult pretending to be devout Jews called “Lev Tahor,” wanted all over the world for child abuse and forcing young underage girls into marriages with much older men.

The prestigious magazine Foreign Policy has published an eye-opening article about the cult that reads like my latest novel, Devil in Jerusalem, which is also about a dangerous cult pretending to be super-devout Jews.

You can read the article here (no subscription required).

Those seeking holiness, beware!

An Abuse of Sacred Trust

What happens when rabbis prey on people’s need for holiness?

The wave broke slowly. First, one woman from a close-knit National Religious community in Safed approached the town’s chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, son of Israel’s former Sephardic chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, describing how the charismatic rabbinical head of her community, a man credited with “magical powers,” had raped her. Over the next month, more than ten women came forward. Their stories were shockingly similar: When they sought rabbinical counseling on marital and fertility issues, their rabbi/counselor advised them to submit to sexual acts with him.

Picked …

…continue reading An Abuse of Sacred Trust

Protest The Outrageous Leniency of the Barry Freundel Verdict

All he wanted was to see women naked. Lots of men are like that. Hence the tsunami of internet porn. The difference is, he was a Rabbi, and instead of watching anonymous women who enjoy showing off their bodies, he was secretly taping his married congregants, candidates for conversion, and young college students as they showered and purified themselves in his synagogue’s ritual bath, many doing so at his demand as their religious mentor as they struggled to complete their conversion.

Much has been written and much said about the Barry Freundel scandal. Freundel, who was …

…continue reading Protest The Outrageous Leniency of the Barry Freundel Verdict

Mirror, mirror

Even if I don’t have the guts to let the whole, sordid truth hang out, perhaps incidentally my books have encouraged others to do so. If that is true, then I am glad.

I received a letter the other day from a reader. As with all respectful letters I receive from readers, I read it in its entirety and answered it. Because I don’t have permission to reveal the author’s name, let’s just call her Chava from Brooklyn:

Dear Naomi,

I just finished reading your latest novel, The Sisters Weiss. While I enjoyed parts of it, …

…continue reading Mirror, mirror

Naomi Ragen Vindicated in “Almost Total Victory”

Friends, here is a report from Friday’s English language edition of Haaretz, Israel’s most respected newspaper, explaining what the Supreme Court ruling in my favor really means.

Writer Ragen vindicated in plagiarism court deal by Maya Sela

A compromise agreement that represented an almost total victory for best-selling author Naomi Ragen was reached in the Supreme Court copyright violation suit against her. Then Jerusalem District Court Judge Joseph Shapira [now State Comptroller] had found in favor of author Sarah Shapiro, ruling that Ragen had violated Shapiro’s copyright. Ragen then appealed to the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, …

…continue reading Naomi Ragen Vindicated in “Almost Total Victory”

Naomi Ragen Wins A Second Plagiarism Suit in the Supreme Court

Yesterday I went to the Supreme Court of Israel with the hope that finally justice would be done and District Court Judge Yosef Shapira’s insulting, ugly, and false judgment against me for copyright infringement (which he called “literary theft” – something which simply does not exist) would be overturned, as was his previous judgment against me in another case.

I had hardly entered the courtroom when Chief Justices Naor, Chayot and Hendel immediately suggested throwing out Judge Shapira’s judgment, calling it “problematic,” and requiring my accuser Sarah Shapiro to pay back all the money she’d received …

…continue reading Naomi Ragen Wins A Second Plagiarism Suit in the Supreme Court

The Joys of the Grown-Up Life

To find a partner in life, to take care of them, put up with them, become one with them during a long, eventful marriage in which both of you are tested to the limits of your being, is to be shown the true mirror of your own character.

The other night, quite belatedly I admit, I watched the 2001 movie “Prozac Nation,” based on the 1994 bestseller by Elizabeth Wurtzel. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that a pointless tale about a mean-spirited, completely self-absorbed brat with an excuse note from her parents (yes, yes, …

…continue reading The Joys of the Grown-Up Life

Finding Orthodoxy

The time has come for a courageous, widely based consensus of truly pious rabbinical scholars to reassert their leadership in instituting halakhic changes to address the needs crying out to be met in Jewish law and custom of our own miraculous age in all walks of Orthodox life.

My path to Orthodoxy was unorthodox, and that has made all the difference, I think, in what I hope for and expect as part of Orthodox Jewry.

I was the child of an American-born mother from a religious home and an immigrant father whose family had fled …

…continue reading Finding Orthodoxy

Crime and Punishment

No, 103 years sounds like a good number to me. As Esther’s brother pointed out: “If my sister lives to be 120, that’s about the same number of years she’ll have to live with what he’s done to her.”

On Tuesday, January 22, Justice John G. Ingram of New York’s State Supreme Court sentenced convicted child molester Nechemya Weberman to 103 years behind bars for 59 counts of sexual abuse against a little girl sent to him by her school, the UTA Satmar, for religious counseling. In passing sentence, the judge praised the young victim for …

…continue reading Crime and Punishment

No More Room Under the Carpet

While Weberman is behind bars, many are still unnamed and continue to destroy the souls of young boys and girls because of a conspiracy of silence surrounding rabbinical sexual misconduct.

The case was horrific. A 17-year-old girl from the Satmar community in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn testified that she was forced by her school to attend “counseling sessions” from age 12 to 15 because she wore stockings that were too thin and asked too many questions about God. Instead of religious mentoring, three times a week she found herself behind a thrice-locked door with a …

…continue reading No More Room Under the Carpet

An Orthodox Woman on the Bima

I leave my comfort zone and accept an aliyah for the first time.

While the media persistently shout out fear-mongering headlines about the rise of fanaticism among Orthodox Jews, be it Jewish women in burkas, black-suited draft dodgers or bearded vigilantes herding women to the back of the bus, the truth is, something good is happening in Orthodoxy.

It’s not making headlines, and it’s not moving along at a breakneck pace, but rather, slowly and quietly, Orthodox Jewry is asserting its will to foster more gender equality in ritual and greater tolerance for diversity of opinion …

…continue reading An Orthodox Woman on the Bima

The Tipping Point

“The film was enough to make your blood boil. Bearded hassidim talking about how it was God’s will to spit on little girls who didn’t follow the dress code.”

“No woman should wait to hear the last kaddish for the obvious reason that women should make their exit before the men, lest they mingle with them… No woman aged less than forty should attend the synagogue for the afternoon and evening services…whether on a weekday or on the Sabbath, with the exception of the New Year and the Day of Atonement.” New regulations in Beit Shemesh? …

…continue reading The Tipping Point

Bleak House – The Sordid Story of the Michal Tal Case

“I have finally received some measure of belated justice, and I would like to believe that more will come.”

Last week, after five long years of my being dragged through the courts, defamed, libeled and slandered, Israel’s Supreme Court issued a ruling in the Michal Tal case that stated: “There is not and never was any basis whatsoever for any claim of plagiarism or copyright infringement brought against Naomi Ragen in the Jerusalem District Court.”

Far from a mere technical victory, this ruling was an acknowledgement by Tal’s own children, one of whom is a lawyer, …

…continue reading Bleak House – The Sordid Story of the Michal Tal Case

More About “Copyright Infringement”

Dr. Michael Factor is an expert in intellectual property law in Israel. He has a blog in which he writes about cases involving copyright infringement. He has just read all 92 pages of the recent judgment against me in the Sarah Shapiro case, and has posted his conclusions, which are very favorable to me. Thank you Michael!

Dr. Factor has confirmed what I have believed all along, that I have done nothing wrong, and given me hope that I will ultimately prevail in this case, as I prevailed in the Michal Tal case.

From Dr. Factor’s …

…continue reading More About “Copyright Infringement”

בית המשפט העליון קבע שהסופרת נעמי רגן לא העתיקה

בית המשפט העליון קיבל ביום 3/1/2012 את בקשתה של הסופרת נעמי רגן למתן פסק דין, לאחר שבית המשפט המחוזי בירושלים מחק את התביעה בעקבות מותה של התובעת, מיכל טל ז”ל.

פסק הדין, שאושר השבוע ע”י בית המשפט העליון (כב’ הנשיאה בייניש , כב’ השופט גרוניס וכב’ השופטת ארבל) דחה את התביעה ,וקבע כי “אין ולא היה כל יסוד לטענה כלשהי בדבר ביצוע של “העתקות” ו”הפרות” זכויות יוצרים אשר הועלו בתביעה כנגד גב’ רגן בביהמ”ש המחוזי”.

בפברואר 2007, שלח עו”ד גלעד קורינאלדי בית המשפט העליון קבע שהסופרת נעמי רגן לא העתיקה