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.

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 - begins with an ambulance screaming through Jerusalem’s quiet streets. Inside, a toddler fights for his life, his parents nowhere to be found. With profound shock, an emergency room doctor realizes that the child’s mother, a young American, is already at the hospital sitting at the bedside of yet another child with traumatic injuries, devoutly reciting Psalms and stubbornly refusing to answer any questions. “שטן
The Devil in Jerusalem is a chilling tale of the paths that so easily lead us astray, and the darkness within us all. Click the book’s cover to learn more.

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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.

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 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.



I was at a party in Tel Aviv the other day. Since I hardly get to Tel Aviv, and do not really know the kind of people who throw parties there (or anywhere else, for that matter) it was rather unusual. What made it even more memorable, was that it had a rock band, lots of smoke wafting up from the stage, and music you felt rising up from your soles, rather than drifting through your ears. On the beachfront in Tel Aviv’s trendy nightlife area, a group of about one hundred young people gathered to eat barbecued hamburgers, woked noodles, and dance the night away. The guests, mostly in their mid-twenties, looked like any other trendy, frivolous disco crowd in their jeans and leather jackets and pretty summer dresses. Looking around me, I had to remind myself that gathered on the dance floor were the golden talents that are at the heart of the high-tech industrial boom which is miraculously transforming Israel from a struggling, resource-poor address in the Middle East into an international economic and industrial force to be reckoned with.

It was a private party, open only to the research and development staff of Israel’s most successful company, Check Point Software Technologies, Ltd. Now legendary among Israeli high-tech startups, Check Point had its beginnings about six years ago in the minds of three young Israeli soldiers. The three wound up doing their mandatory army service writing software to safeguard the army’s high security computer network. They were very good at what they did. At the time, the Internet was just a curiosity on the horizon. Released from army service, it occurred to them that the Internet had a future, and in that future securing information would play a major role.

And so, they decided to try to turn their expertise into a commercial venture. Someone’s grandmother lent them her garage. They pooled their resources, took out loans, and were able to purchase one computer, which they worked on in shifts around the clock. They were in their early twenties. Only one was married, and soon became a young father. No one was drawing salaries. After about a year, they had something to show: software that would keep hackers and other unauthorized computer vandals from entering and tampering with information systems. It was a system that did it better, and more thoroughly, than any other system in the world.

Impressed, a local venture capital group lent them $150,000. It was the investment of a lifetime, earning them hundreds of millions of dollars in return. Check Point Software Technologies, makers of Firewall-1, are now a multi-billion dollar, publicly-traded company, and the most successful supplier of computer security systems in the world. Each one of the founders, who are all of thirty-something, are fast approaching billionaire status.

Sitting on the bus on the way to Tel Aviv that afternoon, I read the headlines in the local papers. Our Prime Minister was warning the nation of imminent terror attacks based in Iran. The paper was full of explanations why, even though we are firmly ensconced in the peace process, there are still those intent on blowing up our buses and destroying our children. But as I sat watching the waves crash against the Tel Aviv beachfront later that evening, echoing the relentless beat of the young rock band, so full of life, I looked up at the highrises, the hotels, the office buildings of the only Jewish city in the world and felt suddenly full of optimism.

If I had known how to dance, I hope I would have had the sense to join that wriggling, happy group as they danced away one of the last days of the old century straight into the new millennium: danced, full of joy, of life, of energy, despite all the uncertainties, all the deadly enemies. There they were, the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, kibbutzniks, and new immigrants. Young people who had known so many wars, terrorist attacks, and man-made tragedies in their young lives. And yet, despite everything, there they were: Amazingly bright, full of youth and optimism, people who -– if left in peace to live their quiet, productive, caring lives – would help usher Israel, and all the young people of the Middle East, into a millennium of economic plenty, job opportunities, growth, hope, and love. A millennium filled with positive energy, which, like the vibrations of heavy metal bands and the crash of the sea itself, will batter old prejudices and insane hatreds, shaking the ground and rattling the rafters, letting joy, and youth, and industry fill our days with good.

In the next millennium, I really must learn how to dance.

In response to numerous inquiries from Jerusalem Post readers wishing to contact or contribute to organizations described in the “Hidden Saints” article, the following are their addresses and bank account numbers:

SHALVA, Beit Nachshon, POB 35199, Jerusalem 91351, Bank Mizrachi (20); Branch 458, Account Number: 193553

BAT MELECH (religious women’s shelter) POB 41247, Jerusalem 91412, Bank Mizrachi, Branch 403, Account Number: 403327

KEREN OHEL MEIR (children’s shelter) POB 16372, Jerusalem, Bank Leumi. Branch 766 Account Number: 10227/64.

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