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.


“The
Naomi's just-published 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.


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.

Categories

Happy Birthday, Little Miracle

One of the reasons I started this mailing list was to try to share that which we in Israel are experiencing. All day long today, Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers and (for the first time) victims of terror, I tried to think how I could explain to someone outside the country what we here go through.

How can I make someone who doesn’t live here understand what it means to sit by your television set hour after hour watching family after family break down in tears as they describe the pain of losing a beloved son or daughter? And the pictures of the fallen, how they flash by, the handsome young men, the winning grin, the dark blue eyes, the strong young bodies, the beautiful young women — and all so young, so young, so very young.

There was one show that filmed mothers and fathers describing the last conversation they had with their child, and then how they learned the terrible news. Some feared it all along; others never suspected. Some were furious at the soldiers who came to tell them; others didn’t want to open the door at all; and still others didn’t believe a word, trying again and again to call the cell-phone number.

There was the Russian immigrant who had lost her lovely young daughter in a Tel Aviv disco bombing: “I dreamt about her wedding, having grandchildren. Now that will never happen.” Was she sorry she’d moved to Israel? “No,” she said. “This is our country. This is what my daughter wanted. It was her dream.”

And the Ethiopian mother who had lost her soldier son….and the friends we have known for years talking about losing their son, a war hero. I remember when David Granit was born. His mother didn’t know she was pregnant with twins, identical twin boys, redheads like their mother. Their father Menachem saw one son born, then went home. When he came back to visit his wife, she said: “We have a son.” I know, he answered, confused. “No, another son.” How we all laughed at this story.

David was killed in Lebanon saving the lives of his soldiers who were under heavy fire. “I didn’t want a hero,” his sister wept. “I wanted my brother.”

On the radio, I heard a bereaved mother talking about the importance of memorial day. “For one day the whole country feels like I feel every day.” It was important for people to call, to enquire, to comfort. To make those suffering from loss feel surrounded by a cocoon of warmth and love and solidarity, she said.

That is so hard, I thought. Because the last thing in the world you want to do is intrude on someone’s private grief. But Memorial Day makes that grief public, giving all of us a chance to say: We live because your son, your daughter, your father, your brother, your sister gave their lives to guard and protect us. Our country continues to function because your grandmother, your little girl, took a bus, bought a pizza, sat in a park, and in so doing, lost their lives to those who wish to take our country away from us. Too cowardly to fight our soldiers, they fight our old people, our babies.

When Memorial Day is over, we will dry our tears. We will go out into the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, our hearts still heavy with cumulative grief, and watch the fireworks. And little by little, we will start to smile again, to celebrate that our little country — our little miracle – is 56 years old. And that, despite everything, we love her and wish her well and would give anything — anything — to protect and nurture her and her people, the bravest and most compassionate people in the world.

Happy Birthday Israel. God Bless the Jewish people, the People of Israel. May He heal our wounds, and dry the tears from all faces.

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