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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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.

Nic Nie MówMay 2017 – The Polish translation of Devil in Jerusalem is published as Nic Nie Mów.

April 2017 – Naomi speaks about her books at the Ivan M. Stettenham Library at the Streicker Centre in New York City.

March 2017 – Naomi tours the Paris region to speak 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 2016Les Soeurs Weiss, the French translation of The Sisters Weiss, is published.

October 2016The 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.


In the Land of Oz

NOTE: This article appeared in Ha’aretz on 26 August, 2005.

I read Mr. Amos Oz’s recent article “A Bloodless Victory Over Fanaticism” with great interest. I too, am an Israeli author. And, according to the majority of our Palestinian neighbors who view both Jerusalem and Arad (my home and Mr. Oz’s home respectively) as occupied territory, I guess we are both settlers.

Mr. Oz, in his description of “settlers” ‘ dream for the future of Israel, has created a totally fictional Jewish opponent, the same way he has created totally fictional Palestinian peace partner, willing to live together with him peacefully in the secular democratic state of his dreams.

Yes, I consider myself an Orthodox Jew. But I too view a state run by Rabbis as a nightmare. In the State of Israel I have lived in for the past 35 years — and which as far as I know all Jewish settlers live in — Palestinians are doctors, engineers, builders, gardeners, delivery men, electricians, plumbers, actors, musicians and handymen, not the hewers of wood and water-carriers he accuses us of wanting.

Yes, I believe that one day the Messiah will come and redeem this world, but last I checked that wasn’t a crime, or else we’d need billions of places in jails for Christians too.

I also believe that religion is a private matter, and that however I choose to live my life, I can have no control over how people like Mr. Oz live theirs. This is true even when my Sabbath tranquility is blasted away by my neighbor’s high volume music, and malls that insist on keeping people working seven days a week.

In Mr. Oz’s fantasy of the fanatic, hate-filled ultra-religious settler, there is no place for people like me, who constitute the majority of the people of Israel, including the peaceful settlers of Gaza who, without any reasonable expectation of better security, better lives, or benefit to their country, had their lives and livelihoods destroyed to fulfill Mr. Oz’s fantasies.

I too, Mr. Oz, want to live in peace and freedom, not under the rules of the Rabbis (read my books and you’ll see how long and hard I’ve struggled against them).

You want to be free from the “lasting occupation of Palestinian territories?” Then I suggest you move back to Europe, or to America, or South America, because I have yet to hear any Muslim leader suggest that you are not, by your very existence on Middle Eastern soil, occupying land that does not belong to you.

The settlers “pushed forward their vision and trampled over our dreams.”

And what then, was Oslo? Was it not your dream, Mr. Oz, the idea of land for peace? Were treaties not signed? And would it have been possible if settlers were truly, as you say, “lords of the country?” And did not the realization of that dream result in national tragedy on a scale never before experienced by Israeli civilians or civilians anywhere? Over twenty thousand terrorist attacks, thousands upon thousands injured, over a thousand murdered in one of the biggest orgies of terrorist bloodshed in human history?

You believe that the struggle against Orthodox Jews in Gaza was a struggle between Church and State. What, then, is the struggle between Israel and its neighbors if not a struggle between Mosque and State? All over the world, Muslims kill, maim and threaten mankind in the name of their religion. If you think clerics have no place running a state, then what have you accomplished by throwing out the Jews of Gaza only to replace them with the fanatic Imams of Hamas?

As always, you try to portray yourself as rational and pragmatic, and your fellow Israeli opponents as fanatics. But what is rational about ceding land to the Palestinian Authority while it is still overwhelmed by terrorist groups over which it has yet to demonstrate control? What is pragmatic about turning thousands of productive citizens into homeless, jobless drains on Israel’s just recovering economy? What is “rational and pragmatic” about planning the next stage of withdrawals and the next round of destruction before there is any indication whatsoever that this round has not been a total disaster that will, as many fear, fuel terrorism?

You plan this even as you yourself ask the unanswered questions: “Will they (the Palestinians) reciprocate by taking bold steps against their own fanatics?”

If you can’t figure out the answer to that question after signing a peace treaty that was followed by four years of absolute hell on earth for all Israelis, then might I suggest that your fantasy of Israeli settlers, is only matched by your fantasies about your enemy and the world you live in? People like yourself, who live in a fantasy world, should not be involved in politics.

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