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.


It’s Too Late

I was one of those awful people who shouted at Yitzhak Rabin and called him a traitor. I stood behind the barricades, held up my placard and screamed: “Boged.”

I remember it clearly. He came right past us, his car slowing down to almost a halt. We’d been waiting a long time for him to leave the Hyatt Hotel on Mount Scopus after a keynote to some American group – Conference of Presidents? Hadassah? Someone next to me said Rabin was afraid to come out, that he was waiting for us to disperse.

It was freezing cold outside, really vicious — even for a Jerusalem winter night. I remember I kept stamping my feet and rubbing my hands. And a few times while we waited, I was tempted to leave, feeling that it was enough. That I’d accomplished what I’d come for. And what was that? The nearest I can get to describing my true agenda was that I needed, almost physically, to shout out loud that the situation could not go on. Bombings, shootings, kidnappings. Blood all over Jerusalem’s streets, and the vile doublespeak of elected officials who called the victims “sacrifices for peace.”

I had a wonderful time at the beginning. There was a feeling of release, almost elation as we traded complaints and articulated outrage at the latest government action. Like privates far behind the enemy lines, we completed each others’ theories about the great men who were so callously deciding our fate. We clapped, we chanted, we shouted, our breath smoking like good cigars in the cold Jerusalem night.

But most of the time, we waited. Ehud Olmert, Jerusalem’s Likud mayor, came out first. He waved and smiled and gave us thumbs up. “I’m on your side,” he said out loud, rolling down his window. A few more cars followed. We shouted louder. Our throats got tired.

And finally, when it was almost too cold to bear, someone announced: “He’s coming.” A great scream went up and the police and soldiers moved in and pushed us back. And then I saw him. He was in the back seat of his car facing me. I could see the blood rush to his face as the shouts and insults came through the rolled-down window. He looked out at us. I could see the muscle in his jaw flinch.

The words froze in my throat. To say that I felt ashamed would be true, but not precise. I felt as if I had physically harmed someone I knew well, someone I had grown up with and admired. When I went home that evening I remembered an article I had once read about Rabin as a little boy, how he had often been left alone in an empty house because his mother was off to yet another important cause. And the idea of it made me want to cry.

A few weeks ago, on the eve of Yom Kippur, I went up to Mount Herzl and walked past the graves of Theodor Herzl and Golda Meir in the section reserved for “Great People of the Nation” to the final resting place of Yitzhak Rabin. There were only a handful of people there; some Japanese tourists, a family from a kibbutz.

I sat down on the cold stone fence opposite his grave, and I thought: The dead can’t hear our pleas for forgiveness or see our tears, only the living. And when I finally got up to face a day of fasting, prayer and hope for atonement, I understood for the first time the devastating finality of the words “too late.”

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