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

Memorial Day – What We Have, What We Have Paid

I dropped off some clothes at the dry cleaners in Davidka Square, and then crossed the street and started walking towards the shuk. As I walked, I looked at the people around me: an older couple speaking French, an Ethiopian mother, swathed in white, her face decorated by traditional facial tattoos, holding her child in her arms as she waited for the bus. A young couple, very trendy and lean, speaking an animated Russian. Israeli soldiers. A very, very elderly man in a colorful embroidered Bukharin skullcap. A young Muslim woman, swathed in a head covering and long dress in a lively blue, standing on line waiting to buy a falafel.

All this I saw within a block or two at the most. A tiny street, in the center of a tiny city in the Middle East, where conformity, intolerance and religious oppression are the norm. And yet, we Jews, through all our heartache, all our difficulties, all our inner strife, have managed to produce this little world full of contrasts, a lively pastiche of so many cultures and religions. We take the buses together, buy fast food together, work and play and pray together. And we do it in so many languages, dressed so differently.

And all of a sudden, I began to understand how I had made the transition from New Yorker to Middle Easterner with such relative ease: Jerusalem has the same dynamism, the same lively interflow of people from all over the world, the same tolerance, the same creativity and give and take as the greatest city, in the greatest country in the world.

It would be, under any circumstances, a remarkable achievement. Given the fact that it is a city that has been terrorized by constant bomb threats; a city whose citizens have been randomly targeted and murdered in their buses, their pizza parlors, and in their shopping areas; a city that has very little time off from standing guard to protect itself and its citizens from homicidal maniacs, it is a miracle.

When the siren sounded this evening in our city, ushering in the day of mourning for Israel’s fallen soldiers, I thought of who had paid the price for our liberty, and whose lives had stood at the ready to give us this beautiful city and country we are privileged to live in. I thought of my friends Sara and Michael Newman whose son Eitan lost his life two years ago as his tank blew up. I thought of the evening in his memory they had invited me to attend, and how the place overflowed with young people, who kept coming and coming. How the entire night had been spent singing songs, nothing sad. So many young people, Eitan’s friends, young families, who have not, will not, forget him; who will go on, singing, building, defending, creating.

There has never been, in the history of the Jewish people, a more courageous and admirable generation of young people.

There has never been, in the history of the Jewish people, a more amazing variety of Jewish life in the land that God gave us. The two of these things combined make me glad to be alive; glad to be a Jew; glad to be privileged to live in the land of the Jews, the land of Israel.

May God keep the souls of our soldiers who have fallen beneath His wings in Eden, until He returns them to their bodies at the end of time.

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