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.


Oh, When?

We took a trip to Europe last month to visit our daughter, who is doing her second year of National Service teaching Hebrew in a Jewish school in Toulouse. El Al was very helpful, giving out tickets to Europe at ridiculous prices, and so we met her in Marseilles, rented a car, and drove through the countryside stopping along the way at various spots recommended by our guidebooks.

We spent some time in Avignon, and Montpellier, and Nimes, each a beautiful modern city which carries its historic quarter like a jewel at its heart. In each we found the aging memorials to local sons who fell defending the homeland. It was difficult to make out which statues were for World War One, and which for World War Two, as sun and rain and exposure had aged both equally, covering them with moss and darkening them with the content of wind and air. The military cemeteries, too, are old, as, I imagine, must be those who come to visit them. And in Carcasonne, a perfectly preserved medieval city right out of Disneyland, we found a museum of Inquisitorial tortures that were used against the Cathars, Christians with a slightly different take on theology than their brothers loyal to the Pope in Rome. Everywhere we went, our guidebook pointed out reminders of the terrible religious and territorial wars that had raged through Europe for hundreds of years, setting brother against brother, the result of blind intolerance and small-minded hatred whose cost was countless lives.

Looking out at the sun-dappled, pastoral beauty of Provence: the old farm houses that seem to have been around for centuries, the endless calm, it was hard not to imagine such tales were simply horror stories, made up to frighten small children around a campfire. And in our travels, as we neared the borders to Monaco or Italy or Spain, we readied our passports only to find – to our shock and delight – that there are no more border crossings in the New Europe. The stations, already artifacts of the past, are boarded up and abandoned, sporting signs in many different languages, all of them welcoming .

Wars over religious beliefs, or territory, or national pride – all this is ended now, in the New Europe, where Frenchmen, Germans, Italians, and Spaniards, look back at the violence of centuries-old enmities bathed in so much blood as relics of an incomprehensible and primitive past long gone. The new European is busy with ski vacations, and buying new cars, and listening to music. There is a mutual respect and tolerance – even interest – in each others’ culture and religion, which is deemed each man’s private business, something that does not concern the government or one’s neighbors. And the radios in Nimes and Barcelona and London are all playing Cher.

We felt calm and happy as we got on the plane to go home to Jerusalem. That is, until the El Al stewardess handed us a copy of an Israeli newspaper. In it, we found a picture of dear friends standing at their son’s newly dug grave at Har Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem. David Granit, charming, intelligent, religious, brave, wonderful boy, had just fallen in Lebanon. He was twenty-two years old.

We missed David’s funeral, but were on hand for the service that took place when his parents got up from their seven days of mourning. There we stood amidst a crowd of young soldiers in their red berets, David’s friends, watching his young parents, sister and brothers (including his twin), bear the unbearable with such dignity and faith. And as we walked towards his final resting place to lay a stone, we passed the graves of so many, many others – graves but a few months old, fresh with stunning floral displays, graves so new there were still no markers.

Oh, when will the military cemeteries of the Middle East grow old? Our war memorials grow moss? Oh, when will we, all Semitic peoples, who are part of a culture much older and, therefore potentially wiser, than our European brothers, put the barbarism of religious, cultural and national intolerance into a history long past? When will we be horrified and appalled enough at the idea of settling territorial and other conflicts with bullets and bombs; disgusted enough to discard that option forever, making it a barbarous relic of a primitive time long-abandoned? Oh, when?

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