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.


Sue Me – I Like El Al

Thirty years ago when I first landed in Israel, straight off an El Al flight from New York, there was no more vilified or ridiculed airline than Israel’s. Some of the criticism was certainly justified. Stewardesses were known to be prickly sabras who ignored you if you were lucky, and told you off if you were not. They didn’t like foreigners, and they certainly didn’t see any reason to smile when forced to serve food and beverages to spoiled Americans (who had never served in the IDF, had more money than they deserved, and arrived in Israel with the nerve to expect a vacation!).

People were constantly cursing El Al for unannounced schedule changes, unbearable security checks, sardine-seating, overbooking … If you told anyone you were flying El Al, the usual reaction was an eye-roll and condolences.

Well, times have changed. Not only has Israel’s national airline corrected most of its growing pains, but it’s become, in my opinion, one of the best airlines in the world.

I know. I’ve traveled with almost every one of them to almost everywhere. I guess I should admit that one of the greatest charms of traveling El Al for an observant Jew is getting fresh, delicious kosher food. Although you can theoretically order kosher meals on all airlines, I will never forget being served an impenetrable cardboard box which contained cold food about six months old. When I finally managed to open it, the wrapping and the contents were equal in both taste and texture. All this while viewing my fellow passengers savor fresh fish and pasta on china plates.

If you haven’t flown El Al recently, the food has become really something to look forward to. And I liked being given a menu, even though I was flying tourist class.

Gone too are the surly flight attendants. In the last ten flights I’ve made with El Al, the attendants have been uniformly helpful, gracious, and friendly. I also have to admit when I’m returning from a stay abroad, I enjoy hearing Hebrew the minute I step inside an El Al plane, and getting an Israeli newspaper to catch up on what I’ve missed. Let’s face it, those stuffy British papers and the Wall Street Journal just can’t compete with Israeli papers when it comes to providing you with really important news (the water level in the Kinneret, the cost of living index, the latest government scandal).

As for nasty flight attendants, I remember the stewardess on a Delta flight who told me off in no uncertain terms for politely asking her to hang up my coat.

And when the loudspeaker goes on in an El Al flight and I hear the voice of the captain speaking terrible English with that heavy Sabra inflection, I just feel, well, so safe. I know that in the cockpit is a veteran of the Israeli Air Force who has flown skillfully through dangerous missions over hostile territory during numerous wars, managing to bring himself and his soldiers home safely. I just close my eyes and relax. After all, for such a person, what’s a little turbulence in a simple run between Tel Aviv and New York?

Another distinct advantage of flying with a Jewish airline is the fact that your check-in people are used to dealing with Jews. My daughter, returning from France with Air France, was devastated when they told her that she’d exceeded her baggage allowance. Worse, they said that the plane had no more room even if she agreed to pay overweight. This has never happened to me on El Al.

I am always amazed at the cool of El Al’s check-in people when faced with monster Pullmans, bags, boxes, and other “peckilach” that are so dear to the heart of people flying to and from the Jewish State. Their kindly indulgence is so …so…”hamish”.

I suppose delays and breakdowns are just a matter of luck, and I’ve been lucky when I travel El Al. My worst experiences with delays were with TWA, who had me sitting for eight hours waiting to “borrow a part,” to get one of their planes moving in a flight between Tel Aviv and Newark, New Jersey.

And then, there’s security.

Yes, it certainly is a pain. But when I see all those suspicious characters lined up sweating buckets to explain to some tough El Al security person who they are and where they’re going, I just know there is somebody out there protecting me and mine from airborne piracy and mayhem. Let them go through my suitcases, ask me if and when and how I’ve packed. It’s worth it. Especially when you’ve got children and grandchildren with you.

I also like the well-done magazine, the interesting entertainment, the free headsets….El Al, hats off. Can’t wait for my next flight.

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