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.

Subscribe to Naomi's Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to Naomi's blog.

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.


The The Good Our Eyes Have Seen

I have been writing about all the difficulties, but now I want to write you about all the truly wonderful things that I have seen and heard in the last few days.

I have seen soldiers sent to tear people from their homes welcomed like brothers. I have seen soldiers act like Jewish brothers and sisters, crying with those they were ordered to evict. I have seen soldiers and those evicted praying together, singing together, hugging each other.

All over the world, everyone has seen how Jews behave even in the worst of circumstances.

Yes, there was violence. Young men who physically fought and attacked the oncoming troops sent to remove them from the roof of their synagogue. But there were no serious injuries on either side. And they were universally condemned for raising their hands to their brothers in uniform.

I have seen dozens of volunteers, maybe hundreds, going to the hotels and other sites where shell-shocked deportees arrived, many with small children, without diapers, or changes of clothing. Meals were organized. My neighbor’s boys started day camps for the kids.

Toys and snacks were distributed. Shampoos, men’s white shirts were piled up for the Sabbath. Laundry was collected by volunteers and washed and returned. Whole communities collected funds and items to contribute. Hot lines were set up for people to volunteer their time, money, supplies, homes, meals…whatever our brothers and sisters from Gush Katif need in this terrible hour.

A reader writes me now: “My 15-year old daughter went to Ashkelon yesterday to help the residents of Ganei Tal rebuild hothouses. The trip was organized by Bnei Akiva and included a bus from Raanana.”

This past Shabbat, Rabbi Benjamin Ish-Shalom, a renown Jerusalem Rabbi, and a member of our congregation, got up to speak. It was the Sabbath of Comfort, that traditionally follows the 9th of Av. He told us the following: Why was Rachel chosen to plead to God for the return of the Jewish People after the Exile? The Talmud story is that all the patriarchs and matriarchs wanted that honor. But Rachel argued the following: You know that Jacob loved me above everyone. And I loved him. Seven years he worked for me, and I waited. When the time came for our marriage, my father decided to give him my sister instead. Despite the terrible injustice done to me, I overcame my jealousy and did not hate my sister. I cooperated with her and taught her all the secret signs so that she wouldn’t be humiliated. But you God, look how jealous You are of false, worthless Gods that you punish my children with exile.

And God said: I will listen to Rachel.

We should have no bad feelings in our hearts towards our fellow Jews, Rabbi Ish Shalom told us. We should not forget what our eyes have seen. All the things our eyes have seen, and from that place we should go forward as one family to build our nation in strength and love and commitment.

Even the left-leaning television reporters seem suddenly overwhelmed by the strength and love of the settlers as the last settlement, Netzarim, is destroyed. These settlers are right in the middle of Gaza. They need constant army protection, and have become very close with the soldiers assigned to protect them. There will be no violence in Netzarim. Soldiers and settlers will pray together for the last time in the synagogue, whose striking Menorah has already been taken down from the roof, and will be carried out with them, a reminder.

God bless the Jewish people who will care for each other, no matter the incompetence of their politicians and civil servants.


Comments are closed.