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.


Time to Extend Israeli Law to Meah Shearim

A woman is caught on tape detaching the feeding tube from her starving three-year old in Hadassah Hospital, after years of bringing the child in with unexplained medical conditions and bodily injuries. She is arrested by authorities for child endangerment and jailed. In response, her community backs her up, burns property and assaults police and social workers.

This story makes no sense until you add that the woman is haredi, a member of Neturei Karta sect in Jerusalem’s Meah Shearim.

As citizens of Israel look on in astonishment today as the streets of its capital are set on fire and innocent passersby are subject to a pogrom of stones and curses, we long-time inhabitants of Jerusalem are not surprised.

For years, police and government authorities have treated Meah Shearim, the hotbed of virulent haredi anti-Israel provocations, as the French have treated the Arab suburbs of Paris, the banlieues: as a separate country, afraid to engage with its inhabitants, to enforce the laws of the nation.

It is a no-go zone, where citizens take the law into their hands, and inhabitants are subject to mob rule.

I saw this personally when I was writing my play Women’s Minyan, which was based on the following true story: A haredi woman in Meah Shearim, mother of 12, found out her sexually abusive husband was having an affair with a married woman. When she finally stopped covering for him, and demanded he move out and give her a divorce, she found herself not only thrown out of the house, but attacked by armed haredi thugs who arrived at her doorstep.

Not finding her at home, they put her friend into the hospital. When she asked for child custody in the Rabbinical Courts, the Meah Shearim trained rabbinical judges colluded to ban her from any contact with her children
forever. We took this case to Israel’s Supreme Court, which turned out to
be absolutely spineless, sending it back to the Rabbinical Courts until the mother gave up in despair.

Members of Neturei Karta have actively befriended people like Arafat and Ahmedinijad. The fact that they live in this country and don’t send their children abroad (not true by the way) as one haredi apologist asserted today on television, doesn’t make them loyal citizens.

For years, Israel society has allowed Meah Shearim – like Tulkarem and Ramallah – to be off limits to Israeli law. If Israel authorities had asserted the law of the land on thugs who call themselves modesty patrols, perhaps the streets wouldn’t be burning today. If municipal authorities had torn down the signs warning women what they can and can’t wear on city streets, if the Ministry of Transportation had not given haredi thugs license to harass women passengers on public buses by caving in to absurd demands for “mehadrin” bus lines where women are forced to sit in the back, we wouldn’t be seeing these riots today. If the police would be willing to aggressively investigate and prosecute child abusers and sexual predators and rapists hiding behind black clothes in dark corners of this city, where citizens are afraid to report abuse for fear of becoming targets of haredi thug patrols, we wouldn’t be seeing this today. And if the Education Ministry would extend the laws of compulsory education and the basic curriculum to schools in Meah Shearim, we wouldn’t be seeing this today.

The time has come to say there is only one Jewish State, with one set of laws and rules of behavior for all its citizens. There are no banlieues, no no-go zones. All Israel’s citizens need to be subject to the same laws and
penalties, the same obligations. Whether the crimes they commit are in the name of Hashem or the name of Allah.

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