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.

Subscribe to Naomi's Blog

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

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.


Turmoil in the Middle East – My Take

Instead of bombarding you with daily hand-wringing over the situation in the Middle East, I decided to wait it out so as not to imitate certain journalists and world leaders (who shall remain nameless) who were taking sides before even knowing what that meant. I think now, with Mubarak apparently gone, that there are certain things that are possible to say:

The people of Egypt, like all the peoples of the Middle East save for Israel, were mired in a political system that was corrupt and which did not allow them to pursue life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. There is no way for an Egyptian to start a business or get the financial means to marry without bribes and years of horrifying bureaucratic nightmares. That was and has always been the reason for instability in the Middle East. This, not Israel, is probably the leading cause for the rise of Muslim fanatics and terror organizations that are destroying the peace of the whole world. Unfortunately, this fact is something the democracies have long ignored. This is a wake-up call for them. Let’s see if they sleep through it.

Mubarak has always kept Egypt’s treaties with Israel. For that, the people of Israel are grateful. We are also grateful that he did what needed to be done to control the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood. Founded in Egypt in 1928 to promote sharia law, it created a military wing which had close links to the Nazis during the 1930s, when the Brotherhood was involved in spying, sabotage and support for the terrorist activities of Haj Amin el-Hussaini in British Mandate Palestine. The Brotherhood disseminated Hitler’s Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion widely in Arab translations.

The White House, in this terrible time of uncertainty and change in the Middle East, has been confused to say the least, and dangerously wrong-headed. Encouraging the protesters, then siding with Mubarak, then welcoming Mubarak’s ouster just before Mubarak declared he wasn’t leaving has left us in Israel shaking our heads. With this kind of instability in Washington, where is the strong ally we pretend we have?

Douglas E. Schoen, adviser to four former Israeli Prime Ministers over the last 30 years, wrote in a Fox News editorial that if elections were held in Egypt now, there is a fifty percent chance of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the country. For Israel, that would be a nightmare. We can only hope against hope that the true will of the people who started this revolt to make better lives for themselves and their families will not allow one dictatorship to replace another, leading to a war that will no doubt prove disastrous for everyone.

Read Caroline Glick’s excellent article on the subject here.

2 comments to Turmoil in the Middle East – My Take

  • Reverend Wright

    “50% chance of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt”? What Islamophobic nonsnense! Doesn’t this so-called expert from FOX News understand anything? It’s a 100% chance.

  • E. Orenstein

    You’ve been on point so many times. I love reading your articles, opinions, etc… Best wishes always, EO