Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist, playwright and journalist who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. Naomi writes regularly in the Jerusalem Post and to her mailing list about Israel and Jewish issues.


“The
Naomi’s tenth novel, The Devil in Jerusalem, will be published this fall. The story - inspired by true events - begins with two brothers admitted to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital with horrific injuries while their mother, a young American, devoutly recites Psalms at the bedside and refuses to answer any questions. 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.


Naomi has previously published nine 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 ninth novel, The Sisters Weiss, 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.


Subscribe to Naomi's blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to Naomi's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



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.

Supreme Court Rules: Author Naomi Ragen Innocent of All Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement in Tal Case

The Supreme Court of Israel accepted the appeal of author Naomi Ragen for a verdict in the case brought against her by Michal Tal after the Jerusalem District Court vacated the case following Tal’s death. The verdict on Tuesday by Chief Justice Beinish and  Justices Gronis and Arbel, accepted the agreement reached by Ragen and Tal’s heirs, rejecting Tal’s case, stating that “There is not and never was any basis whatsoever for any claim of plagiarism or copyright infringement brought against Naomi Ragen in the Jerusalem District Court.”

In 2007, Tal’s lawyer, Gilad Corinaldi, sent Ragen a letter in which he demanded that Ragen “pay my client, in light of the copyright violation and the profits you have made from this which have illegally enriched you, a more than appropriate sum of money..You have five days of grace (from the receipt of this letter until Monday 19 March 2007) to take the above actions. If you do not comply with these demands, my client will take the following actions: apply to the courts for injunctions against you and the three publishers who market and sell your books to remove the books from the bookstores (Steimatsky and others stores); sue you for millions of shekels (the sum has not yet been fixed); publicize your copyright violations on a special internet site and also issue a press release to all the media in Israel and especially outside Israel in order to give your readers an opportunity to judge for themselves the act of plagiarism you committed.

Your fate is in your hands. Your good name and the future of your works hang in the balance.” [emphasis in the original]

Ragen, who maintained throughout that she had never seen Tal’s book, refused to pay up.

In an ex parte session of the Jerusalem District Court convened without Ragen’s knowledge, Tal demanded immediate injunctions removing The Ghost of Hannah Mendes from the bookstores, even though her claims related to books that had been published a decade earlier. She filed a one million dollar lawsuit; and publicized her claims in the press and on the internet. Tal claimed the ex-parte session was required because it was impossible to contact Ragen and obtained injunctions instructing Ragen and her publisher to remove her books from the bookstores. Tal filed a lawsuit for NIS 4.25 million and publicized her claims in the weekend press and on the internet. Tal later testified that she knew her lawyer had in fact called Ragen on her cell phone two days earlier (and spoken to her husband) and that he had received a reply from Ragen’s lawyers the day before the ex parte session. Despite holding a Masters degree in Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv University, Tal claimed that she had not understood the affidavits her lawyers had told her to sign.

During the trial, Ragen presented evidence that she had submitted her book, The Ghost of Hannah Mendes, to her publisher months before Tal self-published her novel in England with a vanity press. The “mutual friend” who Tal claimed had given Ragen a copy of her book testified that she had never done so. A forty-page book of similarities compiled by Tal was shown to contain texts deliberately reworded to give the appearance of plagiarism. In her testimony, Tal blamed these inaccuracies on typographical errors made by her lawyers.

The decision also states that “Tal sincerely believed at the time in the justice of her claims.”

“Tal’s claims were delusional,” said Ragen, “but the travesties and suffering I endured for five years over this frivolous case were very real.

“It has been a truly horrifying experience for me and my family. I am immensely pleased that justice has been finally been served and that the truth has come out in this case.  It is my hope and belief that just as the truth has come to light in this case,   I will eventually be fully exonerated in the other cases against me.”

7 comments to Supreme Court Rules: Author Naomi Ragen Innocent of All Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement in Tal Case

  • […] Jacqueline Reckseit on Supreme Court Rules: Author Naomi Ragen Innocent of All Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement in Tal… […]

  • Jacqueline Reckseit

    I am very glad that you finally received justice. But as you note, there is no justice for the travesty of the five years of anguish and legal costs that you endured. There is something wrong with the system of law practiced in the US and Israel that allows completely unfounded and substantiated accusations to go forward for five years. Anyone can sue for anything and you are forced to defend yourself at great mental and financial cost. I don’t believe it was the intent of our justice systems, but as they operate now it is only to the benefit of the legal profession.

  • Naomi,

    I had followed your case up to the point at which the court upheld Tal’s claims. I was shocked because I had read both your book and hers and compared the parts she claimed were plagiarized and saw no evidence of plagiarism. I was further shocked when upon discussing your case with my daughter, she informed me that her teacher from Bar Ilan was one of the experts who concluded that it was plagiarism. I told my daughter that I thought he’d made a grave mistake, that it could not be. However, your exoneration of the charges in January must not have been publicized well enough because I had no idea of this later development. I am very happy for you to read this and hope this has been the end of your problems with the Tal family.

  • Jane Singer

    Me too!!! I didn’t pay much attention to details, but I realize now I’d assumed Naomi was guilty of plagiarism without too much thinking, just from an article in the Jerusalem Post. Isn’t that awful! Once again I am sorely disappointed in the Israel court system. Please accept my apologies Naomi.

  • For my analyis of these plagiarism cases, see:

    http://blog.ipfactor.co.il/2012/01/09/sotah-naomi-ragen-drinks-the-bitter-waters-of-plagiarism/

    You probably have until 11 January 2011 to appeal Shapiro’s ruling.

    Regards,

    Dr Michael Factor

  • Robby

    Naomi,

    I don’t know you but I apologize.

    I apologize for judging you based on accusations in the courts and in the press.

    Mazal tov and I hope you win the other case as well.

    (Of course if you dont…)

    :-)
    Robby

  • Keren Burdt

    Mazal Tov on your legal victory! I hope and pray for a similar outcome in the other pending case. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Still a fan!