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.


May I Have a Word, Mr. Rubinstein?

I am having difficulty understanding something about the Ministry you head, Mr. Rubinstein, and would really appreciate your help. It seems that in the last few weeks in at least two instances your Ministry seems to be working overtime to get sex offenders, pedophiles and rapists, as well as those who harbor and protect them, special light treatment under the law because they all happen to be rabbis.

First, there is the disgraceful case of the former headmaster Kopolevitch of Netiv Meir yeshiva high school who lived in a pedophile’s heaven for the last fifteen years, abusing dozens, even hundreds of boys under his tutelage, boys whose complaints were apparently ignored by the Bnai Akiva yeshiva network’s most respected spiritual leaders, Rabbi Druckman and Rabbi Shapira.

And then there is the rapist in Kabbalistic rabbi’s clothing who is still wandering around the south teaching Torah to innocent children, when he should have long joined his comrades in the religious wing of Masiyahu Prison.

Mr. Rubinstein, what can your Ministry be thinking when it agrees to a plea bargain of four and half years for Rabbi Kopolevitch? When it dismisses charges against Rabbis Druckman and Shapira for allowing Kopolevitch to continue committing the most disgustingly immoral acts against young boys in their educational network, long after they apparently knew the facts? When it suspends proceedings against a Rabbi who raped a young woman under the guise of giving her kabbalistic help?

I am only a woman (and everyone knows with what great respect and interest the opinions of such people are held in the religious world) yet, I think that it behooves you to listen carefully to my opinion and my amazement at your Ministry’s behavior.

A friend of mine who was visiting Israel from the States went on a tour of the Supreme Court building. She sat in on an actual case in which a religious man who had molested a child was serving seven years. The man expressed regret, but the judges, pointing out how terrible such a crime is, how destructive to the victim, denied his appeal to have his sentence shortened. How can it be, my friend asked , that this criminal got six years for abusing one child, and Kopolevitch, whose crime is a hundred-fold, will get only four and a half? And this criminal was just an ordinary fellow, unlike Kopolevitch who had perfected a system in which he exploited the full measure of his spiritual and educational authority to lure his victims and ensure their silence.

My friend, an Orthodox woman, daughter of a famous Rabbi who received rabbinical ordination from the Chafetz Chaim himself, was appalled.

And now we have the rapist who presented himself as a Rabbi versed in the mysteries of the kabbalah, a spiritual magic-worker, and wound up instructing a young woman who had come to him for help to undress and submit to his “magic” sexual demands. Exploiting a religious young woman’s innocence, he used his tremendous spiritual power to desecrate not only her body, but her soul as well. Why does such a person deserve leniency? Why does he deserve to have the case against him suspended because “he isn’t feeling well?” I would think such a person deserves to have the case against him pursued relentlessly; deserves to serve a prison sentence twice as harsh as anyone else’s.

Because when a Rabbi abuses someone who looks up to him, he does it not only with his body, but with the full weight of everything the victim holds sacred, destroying the victim’s innocence, faith, religious beliefs, connection to G-d, in a way that no ordinary hormone-crazed offender could ever do. The damage is much greater, because the victim’s faith — that which drew them to be students in Netiv Meir, or to the doorstep of a Kabbalistic mystic — has been raped as well.

I appeal to you, Mr. Rubinstein, as a comrade, a fellow religious Jew, to whom the Torah is sacred. You sent your children to school with mine. We go to the same kind of synagogue. And I have to believe, that as a professed religious Jew, we both hold the Torah in the highest respect.

Would it not make more sense, therefore, to deal twice as harshly with such perpetrators as Kopolevitch and the rapist in “mekubal’s” clothing, and to insist on calling to task those who harbor and employ them? Your apparent sympathy and kindness towards these people baffles me. More, it causes me endless shame.

Why, Mr. Rubinstein? In Heaven’s name, why?

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