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.


When It Snows in Jerusalem

You get ready to walk to the Kotel no matter where you are, because it is a sight no one should miss if they get a chance to see it in their lifetime.

All over the world, when it snows, most of the time people take it for granted.  But not in my city, Jerusalem.

When it snows in Jerusalem, people in Petach Tikva and Tel Aviv pile into their cars and head towards the capital.

Old folks (like me) go out at 11 PM to throw snowballs at their husbands and to sit drinking hot cider in the only café open for business.

Your kids call you from far away Rechovot begging to spend the night.

You clean off your windowsills and put some of the snow in the freezer, to remember when the skies turn hot and blue again, as you know they will.

You can hear the children in nearby schools scream with delight, in a chorus, as the first flakes fall.

You get out your iPhones and SMS (text) photos to your entire family.


early Thursday morning


The author in front of Mount Zion in the afternoon

You watch people pile up more snow on their cars to take home to show their families.

You get to take out the clothes you bought the last time you were in a place that has a real winter (i.e., outside the country) and wear them again.

No one goes to work, or school.

The streets are empty, except for the teenagers having the time of their lives.

At the first forecast of snow, you look longingly at the sky, hoping wishes alone might milk a little of the white stuff from the reluctant sky.And when it starts falling, you stand, mesmerized as the flakes transform the familiar landscape into something so strange and beautiful you can’t move


Almost all the snow at the Kotel is gone by the afternoon


And even as it snows, you hope the sun won’t come out too soon and melt it; that it will stay cold long enough for the roads to reopen and so the grandkids can come and see.

You get ready to walk to the Kotel no matter where you are, because it is a sight no one should miss if they get a chance to see it in their lifetime.

And when you get there, although all public transportation has been stopped, the roads in and out of the city have been closed, and schools and almost all businesses have shut down, you bless G-d for giving the city so much joy.

You find yourself already dreaming about the next snow day in Jerusalem …

4 comments to When It Snows in Jerusalem

  • As Chlarie Sheen says, this article is “WINNING!”

  • Naomi R

    1991 was a snowless year in New York, but we certainly enjoyed the snow in Jerusalem during a trip to visit a son in Yeshiva. A most beautiful sight. Thanks Naomi. Shabbat shalom to you and family.

  • Lynn Sharon

    The year, 1972, the month, February. The city, Jerusalem. We made aliyah from NY-August 1971. Our shaliach assured us that there was no need for heavy quilts,winter coats, etc. because we were making aliyah to a sub-tropical region. And there we were gazing in awe at the snowflakes fluttering down before our eyes and blanketing the Judean hills in white. A memorable moment. Fortunately, we didn’t follow our shaliach’s advice (he came from Ramat Gan and I guess he never saw snow) and took out our quilts and heavy sweaters.

  • Zack613

    beautiful, Naomi, just beautiful.