Ragen to Pay 233,000 Shekels for Plagiarism

Author Naomi Ragen will pay 233,000 shekels in compensation to author Sarah Shapiro whom she was found guilty of plagiarizing.

Elad Benari ,

Naomi Ragen
Naomi Ragen
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Jerusalem District Court ruled on Tuesday that American-Israeli author Naomi Ragen will pay 233,000 shekels in compensation to author Sarah Shapiro, whom Ragen had been found guilty of plagiarizing.

Ragen, a religious Zionist woman who has written against hareidim and is known for opposing their position on feminist issues, was found guilty in December of having copied portions of Shapiro’s “Growing Up with My Children” and inserting them in her own novel, Sotah.

Ragen previously vehemently denied the charges by Shapiro. The Jerusalem District Court ruled in favor of Shapiro, who like Ragen lives in Jerusalem.

Ragen told the court that she only used Shapiro’s material as “raw material,” but the ruling stated that the author in effect intentionally copied parts of the book.

The sum that the court imposed on Ragen is the highest compensation ever given to an author in Israel for copyright infringement.

Shapiro’s lawyer, Gilad Corinaldi, said after the verdict was given out, “This is a significant achievement which will encourage writers to protect their copyrights. The judge should be praised for his intelligence and efforts to bring the parties to an agreed upon verdict.”

In January, Ragen was cleared by Israel's Supreme Court on all charges of plagiarism and copyright infringement in a second case brought against her by writer Michal Tal.

The case filed by Tal, a self-published author, over what she claimed were similarities to her own manuscript in Ragen's book "The Ghost of Hannah Mendes," was decided in Ragen's favor after Tal's death.