MARY BLYE KRAMER
Mary’s first book, A Baptist Among the Jews, delves into her exhilarating encounters with Judaism, to which she ultimately converts. Having been a Baptist for 48 years, Mary’s discovery of the deep spirituality within Judaism brought some of the deepest joys of her life, the most intimate encounters with God she’d yet experienced, yet what preceded those discoveries - the loss of her 30-year marriage, editors who accused her of deceiving the Christian community, and radio show hosts hanging up in the middle of live interviews, calling her a heretic - made her question whether remaining true to herself was worth it all.
A Baptist Among the Jews received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and the Reviewer’s Choice Award from the Dallas Morning News.
In Sitting With Sufis, Mary’s second book, published by Paraclete Press, Mary finds yet another path of extraordinary spirituality as she whirls with dervishes in Turkey, sits at the feet of her beloved teacher, Sherif Baba, and is introduced to a mystical realm to which she remains deeply connected, even after she ultimately identifies with Judaism and moves to become an authentic part of that community and religion.
Sitting With Sufis was named the Best Book for 2005 from Spirituality and Health under the category of Multifaith. Omega Publications, Inc. named it the Book of the Month.
In 2004, Mary won a national award for her writing on interfaith relations.
More than 100 of Mary's articles have appeared in various periodicals, including the Chicago Tribune, Entrepreneur, American Heritage of Invention & Technology, AAA Going Places, the Dallas Morning News, Texas Highways, Writer's Digest, and many others.
Speaking engagements have included the Distinguished Author and Speaker series, Mensa's Regional Conference, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Baylor University, the University of Texas at Dallas, Ad Lib Writer's Conference, and several of the largest synagogues, churches and conferences in the country.
Mary has appeared on radio and television programs across the country, including NPR's All Things Considered, the Glenn Mitchell Show, Common Threads, the Ian Punnett show, and Talkline, among others.
Hiking, playing guitar and piano, writing music, dancing, and travel are among Mary's hobbies. She loves finding new adventures, whether it's in her travels, hobbies, entertainment or spirituality.
She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington and holds a degree in philosophy and anthropology.
Enrolled for four years in a rabbinic program through ALEPH, Mary is currently working towards smicha (ordination) in a private setting.
Mary is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Author's Guild, and the Writers Garret.