If I had to pick three words to describe my daughter, Emily Rachel Silverstein, I would say COMPASSIONATE, PASSIONATE and CREATIVE.  I am so proud and honored to have shared 19 years with such an extraordinary human being.  She gave so much to her family, her friends and the world.  She was so much more than anyone could ever hope for in a human being, from a daughter and a friend.

Emily’s worldview was formed at a very early age.  We found an essay she had written 10 years ago where she had to choose three words to describe herself.  She shared that she was a Vegetarian, Peaceful and a Hardworker.  She had a strong sense of what the world could and should be like and she wanted to do everything she could to make the world a little bit more like that ideal she felt in her heart. Although her music tastes, and hair color changed many times in the ten years since then, she truly lived her life by these compassionate principles that were her very essence.

Emily Rachel Silverstein’s compassion, passion and creativity have touched so many lives.  She accomplished so many amazing things.  But there was so much more that she wanted to do to make this world a better place.  There are so many more lives that she would have touched, inspired and empowered to join in the struggle for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

When well-meaning people try to comfort me by saying that there is a reason for everything that will become clear some day, I must admit that I feel sad and angry.  There can NEVER be a reason that would justify the loss of such a remarkable person.  NEVER.

In fact, my first reaction when we found out about our daughter, was how can I possibly go on when such an important part of my life has been taken away from us.  How can I ever have hope again.

Of course I knew the answer.  My son Jamey is as compassionate and caring as his sister.  He is also an extraordinary human being.  He has also made this world a better place and there are so many more amazing things that he will accomplish.  I need to be strong for him.  And my wife, Linda.  Emily’s loss is felt by so many.  But none can know the depth of that loss that Linda is experiencing.  Emily has always been her best friend.  They shared everything.  Emily gave so much to the world, and I know in my heart that Linda gave Emily the greatest gift Emily ever received.  The relationship that they had is truly extraordinary, and Emily was blessed to have had such a bond that few will ever experience. I know that Linda will find comfort in the eternal beauty of that relationship.  And I need to be strong for Linda, because her compassionate worldview has empowered her to touch so many lives, and she has so much compassion left to share, so I need to be strong, to try to help her to be able to not let this tragic loss prevent her from continuing to live her life of compassion to its fullest potential.

Now, for Emily, I am re-dedicating my life to that vision of a better world that my daughter and my son and my wife and I share.  And I am dedicating my life to continue the legacy of my daughter’s passion and compassion.  The world WILL KNOW her name.  The world will be inspired and empowered by her wish for a better world.  Her love has touched so many lives, and my life will be dedicated to making sure that her compassion will continue to embrace the world she cared so much about.  We have set up the Emily Silverstein Fund ( to continue Emily's legacy of hope in action for a better world. Emily’s beautiful legacy will live forever.

Thank you all for the love and kindness you have shared with our family in this time of sorrow and through all the years of joy.  And thank you for being a part of my wonderful daughter’s life.  I hope that her life will inspire all of you to have hope for a better world and to know that every act of compassion makes a difference.

Robert Alan Silverstein
(Emily's Dad)
At the 4/13/09 Memorial Service at Roosevelt Public School


Thanks to Anukul Gurung for the fairy image of Emily
Thanks to Fletcher Grayson/Gray Media for creating The Emily Fund logo

The Emily Silverstein Fund Inc.
Education, Mentorship, Inspiration, Leadership, Youth
- for a Better

PO Box 430
Roosevelt, NJ 08555-0430