Name any country in the world and it’s likely that Jessica, David, Lexi and Aidan Silverman have a family memory to share about it.
The Silvermans are world travelers, taking in the sights and cultures from countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Greece, Belize, Guatemala, Israel and Poland, to name a few.
“We want to make sure we live every day to the fullest,” says Jessica, 46. “It’s important for us to spend time as a family and make memories together. My grandma, who is a Holocaust survivor, always says where there is life there is hope, so we try to live by that.”
Jessica and David have always been passionate about traveling, and it’s that love for exploring they’ve instilled in Lexi, 19, and Aidan, 16.
“We have been traveling as a family since Lexi was three months old,” says Jessica.
“If you are able to expose them to travel early on, they will grow up being used to it and be able to adapt to the different settings. We create extensive itineraries for our travels and pass them along to anyone who asks for recommendations.”
When not traveling, the Silvermans, who belong to Chizuk Amuno Congregation, spend their time caring for members of our community. Neither Jessica nor David were born in Baltimore, but they made Charm City their home after David’s four-year OBGYN residency at Sinai Hospital.
“We had Lexi my first year of residency and Aidan my fourth year, and I would come home from being on-call and fall asleep with them in the rocker,” says David, 48, a doctor with Sinai OBGYN Associates. “We were only planning to be here for my residency, but 20 years later this is our home.”
Because of David’s demanding job, Jessica found herself looking for a flexible career. She started her own stationery and invitations business called Silver Lining LLC. Jessica is no stranger to entrepreneurship, with her grandparents owning a candy shop, and her grandparents and mother owning a handbag business. Today, her grandmother, at 93, still goes to work almost every day.
“My grandma always says that no matter what is happening today, tomorrow can be better,” Jessica says. “The fact she had perseverance to survive, met my grandfather in a displaced persons camp and started a family is amazing. From one person came all these generations.”
Jessica, who is also the daughter of a survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, knows every day is a blessing.
“The firefighters during 9/11 saved my dad’s life,” Jessica says. “They told him the tower was going to collapse. He’s an electrical engineer and he said it wasn’t possible, not knowing the South Tower had already collapsed. They pushed him to move quickly down the stairs, and he was one of the last people out of the building. When he reached the main concourse level, there were firefighters directing him where to run, as there were fireballs falling from above. When he got out of the main concourse onto West Street, that’s when the building collapsed, catapulted him forward and he was covered in soot.”
Recognizing how fragile life can be has guided this family’s journey and led them to philanthropy. Not only are Jessica and David involved with The Associated, but Lexi and Aidan also spend their time helping others. Aidan, who goes to Boys’ Latin, cherishes his time participating in FUN(d), A Teen Giving Circle, Students Taking Action for Change and Diller Teen Fellows, all programs of 4Front.
“Through these programs, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for organizations like the Special Olympics and for local hospitals to buy games for their patients,” Aidan says. “I want to give back and this is a fun way to do so in a youth group like setting.”
Lexi, a Roland Park Country School graduate and current University of Maryland student, also chooses to spend her time focused on charitable giving. She has seen firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust when she went on the March of Living with her mother and grandmother.
“As we walked out of the camps, my mother, grandmother and I were wrapped in an Israeli flag, and my grandma was crying because she was able to walk out when so many couldn’t,” Lexi says. “Being in Poland was tough, but going to Israel immediately after was incredible. On Independence Day in Israel, the fallen soldiers are really remembered and treated with so much pride and respect.”
Being able to look back on an experience like the March of the Living is one of the many reasons Jessica and David make sure every vacation has a picture book to go along with it.
“I hope my kids will cherish these books forever and show the albums to their kids, says Jessica. “They are a labor of love and a gift for our children.”
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