Monday, February 22, 2010

Official Obituary

PRINCETON…Dr. Mel Silberman,67, Professor Emeritus at Temple University, a pioneer in the field of educational psychology and training and a founder of vibrant Jewish communities in Philadelphia, Princeton, and Ocean Grove, died peacefully at home on Saturday, February 20, 2010. He passed after a thirteen year battle with lung cancer.

Dr. Silberman grew up in Orange, NJ, married his high school sweetheart Rosalind (Shoshana) Ribner, earned a B.A. in Sociology at Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago. He taught for forty-one years at Temple University, winning the Great Teacher Award in 2000, authored thirty-four books on education and training, and rose to international prominence for his contributions to the field of training.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Shoshana Silberman, three children, Steven(Sara)Silberman and Gabriel Silberman all of Brighton,MA ,Dr. Lisa Silberman Brenner(Rabbi Daniel Silberman Brenner) of Montclair,a brother Albert Silberman of Roseland,six grandchildren Noam, Jonah, Yaakov, Adira, Meir, and Chana.

Funeral services are Sunday 11:30AM at The Jewish Center,435 Nassau Street,Princeton.Burial will follow at Mount Lebanon Cemetery,Iselin.The period of mourning will be observed at the Silberman residence in Princeton.The family respectfully requests memorial contributions be offered to “University of PA Medical Center”referencing (In honor of Mel Silberman/Thoracic Oncology)Penn Medicine Office of Development,Attn:Shawn Kleitz,3535 Market St,Suite 750,Phila,PA 19104 or
The Jewish Center(Adult Education Fund)


  1. I am an African American woman and an Associate Professor at Baruch College-CUNY. I offer my condolences to Mel's wife and family and his colleagues and friends. He will never be forgotten by me.

    I was in a workshop of his 3 years ago. What would make a man keep giving strategies for learning while dying? while losing life so to speak. I found out because I wanted to ask him what study showed same 4 students talk in class. Today on 7 Aug 2010, ten days before my first trip to Asia here at WiserU, I learned he had passed from this blog.

    This is not the first time someone I wanted to reach died before I could get to them. Coumba Sidibe (a Malian singer and master teacher I was studying but had lost touch with). Rufus Thomas (who was a DJ and recording artist from Memphis whose song Walking the Dog played a pivotal role in my dissertation and award winning book). The security guard at NYU where I worked in 2004, who I thought would be there tomorrow when I saw his jaundiced look when rushing from the office the day before. He died of liver failure that evening. He was a dear daily friend. I told my students after he passed that people matter nothing else. Stay connected and honor them when you miss them for whatever reason.

    I missed telling your husband and father he made a huge difference in my life. Wait, no I told him after the workshop. But really I will be telling him with each and every class I teach and every time I share what I got from him and his work. Diligence. Integrity. Real outcomes and truth. He cut through the BS we professors fool ourselves with about what we do when we teach. The red butterfly exercise, if you know it, altered reality for me and what was crazy is that many of my colleagues didn't get it. All us Ph.D. let our view of our self importance get in the way of why we are there -- to grow to learn. At least that is what I am up to. Actively growing and sharing what I am now learning not what I know.

    So thanks for posting this blog. and thanks for everything you did and continue to do through us Mel!! RIP.

    Associate Professor Kyra D. Gaunt, Ph.D.
    Baruch College-CUNY
    Twitter @kyraocity

  2. It was in 1992 when I was visiting my son in San Diego California, that I happened to stop by a publishing house called "Pfeiffer". Having just started a consulting firm in Asia, I found a wonderful binder called "20 active training programs". This started the long term relationship with Mel's work, and his tremendous contribution to those of us who provide training and consulting. My bookshelf is filled with books, and reference materials that feature his name, and every day that I am working with our various clients throughout Asia, there isn't an occasion where I don't reach for resource book that he is put together. I once send him a note, thanking him for all the valuable material, and he was kind enough to respond. Today, as I sit in my office in Bangkok Thailand, preparing for a program in our office in Indonesia, I once again reached for one of Mel's reference books. I was not aware of his passing. So now I feel that it's important that(1) I send my condolences to his wife and family and (2)let them know what impact he has had for many of us in the field who have come to appreciate the vast contribution is made to the world of training and consulting.. He will always be remembered as each course is taught or any intervention used to help a client improve..


    Paul Robere, PhD
    Robere & Associates (Thailand)Ltd.

  3. Hi I am Ali from Waterloo Canada.I am a teacher of Mind and Educational Games and ESL as will.
    I would like to contact with MR Mel Silberman
    Thanks for attention

  4. hello started to read his book now people smart he must have been a wonderful father husband and a giving human being

  5. hello started to read his book now people smart he must have been a wonderful father husband and a giving human being