Howard Stern dubbed himself “King of All Media,” and that’s not just empty swagger. He has achieved tremendous success on radio with The Howard Stern Show, in publishing, with films, and on television.
One of Stern’s daughters, Emily Beth Stern, is a talented and accomplished artist who has chosen a uniquely different path from her famous father’s. Emily’s admirers are eager to learn more about her life and career. Here is the scoop on this gifted woman.
Emily Is Howard Stern’s Eldest Daughter
Howard Stern has three daughters—Emily, Deborah, and Ashley—from his first marriage to Alison Berns. The couple married in 1978, separated in 1999, and divorced in 2001.
Emily is the eldest of the three. She was born on May 7, 1983, in New York.
She Studied Theatre At New York University
Emily graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, but her dreams of a career as an actress hit an unexpected snag.
She landed the role of Madonna in an off-off-Broadway play, Kabbalah, at the Triad Theater on W. 73rd Street in 2005. Emily was reportedly so thrilled about the opportunity that she dyed her dark hair blond to resemble the Material Girl more closely. She also went nude, the New York Post reported.
The production got negative reviews and attracted few theater-goers. To lure larger audiences, director Tuvia Tenenbom allegedly exploited Emily’s connection to Howard Stern and a non-consensually filmed video of a scantily clad Emily during a rehearsal.
Emily left the show after six weeks. She was backed up by Howard’s lawyers, the Post reported. “I told the director, ‘Don’t advertise who I am.’ He manipulated my love for the show for his gain,” Emily said.
Tenenbom had a very different take on the situation. He told the New York Daily News that Emily is a “Jewish-American princess” and Howard is “a psycho.”
He allegedly said he had not exposed Emily’s relationship to Howard and that it was actually made public on two websites for Howard Stern’s fans. Tenenbom also claimed that Howard deterred Emily from appearing in the play.
Tenebom argued that Emily said, “My father basically told me that if I take the role [which requires her to be on stage nude for the last 10 minutes], that his enemies would buy blocks of tickets, throw garbage at my vagina, take nude pictures of me and put them all over the Internet.”
She’s A Singer
Emily released an album called Birth Day in 2012. Her website explained that she drew upon the sounds of nature, such as rain storms and bird songs: “After exploration with a band, Emily came to realize the natural world was the only thing wild enough to come close to where these songs were born in her.”
She’s Studying To Become A Rabbi
Emily’s Instagram bio describes her as a rabbinical student. In an interview with The Jewish Journal in 2008, she seemed to be at peace with herself and what she was doing at that time.
Emily said that she combined Jewish religious practices with Transcendental Meditation, which “her family had practiced since she was young.”
She also studied the use of Balinese masks in theatrical contexts, wrote songs that she recorded and performed, appeared in a musical, Earth Sucks, and attended a Jewish renewal synagogue.
Emily had long felt connected to her Jewish heritage, according to an archived post from Jew in the City, but “the ritual element was always missing.” She evidently found what she was seeking in Orthodox Judaism.
She experienced a stunning moment of clarity when she happened upon a Havdalah ceremony at a yoga studio. A Jewish Renewal Havdalah is a religious ceremony at the conclusion of the Shabbat, or day of rest, on Saturday that also heralds a new week.
That ceremony resonated deeply with Emily and catalyzed a new, even stronger sense of connection with her Jewish faith.
Emily’s recommitment to her religion was not greeted with “too much pushback,” as Jew in the City phrased it, from her relatives and others close to her. They apparently respected her for embarking upon a spiritual journey that was so meaningful to her.
An incident that gave Emily pause occurred in Israel, when her mother watched her praying and voiced concern about “losing her daughter” (per Jew in the City).
Emily kept uniting her artistry with her spiritual and religious faith. She joined an art fellowship at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in New York. While she was there, she authored a play.
Emily also was inspired to study the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) at Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women in Jerusalem.
She’s Passionate About Art
Her passion for creating art is intertwined with her love of the Torah. Its text inspired themes and characters she writes about. Emily’s art and her devotion to her faith are inseparable. One is typically present with the other. Those dual passions have come to define who she is.
It seems as though this period of religious discovery—and self-discovery—spurred Emily’s artistic growth. She wrote Love Psalms, which she described as “a series of short, devotional love poems.”
Emily took a series of photographs titled Wells of Miriam. Those images depict what was once an arid, withered landscape in Portugal that was miraculously reinvigorated by the introduction of water through water-retentive landscaping.
That technique is impressively simple. As Jew in the City explained, it involves digging deep trenches that can fill with rainwater that can bring the soil back to life. Jew in the City concluded, “The final (and most fascinating) step is when the ditch is full to capacity…and becomes a mikvah.”
That word, as noted on Emily’s website, can have several interpretations. In Hebrew, it can mean gathering, hope, and immersive bath.
Emily’s photos celebrated the concept of revitalizing the land as seen through the lens —both actual and metaphorical—of her religious faith. Her children’s book, The World’s a Song: So Come and Play, uses “poetry, whimsical illustrations, and 5 notated songs” to emphasize “support, discovery, and universal love.”
Emily Stern has emerged from her father Howard Stern’s shadow and created an artistic identity that is triumphantly her own. She has forged a career by exploring her vision of the world as seen from a religious and spiritual perspective. We hope Emily continues to produce artistic works that allow us to share her spiritual quest.