Ron’s funeral liturgy was celebrated at the Medical Mission Sisters chapel.
Ron actively supported the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Mazzoni Center is an incredible charity that Ron supported.
PAR Recycle Works is a recipient organization of the Ron S! Charitable Fund
Face to Face in Germantown (Philadelphia) is supported by the Ron S! Charitable Fund
Ron's running apparel was donated to Back on My Feet
Heeding God's call to end Gun Violence is supported by the Ron S! Charitable Fund

Ron was a generous, kind, hilarious, brilliant, opinionated, friendly and compassionate person who cared deeply about healing the world. This fund continues his legacy.

Ron cared deeply about social justice and helping others. The Ron S! Charitable Fund was established by the family to continue Ron’s spirit of giving to organizations that serve the people of our country and around the world. The charity was founded with seed money from Ron’s estate and has supported more than 20 causes so far and has raised or given away over $40,000.

Our charity will partner with an established organization to support a specific cause. This year we are committed to raising $4000 for a new medical technology for Temple University Hospital called a Cuddle Cot. It’s a type of bassinet that can be used to hold the body of a newborn infant who dies at birth or shortly after so that the body will remain intact long enough for the family to grieve until such time they are ready to let go.  The Cuddle Cot brings comfort to parents in time of great need when struggling with such a difficult loss. Since Ron died, his mom has a special place in her heart for grieving mothers and families. She started a support group for grieving moms, Moms Rising Together and is always aware of the profound grief of child loss at any age under any circumstance. The Cuddle Cot is not part of the hospital budget but only given through private donations. Many hospitals in affluent areas have one, so we chose Temple University Hospital for our donation since they serve a more economically challenged population of the city. Watch a video on the Cuddle Cot or read an article to learn more. You can donate to the cause at the GoFundMe page for the Ron S! Charitable Fund.

Last year we exceeded our goal of $3700 to bring a new technology called Virtual Dementia to PPH (the Philadelphia Protestant Home). This program allows family members caring for their loved ones stricken with Alzheimer’s to experience a simulation of what it is like to have the disease, and better understand how they can help them manage the condition. PPH will also use the Virtual Dementia program to train staff members to improve the care provided to people who are diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s. This video is short yet informative: Virtual Dementia program explained. 

In 2017 our art sale fundraiser raised over $5000 in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The AFSP received 75% of the money and 25% went to the Ron S! Charitable Fund. The art auctioned off at the fundraiser was part of Ron’s personal collection.

Donations can be given directly to a recipient organization of your choice by clicking a link on the list below on this page. Any time we exceed a financial goal, the money remains in the fund so that we can continue to make modest distributions on Ron’s birthday.

Ron died on Christmas Day, December 25, 2015. His birthday is January 6. Those days or anytime during the holiday season would be especially meaningful for contributions to the fund in Ron’s honor.

The Ron S! Charitable Fund

Ron was well aware of his ability to provide for himself, offer special gifts and experiences for his loved ones, and give to others doing good work for people in society. He had a natural ability to uplift everyone around him. More than just providing financial assistance, Ron took a real interest in people, building and restoring relationships, showing up for special events, and arranging times for friends and family to get together.

Ron was a compassionate person deeply committed to causes for social justice. He was an ally and supporter of his LGBTQ colleagues at SAP, where he worked. He had a strong commitment to racial equality, immigrant rights, helping marginalized people, and reducing the toll that gun violence has taken on our country.

The causes Ron supported, and those the family has donated to in his name, are listed below.

Recipient Organizations

The following causes have received grants from the fund. We are grateful for their incredible work.

Please take a moment to learn more about these organizations (below) and how they intersect with Ron’s life.

  • Mazzoni Center

    The Mazzoni Center provides LGBTQ-affirming therapy that respects the uniqueness of every individual seeking a satisfying and fulfilling life.

    Ron’s SAP Newtown Square colleagues perform an annual day of service at the Mazzoni Center. In 2016 they dedicated their service to Ron’s memory. Look for the photo of Ron’s mom and step-dad in the photo rotation working on the day of service.

  • American Civil Liberties Union – ACLU

    The ACLU fights for people’s rights in courts, legislatures, and communities throughout the country. The ACLU stands ready to take on any civil liberties violations.

    Ron strongly believed in the protection of citizens’ rights.

  • Face to Face Germantown

    Hospitality, mutuality, and transformation. At Face to Face struggling families, individuals and the homeless are welcomed and treated with dignity and respect. The goal of Face to Face is to meet basic human needs and reduce suffering; thereby assisting people to a better future.

    Ron’s mom and step-dad have been long-time supporters of Face-to Face. The Ron S! Charitable Fund supports Face to Face.

  • Back on My Feet

    Back on My Feet, a national organization operating in 12 major cities coast to coast, combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources.

    All of Ron’s running clothes and shoes were donated to Back on My Feet.

  • The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

    IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. They don’t just support veterans, they empower them.

    Ron’s step-brother is an Afghanistan war veteran. The Ron S! Charitable Fund has contributed to the effort of this fine organization.

  • Kiva International

    Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Kiva celebrates and supports people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

    Ron had a Kiva account from the time his manager at SAP gave him a gift card for Christmas several years ago. Ron’s Kiva account is now managed by another family member. But we support this worthwhile organization.

  • Southern Poverty Law Center

    SPLC is the premier U.S. non-profit organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists – including the Ku Klux Klan, the neo-Nazi movement, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, anti-government militias, Christian Identity adherents and others. They are currently tracking more than 1,600 extremist groups operating across the country, publish investigative reports, train law enforcement officers and share key intelligence, and offer expert analysis to the media and public.

    Ron supported the SPLC and in April, 2016, his mom and step-dad visited there and wrote the name of Ron Silberstein on the Wall of Fame.

  • Children International

    Children International is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that supports children and prepares youth to escape poverty traps. It addresses children’s critical needs through early intervention and regular interaction in community centers.

    Ron supported a child through Children International for many years. A family member has taken over Ron’s account and sends monthly contributions in his memory.

  • PAR Recycle Works

    PAR-Recycle Works is a social enterprise offering environmentally responsible recycling services while providing life-changing workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals.

    Ron was aware of the founding of PAR and was impressed by its mission. Ron’s brother, Joe, contributed funds from Ron S! Charitable Fund for a video promoting that mission and its fine work with returning citizens.

  • Medical Mission Sisters

    The Medical Mission Sisters (MMS) is a Community of dedicated women with almost 550 Canonical members and 100 Associates, we share life and our own unique expertise with women, children and men on five continents today. MMS enters into their lives as partners, as peers, as friends. MMS works together with them to build one world, and be one world, where the gifts of all people, all cultures, all creation are affirmed and celebrated.

    Ron’s funeral liturgy was celebrated at the Medical Mission Sisters chapel, followed by a luncheon in the hospitality room. They are located at 8400 Pine Road, Philadelphia, PA 19111.

  • Journeys of the Heart – Ron Silberstein Memorial Fund for Funerals

    Journeys of the Heart is a group of professional, warm and engaging non-denominational ceremony officiants who custom create ceremonies centered around the specific desires of the bride and groom. With appreciation and deep respect for the uniqueness of each person served, we craft ceremonies based on each couple’s own beliefs, ideas, wishes, style and personality.

    The Ron S! Charitable Fund has established a Ron Silberstein Memorial Fund through Journeys of the Heart so that people who are grieving the loss of a loved one yet who are without resources to provide a comforting and meaningful funeral service will be provided with an appropriate officiant and guidance to create the ceremony that will be a loving and lasting memorial to their loved one.

    Journeys of the Heart was founded in 1995 by Ron’s mother, Marguerite Sexton.

  • EACS – Eastern Academy Charter School

    Ron’s brother, Joe Malachi Silberstein, was a member of the EACS staff for 5 years and was instrumental in advancing the creative and performing arts program there. Ron was the biggest individual contributor to the school’s fundraising campaign that Joe ran to support the program.The Ron S! Charitable Fund gave EACS a donation to advance the school’s mission of students pursuing their passions through projects and community service.

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

    The AFSP mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

    Ron’s mom, step-father and aunt attend a Survivors of Suicide support group sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Ron’s family also participated in two Out of Darkness walks.

  • Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence

    Heeding God’s Call is a faith-based movement that seeks to prevent gun violence. It unites people of faith in the sacred responsibility to protect our brothers, sisters and children. Heeding God’s Call helps faith communities organize to publicly pressure local gun stores to adopt a set of practices to deter straw purchasing. Heeding God’s call is known for their public displays called Memorial to the Lost, which memorializes people who have died by gun violence on tee shirts with the names of individual victims along with their age and date of death.

    When Ron died his family requested contributions to Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence as one of the optional contributions. One deeply painful realization to the family, which has long advocated for stricter gun laws, is that Ron’s name will now appear on a t-shirt memorial as another tragic victim of gun violence.

  • Black Lives Matter

    The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities, working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise.

    Ron recognized Black Lives Matter as an important civil rights organization and would defend BLM against those who would attempt to misrepresent its mission. 

     

  • The Earth n Us Farm

    The Earth n Us Farm is a learning space for kids and adults. The Farm seeks to teach people how to respect and care for the Earth, animals and each other. And hopefully, the Farm serves as a place for people to learn how to peacefully co-exist.

     

     

  • LifePath

    LifePath provides programs and services to individuals
    of all ages with developmental disabilities throughout
    the Lehigh Valley and southeastern Pennsylvania.

    Ron’s beloved cousin Leslie lived in a Lifepath home and was lovingly cared for by Lifepath staff for many years.  All of Ron’s family is pleased to continue to express their gratitude to Lifepath for all of their good works on behalf of Ron’s cousins and all the people in need that the organization  continues to serve.

  • Police Athletic League of Philadelphia - Philly PAL

    PAL is “Cops Helping Kids.”  PAL aspires to be the premier youth-serving organization in the city, by reducing crime, promoting character development, and improving educational outcomes. They do this by having Philadelphia Police Officers, supported by civilians, offer sports and other programs to youth in PAL centers in some of the city’s highest crime and lowest income neighborhoods. PAL Centers are safe havens, offering a variety of programs and other events to attract, engage, and develop an active membership base of more than 10,000 Philadelphia youth.

    Ron believed that positive experiences between local police and the communities they served was an important component to healing the rift between law enforcement and our neighborhoods. 

     

  • Anti-Defamation League - ADL

    The Anti-Defamation League the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all. ADL Philadelphia works to accomplish this mission in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

    Ron was vocal against bigotry and about defending the civil rights of disenfranchised people in our country. 

  • WXPN 88.5 FM in Philadelphia

    WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.

    Music was a big part of Ron’s life and supporting independent music was especially important to him.

  • Freire Schools - Build the Future Foundation

    The Freire Schools have four schools in their network: Freire High School, Freire Middle School, Freire Wilmington and TECH Freire. The school was founded two decades ago based on the inspirational work of pioneering educator Paulo Freire.

    Ron supported his brother Joe’s efforts as Director of Activities and social studies teacher when he worked Freire High School from 2003-2009. Joe has worked at TECH Freire since 2017 as the Activities Manager for the after school program.

About Ron

Ronald Ernest Silberstein was born on January 6, 1968.

He went to school in Abington, PA and the University of Delaware, where he was part of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Ron maintained close, fulfilling relationships from both Abington and Delaware.

Ron had a successful 20 year career with SAP, and worked out of the company offices in Newtown Square, PA in the east, Palo Alto, CA in the west, and made annual trips to the headquarters in Germany. Ron loved visiting Germany, its people and was proud to be part of the SAP family. Through his job he became a world traveler and visited many of countries on other continents. Ron sustained close relationships with his work associates. During his years with SAP, he lived in San Mateo, CA for 4 years, and loved the San Francisco area. He returned to Philly in 2012 to be closer to his family and lived in Ardmore, PA.

Ron spoke “truth to power” when it was not easy. Many people felt he would speak for them through his articulate Facebook posts on political and social issues. If he disagreed with people, he would challenge them to think differently about a topic while still treating them with integrity. Ron was devoted to progressive causes, although he considered himself to be more moderate than liberal. He was known for stimulating thought-provoking conversations and had a great sense of humor.

Ron loved music, particularly rock music. He attended hundreds of concerts with his brother Joe as well as with cousins, co-workers and friends. He was devoted to health and fitness, and eventually became a runner and successfully participated in many Philadelphia area races. Ron was the ultimate host — dynamic and articulate — always providing his family, friends and guests with the very best food, drink and hospitality.

Ron is survived by his Mom (Marge), step-dad (Tom), and his brother and best friend, Joe, step-mom Donna and step-siblings Tom, Sean, Nicolle and Tracie. He was preceded in death by his father, Joe Sr. and his step-brother, Jay. He also had a large, vibrant, close extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews.

Ron was surrounded by love his entire life. He will be missed by many forever. After his death, Ron’s family was invited to Palo Alto to meet Ron’s SAP family. It was here they were shown a plaque dedicated to Ron, with this wording: