Emily Beth Stern is an American actress, artist, and singer. She is famous for being the oldest daughter of radio and television personality Howard Stern and his first wife, actress Alison Berns. A native of New York, Emily has been deeply religious since childhood. Despite her parents not being particularly religious, she has been fasting for Yom Kippur and enjoying family Passover Seders since she was a child. Despite having her differences with her father even in her early days, they both practised Transcendental Meditation together. She received her mantra when she was ten years old. Emily graduated from New York University’s Tisch School with a degree in theatre, and subsequently appeared in several stage productions, including the off-off-Broadway play ‘Kabbalah’ in 2005. In October 2012, Emily released her debut album ‘Birth Day’ through Tree of Life Publishing record label.
Childhood & Early Life
Emily Beth Stern was born on May 7, 1983, in Old Westbury, an affluent neighbourhood in the state of New York in the USA. Her parents, Howard Stern and Alison Berns, were college sweethearts. They were introduced by a mutual friend while attending Boston University. Howard later wrote that he knew that he was going to marry Alison within a week after their relationship started. On June 4, 1978, they married at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Massachusetts. At the time, they both were 24 years old. Emily has two younger sisters, Debra Jennifer stern (born May 9, 1986) and Ashley Jade Stern (born January 24, 1993).
During the early years of Emily’s life, neither Howard nor Alison was an adherent follower of Judaism but Emily has always been deeply religious. Even when she was young, she would fast for Yom Kippur and participate in family Passover Seders. Howard, on one occasion, even stated that he disliked wearing yarmulkes and quipped that Emily’s bat mitzvah’s theme ought to be “I hate Jews.”
Despite all their differences, Emily and her father have always had one thing in common: they both practice Transcendental Meditation. Emily got her mantra at the age of ten. During his appearance on Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’, Howard stated that “Everyone in my life meditates; I don’t think I could really live without it.”
Emily had the typical upbringing of a child of a celebrity. Her father repeatedly told her and her sisters that everybody was watching them. While he had maintained that the warnings were for the girls’ own protection, Emily came to view it as narcissism.
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Emily Beth Stern graduated with a degree in theatre from the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. However, she did not immediately find success in her professional life and has lamented not getting her family’s guidance on the subject. They had never discussed it while she was growing up, which ended up doing her a disservice.
In 2005, she landed the role of Madonna in an off-off-Broadway production of ‘Kabbalah’. Highly excited to be cast in the production, she agreed to dye her hair black and go completely nude. However, problems started when the play got mediocre reviews. Emily later stated that the low ticket sales compelled the director, Tuvia Tenenbom, to make use of her status as the daughter of a celebrity. She alleged that an unauthorised video of her being nearly nude was put out to promote the play. In response, Tenenbom rejected the allegations. Emily left the production after six weeks with the help of her father’s lawyers, accusing Tenenbom of manipulating her love for the show for his personal gain.
In the mid-2000s, she embraced Orthodox Judaism, letting go of her previously very active Friday nights in favour of 20-person Shabbat dinners in an uptown apartment. She has also become a Torah scholar, studying the scriptures at the Drisha Institute.
On October 23, 2012, she released her album ‘Birth Day’ through Tree of Light Publishing record label. It contains 11 songs: ‘Given Love’, ‘Come On’, ‘Hear in the Heart’, ‘Love the Child who Cries’, ‘Mirror’, ‘Remembering Love’, ‘The Fly & the Flea’, ‘Soul Songs’, ‘Zoo Za Zoo’, ‘Love Song to Demeter’, and ‘Birthday’.
Emily was supposed to hold a photo exhibition on November 18, 2015, at the Hadas Gallery in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Named the ‘Wells of Miriam’, the exhibition would have concentrated on the water-retention landscape in Portugal. Emily compared it to the mikveh, a bath used for immersion in Judaism to attain ritual purity. However, she cancelled the exhibition after an interview she gave to the New York Post was published on 8 November. It portrayed her father in a negative light and caused family turmoil. The exhibition was ultimately held at The Jewish Museum of New Jersey from May 1 to June 3, 2016. In the same interview, Emily mentioned that she rarely went on dates due to her father’s emphasis on sexuality in his own professional life.