Schechter graduate among those killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman

A graduate of the former Solomon Schechter Day School in St. Louis was one of six U.S. service members killed Tuesday when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman, 35, died of injuries suffered as a result of the crash, which is under investigation, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

A graveside service takes place Tuesday, Dec. 24 at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in Chesterfield. Although Mr. Silverman lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., he and his family still had close ties to St. Louis, said Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose of Congregation B’nai Amoona.

Silverman graduated from Schechter in 1990, according to former teachers at the school. His parents, Barry and Susie Silverman, now live in Aurora, Col., but were longtime members of B’nai Amoona when they lived in St. Louis, said Rose.

The Defense Department said that five of the six soldiers, including Silverman, were assigned to the 1st Infantry Division's 1st Combat Aviation Brigade in Fort Riley, Kan. The Defense Department confirmed a seventh soldier in the helicopter survived the crash.

A memorial service for Mr. Silverman took place at 8 a.m. Friday (Dec. 20) at the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School (which was the result of a merger in 2012 of Solomon Schechter Day School and Saul Mirowitz Day School-Reform Jewish Academy). About 70 people took part in the service, which included sharing stories about Mr. Silverman. Flags flew at half-mast in honor of his memory.

Local realtor Matthew Litwack counts Mr. Silverman among his best boyhood buddies. The two met in third grade while attending Hebrew school at B’nai Amoona and were great friends from then on. They went to Camp Ramah together for several years and traveled to Israel together when they were teenagers.

“Josh was unlike any of my other friends,” said Litwack. “He was never concerned with what was cool. He did his own thing and people gravitated around him.”

Silverman attended Parkway Central High School through his junior year, according to the school’s records department. The family then moved to Arizona, Rabbi Rose recalled.

Litwack said Silverman was truly “a great person” —kind, caring and always up for a dare. “I can never remember a time when we fought or when he was mean-spirited to anyone,” said Litwack. “Everyone liked Josh. When I posted about (what happened to) him on Facebook yesterday, no less than 100 people commented on what a terrific person he was.”

Litwack said while deployed in Afghanistan, Silverman’s posts on Facebook always contained humor, no matter what. “That was Josh,” said Litwack. “He always could see the positive in the negative.”

A graveside service is planned for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24 at Berger Memorial Funeral Chapel, 9430 Olive Boulevard in Olivette.Interment follows at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, 650 White Road.

Memorial contributions preferred to Combat Veterans Cowboy Up, Moon Fall Ranch, 5937 Highway 86, PO Box 1287, Elizabeth, Colo. 80107.