June 9, 2009 | 2:21 pm
Posted by Julie Gruenbaum Fax
On May 20, The Jewish Journal published “Three Days in June,” a Memorial Day memoir by Manny Klein about his brother, Tech. Sgt. Bernard M. Klein, who was killed in action in World War II. Two weeks after the article was published – on a fourth day in June—Dov Bernard Klein, Manny and Adaire’s son, who was named for Manny’s brother, died suddenly at the age of 48.
Dov lived in Los Angeles through the late 1980s, where he and his wife Sandy were founders of Beth Jacob’s Upstairs Minyan, as well as involved in revitalizing other parts of the Orthodox community. In Baltimore, where he managed two kosher restaurants, he was beloved as a warm presence who brought joy to even chaotic situations. Phil Jacobs, at the Baltimore Jewish Times, wrote about his passing:
Dov Klein worked over at Accents Grille and managed Cocoaccino’s in the Greenspring Shopping Center. The places could be backed up with hungry customers, orders coming out of his ears, and he maintained a nice, easy, winning smile that suggested, “This isn’t such a big deal. Everyone will be taken care of.”
And we always were.
Dov, we learned, passed away on Tuesday.
This wasn’t the news that one would suggest be connected to Dov Klein. He was too filled with life and an attractive, positive energy.
A man in his 40s, he was way too young for me to be writing about him in this context. He cared about the work he did and he was just one of those guys who made the neighborhood feel like a welcome small town.
He knew I was addicted to Cocoaccino’s cinnamon rolls. When my daughter worked for him there, he’d send some home for me. He was her first “manager” in the work force. Many of our teens can say that. I think he really knew that for a young person working a part-time job, out of the comfort zone of his or her parents’ house, that first manager has to be a person of patience, a person with a sense of humor and a good teacher. Based on what I’ve heard from my own daughter, he was all of those.
I was one of those teens. Dov gave me my first job in 1988, scooping ice cream at the Haagen Dazs in Century City, which he managed. He taught me not only to measure out a 4 oz. scoop, but to deliver it with the joy that befits premium ice cream.
Hundreds of people packed into Manny and Adaire’s small home one night this week as they finished their last night of shiva back in Los Angeles, after spending the week in Baltimore. Some of the visitors knew Dov, but all of them knew Manny and Adaire, beloved for the personal attention and help they offer to all who cross their paths. Adaire, the librarian for many years at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, also mentors people in the process of conversion. She was featured as a Jewish Journal Mensch in 2007.
To leave a message for the Klein family or to hear audio of his funeral, click here.
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