Dan and Ellen Einstein pictured having fun with Michal Becker’s daughter.
An outpouring of support for Dan Einstein at Sweet 16th Bakery, a social hub for the East Nashville community.
By Michal Becker
Eight years ago, when so many people in Nashville were wondering about the fast growth of the city, its changing character, and the tall skinny houses, I had a discussion with Dan about Nashville. I said that growth is good for the city: more sidewalks, better schools, more coffee shops, and restaurants—what are people so afraid of?
Dan agreed with all of this. But then he added, in a quiet voice: “But I don’t want the community to change.”
And guess what? It hasn’t.
When you have people like Dan and his wife Ellen in your neighborhood, there will always be a community. They created a snowball. Because when newcomers come, and receive a smile, help in whatever they need, and get a box of food to take home—it is contagious. Next thing you know, they are the ones who are smiling at other newcomers and giving a hand when needed. They are helping their neighbors; they care about the others too. Dan and Ellen set the tone of “this is how we behave in East Nashville.” And we followed.
When you know that there will always be a place where people remember your name, where you will always be invited for a Seder, and where you’ll get a hug (and a muffin)—you always feel at home.
This is what the Sweet 16th Bakery was for so many people. This is why so many people know that things will never be the same.
Dan died on Saturday 1/15/22 after his body was already tired of fighting. He died peacefully, leaving his wife Ellen, and hundreds of kids: his community.
Yehi Zichro Baruch.
Michal Becker is the Engagement Director for the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, and the Gordon Jewish Community Center
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