Abie Eisenbach has always called Sherman Park his home. He was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Sherman Park and grew up just blocks down the road in the Orthodox Jewish community. Mr. Eisenbach’s family has strong roots in the community. His parents have owned their home and family store, Kosher Meat Klub on 48th and Burleigh, since the 1970s. Currently, he lives directly next door to his parents’ home where he grew up and works at his family’s store. Walking up to the two homes, the presence of this family is palpable. There is a stone path that connects the entrances of both homes, and children play in the front yards. With six young children ages ten, nine, eight, six, four, and one, Mr. Eisenbach is a busy man with a lively household.
However, he still makes time to care for his neighborhood.
Mr. Eisenbach has fond memories of growing up in Sherman Park. He says he wants his kids to have the same experience in this neighborhood that he did when he was young. He remembers riding his bike back and forth to school on 51st and Keefe, saying hello to his neighbors, and playing with other kids in the Jewish community. He realizes that the community isn’t like that anymore, just as forms of socializing have changed over time. He says his kids seem to need to be entertained by technology, and, instead of walking around and talking to people, everyone is glued to their phones.
He says, "I want to bring unity back into the community."
Growing up, Mr. Eisenbach went to many schools in many different cities: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Milwaukee and Toronto. He would leave for school during the week and come home on the weekends for Sabbath and holidays. Even though he spent a lot of time away from Sherman Park, he has always considered it home. After finishing his schooling and after getting married, Eisenbach moved back to Sherman Park. He and his wife welcomed their first son at St. Joseph’s soon after.
Abie Eisenbach calls himself a “nosy neighbor.” He claims that people won’t commit crimes if they know they’re being watched. For this reason, he and two other men in the community started a citizen’s patrol last December. They drive around taking notes and notifying neighbors and police if they see anything suspicious. Their patrol boundaries are 48th, 60th, Burleigh, and Nash streets. They hope to eventually expand to all parts of Sherman Park.
Mr. Eisenbach is also part of the Sherman Park Community Association. He participates in the neighborhood block watch and is an active member of his synagogue. As a result, Mr. Eisenbach is very protective about his community. He says that it is “a friendly neighborhood with great people.” Everyone on the block cares for their properties, and despite a few foreclosures, the majority of residents are responsible homeowners.
At the end of the interview, Mr. Eisenbach gave us a tour of his home. Since the interview took place in his parents’ home next door, we walked across the connecting stone path and greeted his wife and children in the front yard before entering the house. In the living room, Mr. Eisenbach pointed out photos of holy rabbis dating back to the 1800s and old family photos. He showed us through a large, newly redone kitchen, the kids’ play room, a guest room, and three large bedrooms. Even though there are eight people living in this house, Mr. Eisenbach says they “make it work.”
Mr. Eisenbach is truly dedicated to caring for his family, home, and community. Through the work that he’s doing, he brings unity back into the community. Community members like Abie Eisenbach are the ones maintaining the safe and family-oriented atmosphere of Sherman Park.
"Milwaukee is always home."
"I want to bring unity back into the community."