Double Chai Check-In: Gail Eisenberg makes time for the most vulnerable

Double Chai Check-In: Gail Eisenberg photo

Gail Schnitzer Eisenberg continues to be as busy as ever since her induction into the 2015 class of Double Chai in the Chi: Chicago's Jewish 36 Under 36 list. Between balancing full-time work as an employee-side civil rights litigator, raising two children, serving as a newly elected New Trier Township trustee and making time for volunteer work with JUF and the ACLU, her dedication is awe-inspiring, to say the least.

The newest project on Eisenberg's plate is that of New Trier Township trustee. After her kids are in bed, she gets to work with the other new trustees on "the social safety net for New Trier residents."

"We run a food pantry that serves 81 families a month, we provide emergency financial solutions for people in need, we fund about 50 programs that support the most vulnerable populations in the township," she said.

Eisenberg's work as a trustee complements her service in other areas. She is currently serving her second year as the chair of the JUF Young Lawyer's Group, part of the larger JUF Trades, Industries & Professions Division.

As she did when named 36 Under 36, she continues to devote time to pro-bono work when she can, supporting individuals in need as a cooperating attorney for the ACLU. All of the above is in addition to her role at a new law firm and as a mom to her growing kids, Julia, 3, and Hunter, 1 1/2.

While the obvious question might be, "How do you juggle it all?," we were curious what perhaps surprises her most about motherhood, what she didn't necessarily know about raising children before hers were born.

"It's just giggles," she said. "It's so amazing, there's nothing like pushing a child on a swing and hearing that giggle, or playing hide and seek with a chair; they're just amazing.

"Before I became a mom, I didn't realize how amazing the little, tiny things, those miracles of existence, would be. Having a 1-and-1/2-year-old give you a hug -- you can't underestimate how big each little achievement of your kid is going feel to you."

Eisenberg continually finds time for not just family and work, but the various causes close to her heart. Her advice is simple for those looking to give back in a meaningful way, either if they are just starting out in their career, or their searching for the right time or cause:

"If you're always waiting for enough time or money to give back, you never will," she said. "It should be just a given part of your work week, and if it's not considered optional, you'll make the time."

Nomination are currently open for the 2017 Double Chai in the Chi: Chicago's Jewish 36 Under 36 list until Monday, May 22. Nominate an extraordinary Jewish young adult you know at www.oychicago.com/nominate.


Ashley Kolpak photo 375
Born and raised in Buffalo Grove, Ashley's been a little here, there and everywhere, but is a Chicago girl at heart. She currently works as a writer and editor for fitness, music, cultural blogs and more. She's a proud Illini (graduated with Bachelor's in Medi... Read More



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