Elke has been a New York City ESL educator for over thirty-five years. She is also a certified institute facilitator of (QTEL) Quality Teaching for English Learners Building the Base and (QTEL) Quality Teaching for English Learners English Language Arts for High School. Her interest in the education of ELLs is both professional and personal. Elke’s first language is Yiddish, and she started her school career as an English Language Learner. Consequently, she has volunteered a great deal of her time to professional organizations that support the education of ELLs. Elke was president of New York State TESOL 2002-2003 and later served as chair of New York State TESOL’s publications committee. She is also an active member of international TESOL and a founding member and past chair of international TESOL’s Affiliate Leadership Council. Elke volunteered her time to help document the Holocaust, conducted interviews in English and in Yiddish of sixty- five Holocaust survivors, for the video archives of Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. As a second-generation Holocaust survivor, she considers this her most significant achievement. She also served on the New York Times “ESL Teacher of the Year” selection committee.
Elke retired from full time service in 2007 and worked for two years as a consultant for the New York City Department of Education’s Office of English Language Learners. Her most recent position was mentoring teachers interns for the NYC Department of Education, Bilingual Pupil Services program. She worked with teacher interns in the classroom providing formal and informal feedback on their instruction. She also provided instructional support and helped them to write effective lesson plans according to BPS guidelines.