Obituary of ELAINE KAUFMAN
Elaine S. Kaufman, educator/teacher, died November 7, 2023 peacefully at home.
Elaine was born in Brooklyn, NY to Samuel and Lily (Schiller) Sommers. Her parents were born in the US and she grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn. She attended Erasmus Hall High School (now Erasmus Hall Educational Campus), followed by Brooklyn College, where she majored in education and met the love of her life, Harold Kaufman. They were married in 1956 and were married for 63 years before Harold's death in October 2019. After college, Elaine attended University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a Master's degree in Education. While in high school she was active in theatre productions and wanted to pursue this is a career, but went the education route instead.
Elaine and Harold moved to New Jersey in the early 1960s to start their careers and their family. Elaine was hired by the Piscataway Board of Education to teach at the Grandview elementary school; once the Schor Middle School opened she taught there for the rest of her career. She went back to college for additional certifications and her 30-above credits while having different teaching jobs at Schor. She retired as a Special Education Teacher. She was proud of her years as a special education teacher, changing the lives of many of her students who would come back to visit. She made sure all her students could read, count and handle money, and do basic math. She wanted to ensure they had life skills so they could work and provide for themselves. She also enjoyed mentoring new teachers.
Elaine loved the arts and socializing. She enjoyed going to the theatre, whether it was Broadway, or in Florida where she and Harold spent their winters. She was an avid dancer, especially hula, country line dancing, ballroom, with awards to prove it. Elaine was the social butterfly among her many friends, coordinating social events; after she retired, she helped organize Piscataway Township Adult Education trips. She enjoyed playing Mahjong, time with her friends, and spending summertime at the Rivercrest Swim Club. She enjoyed holidays and vacations with Harold and her children and grandsons. In her earlier years, she and Harold travelled extensively in the US and abroad with family and friends. For 50 years, she lived in Piscataway, New Jersey, and for the last 11 years of her life she lived happily at Windrows in Princeton, where she sang in the choir with Harold. She is survived by her daughter, Michele B. Kaufman (Jo Ellen Fusco), son, Roy Kaufman (Cindy Derrow), and two grandsons, Jordan and Caleb Kaufman.