Ellen (Elka) Gordon, 86, AH

Mrs. Ellen (Elka) Gordon, the wife of the late Reb Yisroel Gordon, who was a full partner in her husband’s shlichus in Morristown, N.J., where he served as administrator of Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim, passed away.

Mrs. Ellen (Elka) Gordon, who was a full partner in her husband Reb Yisroel Gordon‘s shlichus in Morristown, N.J., passed away on Thursday, 2 Adar, 5783.

She was 86 years old.

Born in 1936, Ellen Schasberger spent her early years in Greenwich Village and Brooklyn Heights in New York City. The family lived in Los Angeles from 1940 until 1946, when they moved to East New York. 

After graduating high school at 15, Ellen studied at Black Mountain College and later Brooklyn College, where she met the charismatic and inspired R. Zalman (Jerry) Jofen, a brilliant artist and a scion of the leaders of the Novardok yeshiva network. 

Fully embracing Yiddishkeit, she married R. Zalman and the couple settled in Crown Heights, where they were neighbors and close friends of Rabbi Yosef Baruch and the late Alessa Wircberg and their family. Loving and wise, she became a treasured member of the extended Jofen family, which includes many prominent roshei yeshivos and Torah leaders. 

When her husband became ill, she faithfully cared for his every need until his passing in 1993. 

In 1994, she married R. Yisroel Gordon, a Chabad chossid and shliach and patriarch of a large family, who passed away less than three weeks ago. As before, she became a beloved member of the Gordon family, treasured for her unconditional acceptance, an intuitive knack for connecting, and genuine concern for all.

She was a full partner in her husband’s shlichus in Morristown, N.J., where he served as administrator of Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim and oversaw the Tikva Way Community, where they lived in addition to Crown Heights.

A skilled cinematographer, she worked on many of the beloved children’s films produced by the Little Wonder Puppet Theater, such as Uncle Pinchy and the Dancing Bear. 

Naturally gifted in the area of nurturing and healing, she trained as a Feldenkrais practitioner, a craft she used to bring comfort and life improvement to many. 

She passed away early Thursday morning. She will be dearly missed by her brother Richard and by countless family members, clients, and friends who were touched by her gentle charm and ability to connect with and elevate everyone with whom she came in contact.

The levaya will pass by 770 at 1:30 p.m. and interment will take place at 2:00 at Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Queens, New York. 

Ellen’s brother is sitting Shiva in Ellen’s house, 719 Crown Street, Friday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Baruch Dayan Haemes.

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  1. BDE
    What a glorious life we read about re the beginning of this special lady ‘s ascent to Yerushalayim shel maaleh!
    Thanks to Reb Risha for sharing.
    Chazzan Elliott Yavneh. Emeritus

  2. Deepest condolences, Baruch Dayan Ha Emet.

    I am so saddened to hear about these losses in Reb Rishe’s family, so close together. What wonderful souls.

    May Reb Rishe’s Grandmother, Ellen (Elka) Gordon, rest in peace, and may her memory be for a blessing.

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