Elissa was raised in Northern New Jersey and studied Psychology and Spanish at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Elissa moved to Miami, Florida after graduation and obtained her Master of Social Work degree at Florida International University and went on to obtain her license in Clinical Social Work (LCSW). As a social worker, Elissa worked in various areas including foster care, adoption, substance abuse, elderly care management and hospitals. Since 2011, Elissa has been working for Jewish National Fund as the Director of the Southeast Center of Excellence. In this position, Elissa is responsible for overseeing the administrative arm of the Southeast region, which supports the fundraising efforts of the organization, including database and event management. Elissa and her team plan over 125 fundraising events a year throughout the Southeast.