About the School

Here at NEFBiH, we recognize the importance of preserving Bosnian language skills, as one of the core values of our Bosnian American identity. Due to that belief, our Leadership Team, spearheaded by our former Board of Directors President (at the time) and the School’s Founder-Ria Kulenovic, sees an immense value in this initiative. NEFB&H Bosnian Language School was founded in Fall of 2013. Some of the School’s main goals are:

1. Acquisition of language skills and competencies of students according to their age

2. Developing students’ awareness of Bosnian cultural and multi-ethnic identity

3. Maintaining and strengthening ties with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the end of each semester, our students, parents and other volunteers, led by the School’s Coordinator (Current: Jasmina Dervisevic-Cesic) and Prof. Bursac, organize a recital to celebrate the students’ achievements. This gives the students an opportunity to showcase their learned language skills through various modes of expression, such as: singing, presentations, poetry reciting and acting.

Scholarships for students in need of financial assistance are available. To apply for financial assistance, please send FIT – 1040 form for the year (prior) and a letter of support for financial assistance. Members of the Committee for Financial Assistance are responsible for reviewing and granting scholarships.

For any additional questions, please contact the NEFB&H’s Bosnian Language Coordinator- Jasmina Dervisevic Cesic at jcesic[at]yahoo.com.

Ellen Elias Bursac

Ellen Elias Bursac


Teta Ellen (an endearment used by many of our younger students) was born in Cambridge, MA and lived in Zagreb for sixteen years. Prof. Ellen Elias Bursac was a long time professor of Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian language at the Department of Slavic Studies at Harvard University. In addition to that, Prof. Bursac has been a long time translator with the International Court Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). She was a member of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, where she was coordinating studying abroad program for the American students from the Midwest. In her long career in linguistics, Ellen has translated many works into English by Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian authors. In addition, she is a co-author of a university textbook for teaching the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian languages.

Ellen continuously works with the NEFBiH ‘s Advisory and Training team regarding the development of the curriculum for the school.