Karola Torok prepares for 9 months in the US- August 2016

By Barbara Kres Beach


Karola Torok is the daughter of Istvan and Melinda Torok of our partner church in Romania. She just finished her first year master studies in business information management.  Her father, Reverend Torok,  modestly tells us, “The results were very good.”


To recoup her strength and to prepare for this fall’s internship in the US, she was able to spend five days at home after having no time at home since last February.  She had been studying in Budapest. Now she is back in Romania, and has been working as a fundraiser until her departure at the end of September.


Her challenge is to obtain a long-term visa. She sent in her application and soon will be interviewed at the US Embassy in Budapest. The Hungarian government sponsors internships of the sort that Karola has won.  She will work in the US from September to June of 2017. She will work with mentors in Ligonier, Pittsburgh, and in Toledo. Her work will be to process and digitize Hungarian books.  She will also teach Hungarian, and organize Hungarian events, commemorations, and other activities that preserve Hungarian identity in the Hungarian Diaspora.


With her colleagues–50 in the Diaspora living in Canada, North America, South America, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Western Europe—as well as 15 of them from the USA, they will be “cultural ambassadors.”


Her main host organization will be the Bethlehem Community in Ligonier.  She will also collaborate with about 25 interns in Cleveland, New York, Washington, Detroit, Boston, New Brunswick, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, and San Francisco.  (Rev. Erika Orban, Istvan Torok’s Unitarian minister colleague, was one of the interns last year in Washington, DC).


Istvan wrote, “The project started 5 years ago and has been a great success each year. Hundreds of talented young people served this mission. It has been a lifelong experience for all.”


He adds, “Karola was raised in the serving community of our church, learning in

Unitarian High School, earning a BA in Special Education, and a BA in Library Studies.  She became devoted to Hungarian culture, social work and other helping fields in society. She is a really hard worker.”


Istvan and Melinda agree that this mission may be a challenge for Karola— emotionally and professionally—“but it is a challenge for me and Melinda too, letting her far away for long period. But we are fully supporting her.”


Dear friends of the Thomas Jefferson UU Church, how can we help this beautiful daughter of our partner congregation?



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