Born in Transylvania, Erika Bokor moved to Chicago in the summer of 1974 where she quickly became involved in the life of the Hungarian community. As a young adult, she became a Hungarian Scout leader and was also one of the founding members of the Rabai Hungarian Folk Dance Group. She was grateful for the two summers at Portland State Univeristy’s Summer Hungarian Studies program, and her year of studies at the Eötvös Loránt University in Budapest, for they helped solidify her knowledge-base about Hungarian history, literature and folklore. With the support of mentors like András Ludányi, Lajos Éltető and Béla Kovács and in collaboration with her now husband, József Megyeri, she also became deeply involved in the work of the Hungarian Communion of Friends (MBK), first as a youth board member and later as regular board member and President.
Over the years, she facilitated the work of MBK to promote the development of Hungarian-American identity in the service of a longer-term presence in the region. MBK has done this through publications such as the ITT-OTT periodicals and the ITT-OTT Yearbook; through its annual ITT-OTT Conference at Lake Hope State Park in Ohio, with the aim of providing an intellectual forum within the context of family vacationing; and through inviting guest speakers from the Carpathian basin as well as from the other regions of Hungarian diaspora. She is passionate about sharing these musical, literary and cultural performances with local Hungarian communities, often finding ways to bring invited MBK guests to the Chicago area.
While being involved with MBK has allowed her to work within the context of a wider Hungarian community, her active decades-long participation in the leadership of the Hungarian Club of Chicago has more deeply connected her to her local community. There, she recognizes the importance of community-building, and to this day puts much of her energy in supporting that effort in a variety of ways that include the welcoming of guest lecturers and performers and the organizing of significant community events such as Gala Balls, summer picnics, Christmas gatherings and of course, commemorations. Her active participation in the Borozda Hungarian Dance Ensemble provides another vehicle of connection to the Chicago-based Hungarian Community where she enjoys the opportunities to promote Hungarian folk dances from many regions of the Carpathian basin, at a variety of venues.
Professionally, Dr. Bokor is a Clinical Psychologist with a private practice focused on working with individuals and couples, where she is passionate about helping her clients be their best selves, regardless of the challenges they need to meet. Outside of her community work and professional life, she loves to travel with her husband, experiencing America’s National Parks one tent-camping trip at a time.
She is proud to be an Organizational Board Member of the Hungarian American Coalition, representing the Hungarian Communion of Friends (MBK).