I came to study Yiddish in my early twenties, while completing my M.A. degree in English and German language and literature at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and searching for my Jewish identity and a fulfilling profession. Yiddish transported me into a new world, both physically and culturally, while allowing me to remain within the framework of my original professional training and interests: language teaching and literary translation. In 1991 I participated in the Oxford Summer Programme in Yiddish Language and Literature, which turned out to be a transformative experience. After two years of autodidact studies, as a graduate student of Yiddish at Columbia University and YIVO in New York, I had the unique opportunity to carry out research in the field of Hungarian Yiddish, allowing me to ask the very questions about Hungarian-Jewish/Yiddish life that had fascinated me for years, and formulating some answers in a scholarly way.

I began to teach Yiddish in Hungary at Eötvös Loránd University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of Hungary. I moved to the USA in 1999, and I have taught Yiddish language and literature there at various universities ever since. These include the University of Michigan, Stanford University, the University of Washington, Portland State University, and the Uriel Weinreich Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture. In 2010 I moved to Israel and have taught Yiddish at Tel Aviv University, Beth Shalom Aleichem, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, as well as The Naomi Prawer Kadar International Yiddish Summer Program at Tel Aviv University and in the Summer Program of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute. I also translate various types of literary and non-literary texts to and from Yiddish. Some of my work has been published. Most recently, I started to teach yoga in Yiddish.