August 30, 2010 / 20 Elul 5770
Dr. Olga Baskin, made aliyah from Minsk, Belarus on August 27, 2009, and is now a doctor at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center near Ramle. She would like to take the opportunity, at the dawn of the new year (5771 in the Jewish calendar), to wish the Jewish people, her brothers and sisters in the FSU and throughout the world, and each and every individual, “Shanah Tovah” – a happy New Year.
In the fluent Hebrew which she learned at the Jewish Agency Beit Canada Ulpan in Ashdod and on the Jewish Agency programs in which she participated, especially MASA for Doctors, she expresses the following wishes: “Although I am a doctor, I hope that you need not see (too many) doctors in the upcoming year. May we all be healthy. I also wish for peace, peace, and more peace. May our homes be stress-free. May we use every minute of our lives constructively, and make full use of the talents with which we are blessed. May we not be ashamed to talk about gentleness and love, and may we all love one another.”
Dr. Baskin is a doctor at the Department of Internal Medicine (In Memory of Aliza Begin) at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. When we visited her, she was hosting her siblings. Her sister is in her first year of medical school in Minsk, and her brother has completed an engineering degree there. Dr. Baskin expresses the hope that her siblings and her parents will make aliyah, and “We will be a happy Jewish family.”
She was born in the “very Jewish” city of Bobruisk, the birthplace of a number of the leaders of the Second Aliyah. These include Berl Katznelson, the great Labor Zionist leader who is considered the spiritual father of the movement, as well as Abba Ahimeir on the other side of the political map, one of the leaders of the Revisionist Zionist Movement in Israel in the 1930s and 40s. Dr. Baskin relates: “We heard that this city has very deep Jewish roots. I later moved to Minsk in Belarus, where I completed my medical studies in 2004.”
Five years later, on August 27, 2009, she made aliyah. In September 2009, Dr. Baskin passed her qualifying exams from the Health Ministry and was licensed to practice medicine in Israel. She searched for a place to specialize and was accepted to Assaf Harofeh. “Yes, I miss my family and friends,” she concludes, “but I have also met many good people, and I’ve never felt alone.”