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With the help of her friend

September 10, 2007. Ynet: Timora Lessinger
When Asya first immigrated to Israel, she needed a job and an apartment. Ina took her in and helped her acclimate to her new country. Today, the two women are the closest of friends

Two years ago, when Ina Baisorin of Petach Tikva heard abut the “Babayit Beyachad” program, she knew that she had to sign up. Although many years had passed since 1990, when she had arrived from the former Soviet Union with her family, Baisorin had not forgotten what it meant to be a new “olah” (immigrant).

“I remember the difficulties and also the good people who helped me surmount them,” she reports. “When we came to Israel, I was ten years old, and I remember the girls in my class who helped me – and also my wonderful homeroom teacher.

“At a certain stage, I studied at Kibbutz Gazit, and to this day, I’m in touch with my amazing adoptive family from there, who opened and still open their hearts to me. I received so much from them.”

Baisorin’s encounter with new immigrant Asya Veronin was far more successful than either woman had dared hope. “There was a kind of spark, and we hit it off right away,” Baisorin says.

Ten months ago, Veronin arrived from Russia with a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In order to find employment in her field, she had to undergo further certification. When she was introduced to Baisorin, Veronin needed both housing and a job.

'I couldn’t believe it'

“I told Ina that I had finished ulpan (Hebrew language instruction) and that now I didn’t know how to cope in Israel or how to find work,” Veronin recounts.

“You come to a country where you don’t know anyone, and you don’t know the language or have any background,” Baisorin explains. “You don’t know anything about the most basic issues: How do you get a driver’s license? How do you rent an apartment? And what is the price range?

“All these things seem simple to us, but for new immigrants, they’re hard. My husband Yigal and I found Asya an apartment, and in the end, I even found her a job at my son’s kindergarten.”

“I didn’t believe that they would be able to help me,” Veronin enthuses. “In the beginning, Ina invited me to come live with them, until they’d find me an apartment, and in fact, I did live with them for several days.”

Veronin appears to regret her outspokenness. “I appeared on a television show, and I talked about the Baisorin family,” she notes. “But then I was told that I shouldn’t say that I actually lived with them, because other families might be somewhat daunted by that. Not everyone can have people living with them.”

Even though Veronin finally found both an apartment and a job, her friendship with the Baisorins continues to blossom. “In the mornings, I would help Ina with her son, and in the evenings, we would apartment-hunt, until I found something.

“She and her husband treated me like a sister, like part of their family. To this day, we’re friends.”

“Asya is lovely, and we have fun together,” Baisorin concludes. “We each help each other. We have a relationship of two equals.”
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