Jerusalem – The look into happy faces that beamed for a whole day was heartwarming. And the sprightly ladies who took part in the Israeli beauty contest “Miss Holocaust Survivor” (dt: Miss Holocaust survivor) participated had every reason to do so: the attention of their beauty was only for them!
In the end, 86-year-old Selina Steinfeld won the competition. A senior citizen who, as a child, witnessed torture and mass murders in Romania and survived them.
Ten women in their 80s and 90s signed up for the special competition, sponsored by a local foundation, to bring joy and recognition to the people of Israel’s rapidly dwindling population of Holocaust survivors.
The women were looked after by professional make-up artists, hairdressers and stylists all day before the evening competition. A number of local celebrities, including “Miss Israel”, Noa Kochba, served as jurors and provided entertainment before Selina Steinfeld was named winner.
According to the organizers, Steinfeld moved to Israel in 1948, married and raised three children. She has seven grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
“I have no words to express my happiness,” said Steinfeld, emphasizing that she enjoyed the special day of pampering. “I hope to be able to lead the people of Israel to beauty and goodness.”
Israel was founded in 1948 after the Holocaust as a haven for Jews from all over the world. The country is home to an aging population of approximately 175,000 who survived the Holocaust when an estimated six million Jews were killed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.
The beauty contest is sponsored by Yad Ezer L’Haver (translated: Helping Hand), a local foundation that supports Holocaust survivors. It was the first time since 2018 that the event took place. Last year it was canceled due to the pandemic.
“These amazing women, Holocaust survivors, are the real heroines of our society. Thanks to them we are here today, said Shimon Sabag, the chairman of the foundation.