Jewish beauty queen Alexandra Rosenfeld was crowned Miss Europe 2006 in Kiev on Friday night, beating 33 other contestants from countries across Europe. The winner of the Miss France beauty pageant last December, Rosenfeld received her European title from an international jury headed by Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli. Miss Ukraine and Miss Spain were named the competition's first and second runners-up.
A 19-year-old from France's southern Languedoc region, Rosenfeld has kept her Jewish background in the spotlight, telling judges before her Miss France victory that her favorite "reference book" is Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz. Rosenfeld also took public part in a February demonstration against anti-Semitism in response to the fate of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Parisian Jew kidnapped, tortured and killed by a group of Muslims.
Rosenfeld will take home 100,000 euros as part of her victory. She hopes eventually to open her own travel agency.
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