Holocaust survivors walk the red carpet in Israel beauty pageant

Fourteen women took part in this year's pageant, held in the northern city of Haifa on Sunday.

October 31, 2016 15:58
1 minute read.

Holocaust survivors walk the runway in annual beauty pageant

Holocaust survivors walk the runway in annual beauty pageant


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


HAIFA, Israel - Their hair styled and make-up applied, a group of elderly women carefully take to a red carpet catwalk, waving, blowing kisses and posing for pictures to cheering crowds.

Wearing dresses adorned with sashes, the women strut down the runway, at times assisted, for the fourth Holocaust survivors' beauty pageant, a contest in Israel honoring those who saw the horrors of World War Two when they were young.

Fourteen women took part in this year's pageant, held in the northern city of Haifa on Sunday.

"Tonight we're letting some women who survived the Holocaust have something that was robbed from them in their youth," said David Parsons of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, a sponsor of the Helping Hand group which organized the event. "We want to give something back to them tonight it's for them to enjoy."

Walking along to tunes like "Pretty Woman", the participants included German-born Malka Gorka, 73, who came to Israel in 1948 with her parents and Hungarian-born Carmela Ben Yehuda, 89, who arrived in British-run Palestine in 1945 after surviving the Nazi German Auschwitz death camp.

Judges named 75-year-old Russian-born Anna Grinis, who was two-days old when the war started, as the winner.

"When my mother was alive, she always used to tell me about this period (when) we ran way from Moscow ... and there was nothing to eat there," she said. "We barely survived."

Some commentators and survivors have said the event cheapens the memory of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed by the Nazis. They say a beauty contest is a superficial way to acknowledge the hardship the women went through early in the lives, and point out that it might just as well involve men.

Participants and judges say critics are missing the point, saying the contest is about recognition and respect rather than beauty.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
March 22, 2019
Olmert to News 13: Never imagined Germany would sell submarines to Egypt