Yityish Aynaw, a former Israeli army officer, became the first Ethiopian-Israeli to win the Miss Israel pageant on Wednesday.
A panel of judges awarded the title to Aynaw, a 21-year-old model who came to Israel about a decade ago, at the International Convention Center Haifa.
"It's important that a member of the Ethiopian community wins the competition for the first time," she was quoted by Israeli media as telling the judges in response to a question. "There are many different communities of many different colors in Israel, and it's important to show that to the world."
Aynaw came to Israel with her family when she was 12. Acclimating to Israel was difficult at first, Aynaw said, but she picked up the language quickly with the help of a friend.