“The Holocaust survivors are the light that illuminates humanity when the world is dark.”
Selena Steinfeld, an 86 year old Holocaust survivor from Haifa, was announced the winner of the 2021 Miss Holocaust Survivor beauty pageant during a special event at the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening.
Selena said excitedly after winning that “she was happy and excited about her status” and that her message is “we must be strong everywhere, to know how to take care of ourselves, and most importantly, help each other. Do not leave unhappy people alone.” Even at her age, Selena continues to volunteer and visit Holocaust survivors at least once a week.
Dr. Mike Evans, who has been donating regularly and launching initiatives in support of Holocaust survivors for years, presented her with the award.
The NPO Yad Ezer L’Haver (Helping Hand) Foundation has been holding the “Miss Holocaust Survivor” beauty pageant for several years, with the last pageant held in 2018 and then postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the hundreds of contestants, 10 finalists at the ages of 80 to 90 were selected, and they took the center stage in the Friends of Zion Museum. Ahead of the event, the contestants were pampered by a team of professional makeup artists, hairdressers, and stylists who volunteered to prepare them for the pageant.
All of the contestants are “brave heroines who survived the horrors of the death camps,” the contest organizers stated.
These women “of radiant internal and external beauty who survived the Holocaust” were honored as true beauty queens with the traditional ribbon, tiara, bouquet of flowers and many gifts.
The pageant’s goal is “to bring happiness to these heroines who survived the Holocaust, to make a dream come true for them, to pamper them, shower them with attention and add joy to their lives,” the organizers stated.
Shimon Sabag, CEO of Yad Ezer L’Haver, stated that “these amazing women, Holocaust survivors, are already in their twilight years and will not be here with us for much longer. This day is an experience that will stay with them for years to come.”
“The Holocaust survivors received a warm embrace, not only at the event, but a lasting embrace. There is nothing more beautiful and moving than gathering Holocaust survivors and their descendants and many volunteers all together in one hall for this purpose,” he said.
“This is the beautiful story of the State of Israel, of Israeli society, which is our strength and success. Holocaust survivors are the true heroines of us all and thanks to them, we are here today! The Holocaust survivors are the light that illuminates humanity when the world is dark,” he concluded.