Photo: Selena Steinfeld, age 86, is the winner of the Beauty Queen Competition for Holocaust Survivors 2021. Photo courtesy Yossi Zamir
By Sharon Gelbach
And the winner of the Beauty Queen Competition for Holocaust Survivors 2021 is…
The Friends of Zion Conference and Communication Center hosted on November 16 a beauty pageant for Holocaust survivors, produced by the Yad Ezer L’Haver Foundation in collaboration with the Friends of Zion Heritage Center. Selena Steinfeld, 86, from Haifa was crowned Beauty Queen.
Upon being crowned, the excited Selena said, “We must be strong everywhere to know how to take care of ourselves, and most importantly, to help each other. Do not leave unhappy people alone.”
Born in 1935, Selena Steinfeld says she will never forget the terrible scenes from the pogrom in her hometown, when she was only five and a half years old. Over 1,700 people were murdered on that day. Selena grew up in the shadow of the Nazis until the Russians liberated Romania. In 1948, she was one of hundreds of illegal immigrants who made their way to Eretz Yisrael. For two weeks, she hid in the bottom of a ship under terrible conditions. Today Selena is surrounded by her three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Selena, who continues to volunteer and visit other Holocaust survivors at least once a week, said at the event, “This is my personal victory over the Nazis.”
The award was presented by Dr. Mike Evans, a veteran friend of Israel and one of the most influential Evangelical leaders in the world. Evans has been contributing to Holocaust survivors for many years and helps care for their needs.
The ceremony was moderated by Moran Attias, international model and TV presenter, together with Nancy Brandes, entertainer, composer, and musical arranger.
Among the judges was Lea Schenirer, representing the second generation of Holocaust survivors. Schenirer, whose mother survived Mengele’s cruel experiments on twins, participates in activities commemorating the Holocaust all over the world. The panel of judges also included model Ravit Asaf, crowned Miss Israel 1992 and now the owner of a chain of beauty schools; event producer Irit Rahamim; businesswoman Pnina Rosenblum; model and businesswoman Nataly Dadon; businesswoman Ruth Leviev-Yelizarov; Noa Kochba, who was crowned Miss Israel 2021 just a few days ago; and Yarin Buzaglo, Miss Teen Israel for 2021.