by: Kate Norman
Thursday, 18 October 2018 | A 93-year-old great-grandmother was crowned winner of the annual Miss Holocaust Survivor contest in Haifa on Sunday. Polish-born Tova Ringer and 11 other ladies celebrated their survival and the lives they led after overcoming the horrors of the Second World War.
“I’m very happy,” Ringer, a resident of Haifa, told Reuters. “It’s something special. I wouldn’t believe that at my age I would be a beauty.”
Ringer celebrated the victory with a big smile. With her beaming face, you would never know what Ringer has been through: she lost her parents, four sisters and grandmother in the Auschwitz death camp. She said she didn’t have any friends left after the war and was alone before she came to Israel.
After surviving the heartache and loss, Ringer’s life today is filled with joy and meaning. “I have children—angels—grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” she said with a smile.
Ringer beat 11 other beaming contestants in black evening wear and sashes to win the title, including runners up Rita Kasimow, 85, Madeleine Schwartz, 74, and Tamara Weitzman, 81, according to the Times of Israel.
The Miss Holocaust pageant is aimed at giving these women, who have overcome the horrors of the Holocaust to build new lives for themselves in Israel, a chance to shine and feel special. At one point, the contestants walked down the runway to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”
The pageant is hosted by Helping Hand—Yad Ezer L’Haver in Hebrew—an organization in Israel that assists needy Holocaust survivors. It has been held annually in Haifa since 2012.
According to the Times of Israel, hundreds of Holocaust survivors joined the thousands of attendees who came to cheer on the participants. The crowd also including Knesset (Parliament) members and government officials.
A spectator from Germany told Reuters, “It is very important for my generation to know the history of the Holocaust, of the Shoah, and it is important for me to support these people.”
There are fewer than 200,000 remaining Holocaust survivors in Israel, according to a report by Haaretz last year. Miss Holocaust Survivor gave a few of them the chance to rejoice in the lives they’ve lived and the hurdles they’ve overcome.
Posted on October 18, 2018
Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 18, 2018)
Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/Ruptly
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