It has become a
tradition, but it is still hard to get used to the sight. Nineteen
senior citizen women standing in a row. Pair by pair, they step to the
front of the stage, and take a bow, walk the catwalk and return to the
line. The youngest is 70-years-old, the oldest is 94, and the common
denominator is a haunting past: all of the contestants in the 2013
pageant which will be held in Haifa
are Holocaust survivors.
"It's amazing to
find that even at this age there is jealously and rivalry, just as with
18-year-old models," says Heli Ben David, who was crowned Miss
Congeniality in the 1979 Miss Israel Pageant. Today, she guides the
older women all the way to the catwalk. This week, she interviewed women
who wanted to compete and heard their difficult stories.