Both Israel and Ethiopia are very proud of Miss Israel 2013! Yityish 'Titi' Aynaw, the first Ethiopian Israeli to win the title, is not only beautiful but possesses notable wisdom and self-confidence.
A born leader, Ms. Aynaw headed her high school student council and commanded 90 soldiers during her military service - this after the hardship of making aliyah from Gondar Province as an orphan at the age of 12, and breaking the barrier of learning Hebrew as the doorway to a new life.
Titi returned to Ethiopia, the country of her birth, in June of this year, to calls of "Congratulations, Miss Israel!” and for putting Ethiopia on the map through her meeting with US President Barack Obama in Jerusalem in March.
Revisiting her childhood home as the place where her mother had died was emotionally fraught - flooding her mind with memories of the early years that she just hasn't talked about in her new homeland - a way to forget. Titi also does not talk about the racism that on occasion her fellow Ethiopians encounter socially in Israel - happily this is not the national policy. As a new voice for young Ethiopian Israelis, Titi aims to launch a countrywide project to fundraise for after-school activities for "idle and frustrated Ethiopian kids."
Kol Hakavod, Ms. Aynaw! Her own victory also serves to highlight the struggles of Ethiopian immigrants, who are always warmly welcomed to Israel but still have so many personal battles to fight - old memories, a different culture, a new language, financial hardship, and social prejudice. Because of their plight before Aliyah, overall Ethiopian Israelis are among the disadvantaged in the Holy Land. For just $15 you can bless an Ethiopian family with a nourishing food hamper today! Click here *AND all this summer, Israel Today will match your donation and double the blessing!