New Miss Israel has come a long way

An 18-year-old Beersheva woman is the new Miss Israel.

Mor Maman

Mor Maman, who studies computer graphics and will soon enlist in the Israel Air Force, won the contest on March 4.

“Participating in the Miss Israel contest is a dream come true for me,” she said when she registered for the competition.

“Four years ago, our life changed. My mother fell down and lost her memory as a result of the fall. It was simply erased. I arrived at the hospital and she didn’t know who I was. I was angry at the entire world, I began neglecting myself, and then my father had a heart attack.” Maman decided, “I had no other choice but to lift myself up.

“From a spoiled middle child I became responsible — cleaning, preparing food without neglecting my studies. When I graduated with honors and got on the stage to accept the certificate, everyone applauded. Fortunately, our house is functioning again and we’re happy.”

Maman grew up as an overweight child but decided at age 13 to turn things around. “For two months I mainly ate salads, did a lot of physical activity and lost 30 kilos [65 pounds] as a result,” she said. “I taught myself to eat right and I exercise a lot.”

She also started a Face-book group to help girls “who want to lose weight without falling  [prey] to anorexia, heaven forbid,” she said. When other group members are having a hard time, she said, “I give them hope, I tell them to follow their dream and not to give up. If I succeeded — anyone can do it.”

Maman was one of 20 contenders selected from thousands of applicants for the prestigious pageant. —