(JTA) – Linor Shefer, an Israeli-American reality television star who was born in Ukraine, won Moscow’s first Miss Jewish Star beauty pageant.
Shefer, a former contender on the Israeli version of “Big Brother,” beat 19 other contestants on Sunday in Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, according to the STMEGI association of Mountain Jews.
Second place went to Emma Tabachnikova 0f Ukraine and Marianne Golushkin of Uzbekistan was third, the Israeli Russian-language news site haifa.vibirai.ru reported.
A panel of four judges selected the winners. The jury included Dorit Golender, Israel’s ambassador to Russia, according to the pageant’s website.
The pageant was sponsored by more than a dozen companies and groups, including the Russian branch of the Hillel Jewish network, and was open to any unmarried woman under the age of 30 who is Jewish according to halachah, Jewish religious law.
Winners will receive prizes selected by the sponsors, the competition’s charter said, but it did not specify what they are.
Shefer, 29, moved with her family to Karmiel in Israel’s North at age 5 from the city of Berdychiv in northern Ukraine. She moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to work in show business. She also lived in New York and worked in real estate before moving back to Israel to be with her family. She served in the Israeli Air Force.
In the United States, Shefer volunteered to strengthen intercommunal ties within U.S. Jewry by participating in the activities of the Russian American Jewish Experience.
Before entering “Big Brother” earlier this year, she began volunteering in Israel.
“I hope to complement my work for Jewish communities in Israel and in the United States with more work for Jews in Russia and elsewhere, to help Jewish values grow in young people today,” she said in a statement about the pageant.