going above and beyond
- Feb 19, 2001
Meet the New Miss Israel
Standing tall through it all
This 6-foot beauty captured not only the attention of the judges but also the world when she was recently crowned Miss Israel. Soon after, another dream was fulfilled when 21-year-old Yityish “Titi” Aynaw was invited to dine with President Barack Obama. It was in celebration of his most recent trip to Israel.
Titi, the first Ethiopian immigrant to win the Miss Israel title, says she’s come a long way in less than 10 years. Born in a tiny African village where things like staircases didn’t even exist, Titi suffered the tragic loss of both her parents by age 12. She then came to Israel and created a new life.
Today, an estimated 121,000 citizens of Ethiopian descent are living in Israel.
“This was an incredible moment,” Titi says. “Obama is a figure that I want to emulate. I did a project on him in school and I knew what he had been through and what he had done. He was like a mentor for me, so to meet him and say hello, it was like closing a circle.”
Yityish “Titi” Aynaw