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May 26, 2014 12:43 pm

Newly Crowned ‘Miss Israel’ Mor Maman Brings New Jersey Crowd to Tears

avatar by Dave Bender

Mor Maman addressing a Jewish group.

Tears are not the first thing that comes to mind what you admire 18-year-old Mor Maman, Miss Israel 2014.

That is, unless you’re listening to the lovely 18-year-old share her inspirational tale of coping with family and personal tribulations.

Crowned in March, the Beersheba-born Maman recently attended a Jewish Federation of Rockland County fundraiser, held in nearby New Jersey.

Those present say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house – including Maman’s – as she shared her path to the crown, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported.

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“The whole crowd was terribly moved when she broke down and cried,” recalled one of the dozens of attendees at the gala event. “They themselves also teared up.”

Five years ago, Maman’s mother – herself a local beauty queen – was in a car wreck and lost her memory, she said in a recent interview with lohud.com.

“I grew up with a lot of nannies, and my grandmother took care of me while my mom was at work. I was very spoiled,” she recalled, and said she struggled with low self-esteem and her weight.

Maman had to take responsibility for her mother’s rehabilitation, and, after her father had a heart attack not long after, helped run the household – no mean feat for a 13-year-old.

“But after the accident,” she continued, “I had to grocery-shop and cook. It made me accept a lot of responsibility. I was doing all that while I was studying for the SATs. So I became a young woman even while I was a teenager.”

Taking herself in hand, she got her weight down, and now hosts a Facebook page for girls her age also fighting off the pounds.

“I’m trying to make sure they know there’s a healthy way to lose weight,” she said, providing tips on self-esteem and staying slim.

“The most important thing is that even when you go through hardships in life, you should never give up on yourself. You can accomplish whatever your dream is,” she said, proudly.

Maman, who dedicated her crown to her mother, will represent the Jewish state in the Miss Universe pageant, to be hosted in Moscow on Nov. 9.

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