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The Ohio Jewish Chronicle
Serving Columbus and the Central Ohio
Jewish Community since 19S2
FEBRUARY 4, 1993
13 SHEVAT 5753
DEVOTED TO AMERICAN AND JEWISH IDEALS
Museum of Tolerance
to be dedicated Feb. 8
OSU to honor Rosenf eld
The Messiah and
Tun and Fitness' Day
Stavsky. Berman /
attend conference f
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From supermarket cashier to cover girl
At The JCC
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By Albert Dayan
(UJA Press Service)
There's no trace of the exhausted 14-year-old who
trekked through the Ethiopian
desert. The camera doesn't
pick up the fear or shyness of a
traditional 21-year-old who
had to be pushed into modelling. Instead, the camera is
Mazal Pikado's adoring friend.
The camera captures and then
freezes a gaze that is at once
direct and mysterious.
Anyone who looks at the
photos understands why Pi-
kado ranks as one of Israel's
top models. Anyone who talks
to her realizes that this is one
talent that could easily have
At 14, Pikado was flown to
Israel by the Jewish Agency
during Operation Moses. Operation Moses was the 1985
evacuation of Ethiopian Jews
'to Israel. Most Ethiopians
Jews walked for days or weeks
through the relentless desert
with many falling victim to
the abuse of enemies or illness
before they could reach the Israeli airlift.
American Jews helped fund
this evacuation through the
United Jewish Appeal/Federation Operation Moses Campaign. Since then, American
Jews have continued to support the rescue and absorption
of Ethiopian Jews, American
Jews have also supported the
recent immigration and absorption of hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews through
The United Jewish Appeal/
Federation Annua) and Operation Exodus Campaigns.
Pikado and her family arrived safely in Israel. But once
here, Hie presented wholly unexpected and daily challenges
—crossing streets, eating with
utensils, using the plumbing.
Pikado also had some additional fears about education.
She says, "I don't remember a
lot about my life in Ethiopia,
but I do remember being beat
en by my teacher because I
couldn't understand the homework." That day marked the
end of her Ethiopian education.
'In Israel, Pikado adapted
easily to life in a Youth Aliyah
village. The Jewish Agency-
funded Youth Aliyah program
provides a top-notch education as well as assistance to
children in need or to children
making difficult adjustments.
After graduating from high
school, Pikado enlisted in the
country's national service program where she worked as a
nurse's aide in Ashkelon.
Initially, Pikado opened the
door to a modelling career and
then quickly shut it. After she
won a "Miss Charming" contest in Ashkelon, she caught
the eyes of some in the modelling business. Because of her
traditional upbringing and lack
of confidence, she rejected the
Fortunately, her boyfriend
and parents convinced her not
to let the opportunity pass by.
Pikado says, "I'm very lucky
because my family is very
open and I can discuss anything. I almost lost the chance
to model, but my mother gave
me a strong push to move
She's moving. She has
signed with a top Tel Aviv
modelling agency, is in demand and is setting her sights
on the future. She says, "My?
dream is to be a model on the
international circuit where I
can represent my country."
In the meantime, none of
the humility has been lost. Before she appeared on magazine covers, she was working
as a cashier in an Ashkelon
supermarket. She's still working as a cashier. She says, "I'm
thinking about things and taking them very slowly. This is a
whole new world for me." In
Pikado's case, the camera isn't
hiding a prima donna, just revealing a stark beauty.