59. Michal Modai

100 Women of Influence

From Beauty Queen to Queen of WIZO!

A seventh generation Jerusalemite, Michal Modai was the second ever Miss Israel crowned in 1951. She joined WIZO Herzliyah Pituach in 1968 and was soon elected Chairman of the Branch. She married Yitzhak Modai, a prominent politician and had 3 children.

Michal moved up in the ranks of WIZO and was elected Chairman of WIZO Israel. Her concern was about the problems of border communities, the issues of recent immigrants, areas of poverty and domestic violence. She established the first WIZO shelters for battered women in 1983.

WIZO schools and youth villages needed upgrading and she persuaded the Ministries of Education and finance to contribute 50% of the operating costs. This was a real game changer!

In 1996 She became President of World WIZO and held it till 2004. As well as being on many other Agencies and Boards, WIZO was number one for her, winning the Prime Minister’s award for volunteerism and numerous other awards.

Beauty and brains….a winning combination!

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