Flowers, Stars and Flags for Beautification

January 2016


We tend to think of beauty competitions as superficial events in which contestants are ranked solely according to their appearance. But a ‘beauty competition’ can alsoJanuary 2016-1 be an efficient means of motivating organizations to beautify and organize their working environment for the benefit of employees, customers, suppliers and other concerned parties. This rationale has guided the Council for decades in the beauty competitions it holds for various Israeli jurisdictional and economic sectors. Local councils, factories, hotels, senior homes, hospitals and even mikvot (ritual baths), compete among themselves for “beauty flowers and stars” awarded for appearance, sustainability, accessibility and safety.


This year, too, eight national ‘beauty competitions’ are being held, with about 1,500 organizations and institutions taking part. Organized in small teams, some 2,000 CBI volunteers visit the sites of participating organizations, using a special form to evaluate their efforts in resource conservation, water and energy use, rubbish disposal, transparency in reporting, accessibility, safety, appearance and contributions to the community. Ranked on a scale of 1 to 5, participating organizations receive beauty “flowers” or “stars”. At the end of each year, the winners are honored in a gala event.


And who are the winners? In the “Beautiful and Sustainable Town in a Beautiful Israel” competition, for example, Bat-Yam was declared the city investing the most in its residents’ quality of life. In the “Beautiful and Sustainable Industry in a Beautiful Israel” competition, the Nesher cement factory was honored for its activities on behalf of the community, including renovation and accessorizing of senior homes with resource-conserving facilities such as energy-saving lightbulbs and water-saving devices, landscaping a club for Holocaust survivors, painting bomb shelters, distributing gift packages to soldiers in southern Israel, providing scholarships for students, and more. In the “Beautiful and Sustainable Hotel in a Beautiful Israel” competition the Dan Carmel hotel in Haifa and the Caesar Premier hotel in Eilat were awarded the Golden Flower in recognition of five and ten consecutive years, respectively, of adaptation for accessibility. And, in the “Beautiful Mikve in a Beautiful Israel” competition, 11 of the leading, high- quality public ritual baths in Israel were chosen from 120 throughout the country.


But, winning means more than the pride of those chosen for commendation. The real victors are those who enjoy the quality services they provide, the well-tended surroundings they create on behalf of their stakeholders and the positive example they set for other organizations.