Seven elderly Holocaust survivors have taken to the catwalk in the Israeli desert city of Arad to raise money for a charity operating in the country.

Four of the seven survivors at the event on Tuesday night were from the former Soviet Union, including Ukrainian-born Elizabeth Rodich, whose seamstress mother taught her how to make clothes.

“She would sew us clothing from frayed scraps of fabric,” said Rodich. “I remember receiving my first real dress when I was 15. It was so beautiful and perfect that I didn’t dare to wear it! I’ve worn my own clothes all my life, dresses that I designed on my own, hats, and even shoes. I’m really excited about this show.”

Fashion show participant and Holocaust survivor Sonia Domine shows off one of the designs during the survivors show in Arad, organized in part by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

The event was organised by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which helps elderly Israelis pay for food, medicine and fuel, but which has been heavily criticised by some Orthodox rabbis.

IFCJ president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein said: “These women endured unimaginable suffering during the Holocaust. Through an event like this, these survivors teach us about real beauty, pride, and a zest for life.”

Fashion show participant and Holocaust survivor Lila Kortekova shows off one of the designs during the survivors show in Arad, organized in part by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.