Benyamin "Benny" Elon
(1954 - )
Benyamin "Benny" Elon is an Israeli politician and prominent figure in the religious Zionist movement.
Elon (born November 10, 1954) was born in Jerusalem and studied at Yeshivat Mercaz Harav before serving as a chaplain in the IDF.
Elon served as Rabbi of Kibbutz Shluchot from 1978 to 1982 and as a Jewish Agency emissary in the United States from 1983 to 1985. On his return to Israel, Elon taught at the Ateret Cohanim Center in Jerusalem. In 1990, he founded Yeshivat Beit Orot of which he was Dean until 1996.
In 1996, Elon was first elected to the Knesset on the Moledet Party ticket. In 1999, Moledet merged with three other parties to form the National Union Party, and Elon was reelected to the Knesset on the new ticket.
In October 2001, following the assassination of Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze'evi, Elon was appointed Minister of Tourism. He held the position until 2002 and was later reappointed Minister of Tourism in 2003 until 2004.
In February 2006, Elon was diagnosed with throat cancer but did not withdraw from the elections and won his seat in the Knesset. He did not run in the 2009 elections.
Elon is married, and has six children. He has published commentaries on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, as well as numerous articles in the local press.
Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry; Wikipedia