Mourning the passing of Rabbi Benny Elon
It is with great sadness that the Israel Allies Foundation mourns the passing of Rabbi Benny Elon, Z”L. Rabbi Elon was a Torah scholar, a statesman, and a dear friend to many. “Benny,” as he was affectionately known, made an unforgettable impact on all who had the honor to know or work with him.
A ninth generation Jerusalemite Rabbi Elon loved the land deeply. After serving 13 years in the Israeli Knesset and as a member of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, Rabbi Elon “retired” from state politics to have an even greater impact worldwide. Benny reached out to the Christian world in a time where Jewish-Christian relations were still largely strained. He recognized natural allies, both in the halls of power and in churches worldwide. Benny saw great potential for support, based on shared values, and connected politicians, world leaders and faith leaders to his beloved Land and hometown of Jerusalem in a way that few have.
Benny was truly the father of faith-based diplomacy and faith-based political advocacy. After serving as Minister of Tourism and revolutionizing the way the State of Israel was promoted, he also served as Chairman of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. He traveled to the United States and built relationships and deep friendships with many Members of Congress. He efforts led to the U.S. House establishing the bipartisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus – a coalition of Representatives that stood firmly by Israel’s indivisible capital of Jerusalem. The work of the KCAC and the CIAC would eventually inspire the establishment of 34 additional caucuses in Europe, Africa, Latin America and beyond. Benny then recognized the need for a coordinated effort to resource and support the work of this international network of parliamentarians and in 2007, the Israel Allies Foundation was born.
Yet despite his vast accomplishments, Benny was a deeply humble and gracious man. In a world of self-promoters, Benny’s singular care was for building up the Land, for a united, thriving and prosperous Jerusalem. He was a man of uncompromising values and the Israel Allies Foundation and indeed men and women of faith worldwide, have lost a dear friend and revolutionary statesman.
The IAF extends its deepest condolences to the entire Elon family and friends as we mourn the passing of Rabbi Benny.