Ze'ev Elkin

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Ze'ev Elkin
Elkin zeev.jpg
Date of birth (1971-04-03) 3 April 1971 (age 48)
Place of birthKharkiv, Soviet Union
Year of aliyah1990
Knessets17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Faction represented in Knesset
Ministerial roles
2015Minister of Strategic Affairs
2015–2016Minister of Immigrant Absorption
2015–Minister of Jerusalem Affairs
2016–Minister of Environmental Protection

Ze'ev Elkin (Hebrew: זְאֵב אֵלְקִין; Russian: Зеэв Элькин; born 3 April 1971) is an Israeli politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Likud, and as Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection.

Early life[edit]

Elkin was born Vladimir Borisovich Elkin to a secular Jewish family in Kharkiv, in the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union (now Ukraine). He became interested in Judaism, joined the Bnei Akiva movement, and learned Hebrew on his own. He studied mathematics and physics at Kharkiv University from 1987 to 1990, earning a BA in mathematics. He founded the Association of Hebrew and Jewish Teachers during his time at university. In 1990, he became the general secretary of the Soviet Union branch of Bnei Akiva. In December that year he immigrated to Israel along with his daughter.

He studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, gaining a BA in history in 1994 and an MA in history in the same year. Later, Elkin was involved in academic Jewish and medieval studies; in particular, he studied the works of Saadia Gaon. He was also involved in Jewish education in the countries of the former Soviet Union. He also studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in 1995.

Political career[edit]

Elkin was elected to the 17th Knesset in 2006 as a member of Kadima and chaired the subcommittee on the absorption of immigrant children and youth. In November 2008 he decided to quit Kadima, as he considered it to have become a left-wing party.[1] He subsequently joined Likud, and won twentieth place on its list for the 2009 elections. He retained his seat as Likud won 27 mandates.

In November 2012, he released an election video for his Likud primaries campaign that went viral, earning 250,000 views in only a matter of days.[2] He was subsequently re-elected again in 2013. He served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs between March 2013 and June 2014, and then became Chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Elkin was placed eighth on the Likud list for the 2015 elections, and was re-elected when Likud won 30 seats. After the elections, he was appointed Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Minister of Strategic Affairs in the new government. Elkin surrendered the Strategic Affairs post after only 11 days, when Prime Minister Netanyahu appointed Gilad Erdan Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs, and Public Diplomacy on 24 May 2015.[3] Elkin demanded the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs portfolio as compensation for losing Strategic Affairs. Netanyahu met his demand, breaking an election promise to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, who had wanted Netanyahu to retain the portfolio himself.[4]

On 30 May 2016, Elkin lost the portfolio of Minister of Immigrant Absorption to Sofa Landver of Yisrael Beiteinu. However, on 1 August 2016, he was appointed Minister of Environmental Protection, succeeding Avi Gabbay.

Elkin ran for the Jerusalem mayoralty in the 2018 local elections on the "Jerusalem Will Succeed" list.[5] Despite being endorsed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he was eliminated in the first round.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Elkin is married, and has five children.


  1. ^ "MK Elkin to Quit Kadima". Arutz Sheva. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  2. ^ MK's Election Video goes Viral IsraelNationalNews, 26 November 2012
  3. ^ Hofmann, Gil (25 May 2015). "Israel's answer to the BDS movement - Gilad Erdan". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  4. ^ Gross, Judah Ari (25 May 2015). "Netanyahu Names Jerusalem Minister; Piquing Mayor". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  5. ^ Jerusalem mayor Lion fails to draft rival Berkovitch's party to coalition The Jerusalem Post, 25 December 2018
  6. ^ Municipal election results: Huldai wins TA, Elkin drops out of J'lem race The Jerusalem Post, 31 October 2018
  7. ^ Hoffman, Gil (16 September 2018). "Netanyahu formally endorses Elkin for Jerusalem mayor". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 1 January 2019.

External links[edit]