Sad news: Israeli Mayor of Ariel passed away today

Ariel mayor Ron Nachman, shown here in October, 2007 (photo credit: Maya Levin/Flash90)

Ariel mayor Ron Nachman, shown here in October, 2007 (photo credit: Maya Levin/Flash90)

I learned some sad news this morning. Ron Nachman, the mayor of the Israeli city of Ariel, died today after battling cancer for several years. Lynn and I had the honor of meeting with Ron not long ago, while he was in remission. Ron was a good friend of evangelical Christians and sought to build relationships with pastors from all over the world. Please pray for Ron’s family and friends at this sad time.

“Ron was man of courage [and] incredible vision,” Ray Bentley, senior pastor of Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, told me in an email. “He reached out in a very real and genuine way to build a relationship with me, as well as other Christian Pastors. I consider him a dear friend, and we will miss him greatly. Ron was a bridge builder between Christians and Jews, and as a result of his efforts, Israel became more than politics. It became all about relationship. I have often visited Israel to visit the ancient stones of Israel’s past, but in Ron Nachman I became acquainted with the modern living stones. He leaves a huge hole that will not easily be replaced.”

“Ariel Mayor and former Knesset Member Ron Nachman died Friday at the age of 70 after battling cancer for the past several years,” reports Ynet News. “Nachman was born in 1942. In 1978, he was elected as head of the Ariel Council, a role which he gave up a year later. He was reelected in 1985 and served as the Samaria city’s mayor until his very last day. He served as Knesset member on behalf of the Likud party in the 13th Knesset and was a member of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Immigration Absorption Committee and the committee on the Second Television and Radio Authority.”

“He leaves behind a wife, four daughters and several grandchildren,” reports the Times of Israel.