Elkana is a hilltop community with beautiful views of the coastline of the Mediteranian Sea located approximately halfway between Ariel (Samaria) and Tel Aviv. The community is named after the prophet Samuel’s Father who was named Elkana and who is believed to have lived in the area. Elkana was one of the first Jewish communities established in Samaria. Elkana was established by the members of the Gush Emunim political group. The Gush Emunim group lobbied the government and helped to establish communities in the Judea and Samaria areas of Israel. In 1975, members of the group saw area of Elkana with it’s beautiful views and decided to establish a community there.

In February of 1977, members of the Gush Emunim group petitioned the government to allow for the establishment of the community. Soon after, the Israeli government granted the families that would make up the nucleus of the community to build a community for themselves there.

The town’s residents are religious and observant Jews and there are a wide range of religious services offered to accommodate the rich religious life found there.

In addition to schools for children, Elkana also is home to the Orot Israel College. Other services provided to the community include a library, pool, a community center, Mikveh (spiritual ritual bath), medical services and Torah lectures. The sources of employment in the locality are educational institutions, a commercial center with a number of businesses including carpentry and various factories, within the framework of the community center activities and offices.

Elkana recently made the news after one of the residents of the community, Reuven Schmerling, was brutally murdered by Arab terrorists. The body of 69-year-old Reuven Schmerling was found in a storage unit belonging to his business in the industrial area of the Arab village of Kafr Qassem earlier this month. The body was found containing multiple stab wounds, according to Israeli police officials.

Elkana has its own local council. The building housing the local council was the same building used as a security outpost by the Jordanians before the town area was captured in 1967. In 2016 it had a population of 3898. The city is located in the portion of Israel that was designated for the tribe of Ephraim.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schmerling family and their loved ones. May Reuven Schmerling’s name be for a blessing.