JERUSALEM (JTA) — Ron Nachman, the mayor of Ariel who died following a long battle with cancer, will be awarded a special Israel Prize.
Nachman will receive the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement and Exceptional Contribution to the Nation along with Israeli music expert Eliyahu Hacohen.
The prizes, which will be awarded on Israel Independence Day, were announced Sunday by Israeli Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar.
Nachman, Ariel’s only mayor, served in the position for nearly 30 years. He died in January.
In 1978, Nachman helped found what would one day become a city in the West Bank by helping pitch two tents on a barren hilltop.
Nachman, who was elected Ariel’s mayor in 1985, served as a Knesset member for the Likud Party beginning in 1992, but resigned later when a new law prevented Knesset members from serving simultaneously on the local level.
He fought for the recognition of the Ariel College as a full-fledged university, and also oversaw the construction and opening of a controversial cultural center in the city.