Fifty-four years old at the time of his abduction, Elchanan Tannenbaum, the son of Polish Holocaust survivors, immigrated to Israel in 1949, together with his father, mother and sister, after most of his relatives had perished in the Holocaust.
The family settled in Holon, where Elchanan spent his youth and matriculated from high school. He was an active organizer of the boys’ scout organization in Holon, and later became a member of the Scout leadership in Israel, representing the Israeli Scout movement in the USA.
At the age of 18, Elchanan enrolled in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studying economics and political science. During his academic studies, he began serving in the IDF. After graduation, he completed his army service as an officer, continuing to fulfill duties as a reserve officer as needed from time to time. In the reserves he achieved the rank of Colonel.
He continued his studies at the Tel Aviv University School of Business Administration. He then became a businessman, working alone and with partners.
Elchanan married in 1971, and is the father of two: a daughter, Keren (26), now studying philosophy and communications at Tel Aviv University, and a son, Ori (20).
Elchanan is chronically ill. He suffers from severe asthma, which requires daily medical treatment.
Elchanan Tenenboim has supported many families who have lost children in the ongoing Israeli-Arab conflict. He is devoted to his country, his family and friends, and is always ready to extend a helping hand.
Among their appeals, Tannenbaum’s children have been unable to confirm the delivery of any asthma medications sent to their father via the Red Cross.
For Elchanan’s 55th birthday (his first and hopefully his last in captivity), his children sent him via the Red Cross personal letters and Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning — a deeply moving personal essay by the founder of Logotherapy detailing his own imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live.