The government approved Sunday the appointment of Shaul Goldstein to head the national Nature and Parks Authority (NPA). Goldstein will resign from his current role as Head of the Etzion Bloc Local Authority, and elections for the post will be held within 60 days' time, according to law.
Three main candidates are vying for the post: Yair Wolf of Elazar, who has been the Deputy Gush Etzion Bloc Authority Head for 13 years; Davidi Perl, who has been Chairman of the Alon Shvut Community Council for 5 years, and Yechezkel Klein of Kfar Etzion.
Wolf, an experienced Council member who worked with the Gush Etzion Development Corporation and Community Center on major education, construction, industry and welfare projects, will be acting head of the Local Authority until the election. He congratulated Goldstein on the prestigious appointment and added: "Now our mission is to continue the constant development of the communities of the Bloc, to put an emphasize on education and educational insitutions, to fight even harder for residential building permits and to maintain it as a flourishing region."
Perl also congratulated Goldstein, saying "I have no doubt that Shaul Goldstein will bring his Zionist spirit to the Parks Authority", and announced that Benny Saville will be running alongside him "and that they will form a staff of professional, concerned residents who will strengthen the Gush in less developed areas such as housing for young couples, landscaping and more." Perl has served as a member of the Gush Etzion Council, Deputy Director of World Bnei Akiva Movement and CEO of the Reishit school in Rosh Tzurim in the past and is now CEO of Netiv Meir Yeshiva High School in Jerusalem.
Shaul Goldstein's appointment to the NPA adds his name to a series of religious Zionists who have been recently chosen for influential, decision making positions. It follows the appointment of former Samaria Regional Authority head Bentzi Lieberman to head the Israel Lands Authority.