Elchanan was born 1914 in the town of Gondiyonz Poland to Ephraim and Leah. The family was Zionist and made aliya in 1921 when Elchanan was seven. They lived in ‘Neve–Tsedek’ Tel Aviv. Elchanan studied at ‘Tahkemoni School’, afterwards ‘Alliance’. He continued his studies at the ‘Mizrahi Teachers Seminary’ and the ‘General Seminary’ in Beit- Hakerem, Jerusalem, where he also studied painting with the well-known painter A. Shur.
In 1933 Elchanan joined Abba Achimeir’s ‘Brit – Habiryonim’, and was one of its founders and activists. He participated in demonstrations, in burning the German Consulate’s door, and removing its flag from the rooftop. He joined Etzel during the 1930s, and followed Yair joining Lehi when it split. During his underground days, he never stopped painting.
He was arrested several times for suspected underground activities, imprisoned in the ‘Kishle’ Jerusalem, in Jaffa and Akko prisons, and in ‘Latrun’ prison camp. Nevertheless he managed to get painting equipment smuggled in. In 1937 Elchanan married Ida Vitman and they had four children: Rami, Leah, Tsipi and Effi. The family lived under difficult conditions, sometimes in a single room. Elchanan worked in the Revisionist newspaper ‘Hamashkif’, and prior to the establishment of the State, in Lehi’s underground newspaper ‘Mivrak’.
He later worked as night editor in the newspaper ‘Herut’. In 1950 Elchanan became a member of the Association of Painters and Sculptors and participated in exhibitions. During 1950-1975 he worked in the Agricultural Center. He was sent to Tunisia and Morocco by the Jewish Agency 1953, and studied in Paris for a year. In 1960 he was elected Chairman of the Association of Painters and Sculptors in Israel, till 1977. After his wife’s death, he married Chaya Koren, in 1975. He was active in publishing the ‘Painting and Sculpting Quarterly’. He taught watercolors at ‘Ramat – Hasharon Art School’ and ‘Avni Institute’.
He was awarded the Dizengoff Prize 1960 for his work, Landscape 1959, and the Art Prize of Bat-Yam City Council 1968 for his work Jerusalem. Elchanan passed away on April 6,1995, and was laid to rest at the Kiryat-Shaul cemetery Tel-Aviv.