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The Bentor Award and The Bentor Lecture

bentor

Yaakov Bentor, (1910- 2002)

Yaakov Bentor was born in 1910 as Kurt Winter in Konigsberg (then Germany, presently Russia). He studied Law, Linguistics and Physics and in 1933 he moved to Jerusalem, changed his name to Bentor and joined Prof. Y.L. Picard in the first years of the Geology Department. He returned to Europe for further studies and investigated the volcanic rocks of the Massif Central. World War II broke out just before he was awarded his Ph.D (which he received Summa cum Laude in 1945). Back in Jerusalem, he completed a second Ph.D on the dolomites of the Jerusalem Mountains, and became the first Ph.D in Geology of the Hebrew University.

In 1948 Bentor first joined the Science Unit of the IDF (HEMED) and studied the Timna copper deposit and the Negev Phosphorites as part of his studies that grew into the Geological Mapping of the Negev, for which Bentor and Vroman were awarded the Israel Prize in 1955. In 1953, Bentor was appointed as the Chief of the Geological Survey and later as the chairman of the Department of Geology at the Hebrew University. After the Six-Day War, he embarked on the second major project of his life: mapping the Sinai Peninsula.

After retirement Bentor moved to La Jolla, California, where he joined his wife Prof. Miriam Kastner. He died in La Jolla in 2002 and was buried in Jerusalem.

Yaakov Bentor guided several tens of graduate students many of which became leading figures in Israeli Geology. He was an inspiring teacher and a superb scientific leader. The mineral Bentorite was named in his honor.

Bentor Awards Recipients Bentor Lecturers Year
Dr. Shalev Siman-Tov Roberta Rudnick 2016
Dr. Uri Ryb Gideon Henderson 2015
Dr. Yael Kiro Prof. John Valley 2014
Dr. Yoav Rosenberg Prof. Marc Hirschmann 2013
Dr. Navot Morag Prof. Jay Quade 2012
Dr. Onn Crouvi Prof. Wolf Berger 2011
Dr. Adi Torfstein Prof. Wally Broecker 2010
Dr. Yaron Beeri Prof. Xavier Le Pichon 2009
Dr. Yoram Katz Dr. Gideon Steinitz 2008
Dr. Uri Schattner Prof. Robert Garrison 2007
Dr. Revital Bookman 2006
Dr. Tsafrir Levi 2005
Dr. Yuval Bartov 2004
Dr. Ari Matmon 2003