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
|Year||Bentor Lecturers||Bentor Awards Recipients|
|2018||Dr. Richard W. Carlson||Mr. Ido Sirota|
|2017||Prof. Claude Jaupart||Dr. Shahar Shani-Kadmiel|
|2016||Prof. Roberta Rudnick||Dr. Shalev Siman-Tov|
|2015||Prof. Gideon Henderson||Dr. Uri Ryb|
|2014||Prof. John Valley||Dr. Yael Kiro|
|2013||Prof. Marc Hirschmann||Dr. Yoav Rosenberg|
|2012||Prof. Jay Quade||Dr. Navot Morag|
|2011||Prof. Wolf Berger||Dr. Onn Crouvi|
|2010||Prof. Wally Broecker||Dr. Adi Torfstein|
|2009||Prof. Xavier Le Pichon||Dr. Yaron Beeri|
|2008||Dr. Gideon Steinitz||Dr. Yoram Katz|
|2007||Prof. Robert Garrison||Dr. Uri Schattner|
|2006||Dr. Revital Bookman|
|2005||Dr. Tsafrir Levi|
|2004||Dr. Yuval Bartov|
|2003||Dr. Ari Matmon|