Benvenisti, David

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BENVENISTI, DAVID (1897–1993), Israeli geographer and educator. Born in Salonika, Greece, Bevenisti immigrated to Ereẓ Israel with his parents in 1913 and studied at the Jerusalem Teachers' Seminary under David *Yellin. After serving in the Jewish Legion during World War i, he taught the geography of Ereẓ Israel and was pedagogical adviser at the Jerusalem Teachers' Seminary from 1925 until 1963. Devoting himself to educational problems as much as to geography, Benvenisti distinguished himself by promoting an interest in the topography of Ereẓ Israel and a love of nature. To popularize hiking, he was active in founding both the Israel Hikers' Association and the Israel Youth Hostels Federation. He wrote a number of textbooks and teaching guides on the subject of Israeli geography and also became interested in the folklore of the Jews of Salonika, publishing books on this subject, and in 1977 published a guide to the street names of Jerusalem. He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1982 for teaching an appreciation of the Land of Israel and its lore.