Students, Colleagues Pay Tribute to Israeli Psychologist

Shlomo Bentin died Friday while cycling at Bancroft and Fulton.

Former students and colleagues of Shlomo Bentin have started a memorial blog dedicated to renown psychologist, who was killed July 13 at the age of 65 while bicycling near Bancroft Way and Fulton Street.

Launched by former grad students Ayelet Landau and Ani Flevaris, the blog honors Bentin as "a strong man with a soft heart" and an "exuberant presence."

Tributes are flooding in -- so far, in English, Hebrew and Chinese.

"Beyond admiring his unrelenting scientific passion and thoughtful mentorship, I most appreciated that Shlomo exuded such tangible enjoyment from life, his family, and his students' and friends' successes -- such a rare combination of qualities," writes former grad student Alex List.

"When I think of him, I have and will continue to imagine him with that distinctive smile and twinkle in his eyes."

Another former grad student, Zeifeng Gao, has started a blog in Chinese in which posts photos of Bentin in his kitchen, at work, and dancing the Hora with his wife, Miri. A testament to a lively mind, original art, books, and piles of papers fill his office at Hebrew University.

The Romanian-born Bentin was a professor at Hebrew University but collaborated on several projects with colleagues at UC Berkeley. Earlier this year, he was awarded the 2012 Israel Prize for Psychology. 

Passersby told police Bentin had been riding his bicycling when he collided with a dump truck at Bancroft Way and Fulton Street around 3:38 p.m. Officers arrived to find him lying in the street. He was rushed to Highland Hospital, where he died at 4:40 p.m.

A memorial service is planned for 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 18 at 5101 Tolman Hall on the UC campus.


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