Founder of the botanical garden – Prof. Yaacov Galil

Professor Jacob Galil (1914-1993)

Jacob Galil was born in Russia and immigrated with his parents to Israel when he was still a child.

After graduating from high school in Tel Aviv, Galil studied botany, zoology, and geology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In the 1940′s, Galil was invited by Dr. Yehoshua Margolin, the well- known teacher and educator, to join the staff of the Pedagogical Biological Institute which later grew into Tel Aviv University. While working towards his Ph.D., he also taught botany at the Kibbutz Teachers’ College in Tel Aviv.

Prof. Galil established the Department of Botany at Tel Aviv University and headed it for nearly 20 years, during which time he also founded the Botanical Gardens of Tel Aviv. As a researcher scientist his work was centered on two main topics: geophytes of Israel and pollination ecology.

Following his retirement, Prof. Galil continued to play an active role for many years both in research and mentoring. A memorial to him stands in the north-west corner of the Tel Aviv University Botanical Gardens, the Gardens that he had the vision to establish.