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Benzion Noam

Medieval Jewish Historian
  • Education: M.A. (History)
  • Location: South Pasadena, California 91030
  • AP History, Chumash / Parsha, Social Studies, AP History, Chumash / Parsha, Social Studies
  • Grades Tutoring: K-12

Are you looking for a dynamic general studies tutor for the upcoming school year? Let me tell you about myself and see if you might wish to avail yourself of my services. I spent a number of years pursuing a doctorate in medieval and early modern Jewish history at The Ohio State University. At present, I live in Pasadena, CA with my wife and two young children. I am an academic historian, with experience teaching at both the high school and university levels. At Ohio State, I taught basic European history courses to classes of over forty students. Thus, I am well positioned to get students ready for college. If need be I can also teach general literature and basic writing. In terms of Jewish Studies, I can teach Jewish History and Bible. If someone is interested, I would love to teach a class on Isaac Abarbanel, combining his biblical commentary with medieval Jewish philosophy and history. 

My teaching style is a combination freestyle lecture and discussion. Because I have a background in a lot of different topics I tend to allow lectures to move over a wide range of fields, depending on what interests the students. This serves to engage a variety of students on their own terms, allowing them to make the class their own. In a sense, what I offer is a theatrical performance in which I open up my own inner thinking process about a given topic and, in turn, invite students to join in this performance. I have occasionally given lectures on Jewish history at the local Chabad house and public library. Besides for managing to talk about Jewish Messianism without being thrown out by the rabbi, I regularly managed to hold an audience for two hours. While I have no intention of trying that with teenagers, I can assure you that I am up to the task for the regular forty-five minute slot.

While my formal experience in teaching is with college and high school students, I tend to work very well with elementary school students and would leap at the chance to teach these grades. Elementary school children seem to relate well to me. If I am eccentric, children take it more in stride. Furthermore, they feel complimented by the fact that I do not talk down to them. For example several years ago I was asked to serve as a chaperone for a Camp Stone reunion. Despite the fact that I had previously no connection to Camp Stone and did not know any of the kids, by the end of the weekend, I somehow managed to become one of the most popular people there. One of the kids even started a Facebook group "Benzion Chinn is the Man." At the Hebrew Academy, I usually took my lunch at noon with the 4th and 5th graders. By the end of the year, I managed to make friends with a bunch of them. One of them even asked if I could be his teacher next year.

I tutored the children of a large family three times a week for several hours in the evening for four years. I usually worked with them in two sessions. In the first session, I helped the younger kids with their reading. I usually find myself with a kid on each knee, holding a book in front of me with one hand while balancing a third kid on top of my head. I read in a grand baritone narrative voice and I try to get different kids, based on their age and capability, to actively participate by identifying words, sentences or explaining concepts. For example, I went through a kid version of Red Badge of Courage and used it as a launching pad to give them some background on the Civil War. (This included drill instruction.) With the older kids, I held a freewheeling discussion on history and politics. I really needed to be on my toes, because I did not know from week to week what they would want to talk about. We might go from utilitarian philosophy to World War II shipping conveys dodging German submarines with the help of Ultra. (Do you let people die in order to make sure that the Germans do not realize you have broken their code?) I see my primary purpose as being a reading facilitator, encouraging an interest in books to last the rest of the week till I return. 



Tutoring Preference
Tutoring Platforms: In person, Online
AP History $50 per hour
Chumash / Parsha $40 per hour
Social Studies $50 per hour
AP History $40 per hour
Chumash / Parsha $30 per hour
Social Studies $40 per hour


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