San Marino, CA


Eccentric and Lovable Historian of Politics and Ideas

200+ Hours
4.9 average from 91 ratings
Reading tutor
— Anna, Pasadena, CA on 10/21/16


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Yeshiva University
Bernard Revel
Ohio State University, Columbus
Graduate Coursework


Yeshiva University (History)

Bernard Revel (Master's)

Ohio State University, Columbus (Graduate Coursework)

About BZ

Do you need someone to ignite your child's interest in learning? I taught European History at the university level as well as in high school so I understand what it takes to make the transition from one to the other. My method of tutoring focuses on analyzing texts as opposed to the brute memorization of facts. Because I have a background in a lot of different topics, I tend to allow lessons to move over a wide range of fields, depending on what interests the student. This serves to engage a variety of students on their own terms. 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 in the past conducted my classes as book clubs in which students voted for books to read and I worked my lessons around these books. I believe that this method can be particularly valuable for the smaller more intimate setting of tutoring. Students with Asperger syndrome, in particular, have benefited, as it allows their particular set of interests to set the agenda. Ultimately, I like to see myself as a living resource that students can use to help them connect to the world of books and of private reading where the true process of education lies.

My favorite clients are members of a large family, ranging in age from toddler to teen. I come in for several hours a week to help with whatever is needed. That usually means starting the evening reading to the younger kids. I have a child on each knee while I use one hand to hold a book and my second hand to balance a third kid on top of my head. By the end of the evening, I am talking history and politics with the older kids. In either role, I serve as a reading facilitator, encouraging people to push themselves to read more, read widely and read things that will challenge them intellectually and emotionally.

If this is the kind of entertaining and enlightening experience you want to bring to your kids, contact me. I regularly meet clients in my own home, in public places like libraries and coffee shops as well as making house calls. I offer free initial consultations to prospective clients so they can see if I am a good fit. If you are ever less than fully satisfied with a lesson, tell me and I will not charge for it. One cannot teach excellence without holding oneself to that same high standard.
Do you need someone to ignite your child's interest in learning? I taught European History at the university level as well as in high school so I understand what it takes to make the transition from one to the other. My method of tutoring focuses on analyzing texts as opposed to the brute memorization of facts. Because I have a background in a lot Read more

24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of San Marino, CA 91108
Background Check: Passed

"Reading tutor"

- Anna, Pasadena, CA on 10/21/16


- Ani, Pasadena, CA on 2/17/17

"Dedicated and great tutor! Highly recommend!"

- Jimmy, Arcadia, CA on 5/11/16

"Very Knowledgeable"

- Dalton, South Pasadena, CA on 3/18/16

"BZ is the best!"

- Lilian, San Marino, CA on 11/18/15

"A great teacher"

- Lisa, Canoga Park, CA on 7/3/15

"Knowledgeable AP U.S. History Tutor"

- S, San Marino, CA on 9/24/14

"Very knowledgeable tutor."

- Aaron, La Canada Flintridge, CA on 1/20/14
Bible Studies,
Grammar, Literature,
Proofreading, Public Speaking,
Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing,
Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
GED, GRE, SAT Reading, SAT Writing
Special Needs:
Autism, Special Needs
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th),
Grammar, Homeschool, Reading, Study Skills,
GRE, Public Speaking

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

American History

I took an exam designed for high school American History teachers and scored in the top quarter. While my professional training has mainly been in European History, I am very well read in terms of American History.


For the past several years, I have been active with support and mentoring for people on the autism spectrum through the organization Aspirations. I also did volunteer work at the Haugland Learning Center in Columbus offering guidance, based on my own personal experience, for those Asperger students looking to transition to college. In addition, I have presented on the topic of Asperger education, from both the student and teacher perspectives, at numerous conferences.

Bible Studies

I am well read in both the Old and New Testaments, their medieval Jewish and Christian commentaries as well as the modern academic literature surrounding these books. I have a particular expertise regarding the fifteenth century commentator Isaac Abarbanel. I also have a background in both Hebrew and Latin. My historical studies at the graduate level have included numerous courses on the Bible.


I studied Latin for two years while in college and regularly hold reading sessions in the language. In terms of classical history, much of my training as a historian has been in that period. I am certainly quite capable of holding my own in a conversation spanning Greco-Roman intellectual history.

Elementary (K-6th)

I have personally tutored numerous children in the elementary school age group in formal and informal settings. I have worked as an elementary school substitute teacher. I have also worked with this age group as a summer camp counselor. Children take well to me, because I do not talk down to them, but treat them as sophisticated beings.


I am well read and quite capable of discussing a wide range of books across the canon of English literature. My academic training gives me a particular edge in terms of textual analysis. I am in middle of writing a dissertation so I understand something about the mechanics of writing and how to present a convincing argument.

European History

I received an M.A. in European History and taught the subject at both the high school and college levels. My particular interests tend toward the early modern period and the often thin line between religion, magic and science at this time.


Hebrew has been a part of my life almost as long as my native English language. I can read Hebrew and have read extensively from the Bible, rabbinic literature and modern Israeli academic literature in their original language. I can also speak the language in a passable manner. I am a doctoral student finishing a dissertation on Jewish messianism through The Ohio State University.


I helped co-chair a book club for special needs students through the Aspirations program for autistic teenagers and adults. In addition, I served as a personal mentor for many of the students.

Political Science

My formal academic training is in intellectual history. As you can imagine, that has included a lot of political theory. For example, I recently took a student through the Declaration of Independence, explaining its connections to John Locke, his belief in a tabula rasa and its connections to the Scientific Revolution. For a number of years, I have been active with the Institute for Humane Studies.

Public Speaking

I am the son and grandson of pulpit rabbis, so I was raised around public speaking. The example and encouragement they offered played a critical role in my overcoming my natural shyness and habit of stammering to be a public speaker. In college, I was involved in theater and won 3rd place in a school-wide public speaking contest. As a teacher, I have lectured to large classrooms. As a tutor, working with Asperger kids, I have helped students confront many of the same difficulties I once struggled with.


My doctoral studies were in the history of religion. I dealt with Messianism and its paradoxical role in religion as both political and spiritual salvation. I am an Orthodox Jew with a strong background in Christian thought. My history classes tend to turn into attempts to offer my mostly Christian audience a course in basic Christianity that most have never received.

SAT Writing

I have been on both ends of the writing process as a graduate student and as an instructor. I have successfully tutored students in the past in what it takes to write a clear short essay in a limited time frame and got them through their exams.

Social Studies

My academic training extends the full width of the field of social studies. I am a historian, but I also possess a strong background in political science and economic theory. Social studies are the field in which the humanities come together; I am the puzzle master who can make the pieces fit.

Study Skills

As someone who has gone through an M.A. and a Ph.D. program, I understand the importance of study skills. In college and to an even greater extent in graduate school, there is no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you do your work. The only way to survive is through personal discipline. That starts with a good example and a little prodding to keep going on a day to day basis.

World History

I have taught history at both the university and high school levels. In a test exam given to train world history teachers in the state of Ohio, I scored in the top 25%.


I am in the process of finishing a 300 page dissertation in history. I also possess extensive experience in grading term papers as a teacher.

Yeshiva University
Bernard Revel
Ohio State University, Columbus
Graduate Coursework


Yeshiva University (History)

Bernard Revel (Master's)

Ohio State University, Columbus (Graduate Coursework)

Reading tutor

BZ tutored my son in reading. He is very patient, but gets kids to do what he wants them to do. My son loved working with BZ and showed a lot of improvement after his tutoring sessions. He not only got my son to read, but also to think about what he read--why the characters acted as they did, and provided historical backdrop to some of the stories. I wish I had had BZ as a tutor when I was young!

— Anna, Pasadena, CA on 10/21/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $45.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

BZ will travel within 20 miles of San Marino, CA 91108.