Ben grew up in Ra’anana, Israel and South Brunswick, New Jersey before attending Princeton, where he graduated summa cum laude and was named to Phi Beta Kappa. He majored in English with a minor in creative writing, and for his senior thesis he wrote a collection of short stories, which won the Samuel Shellabarger Memorial Prize for “a senior who shows great promise of future literary excellence.” While at Princeton, he was editor-in-chief of the Nassau Literary Review and his work has appeared in Washington Square Review, the Sonora Review, and Words Without Borders. He has experience teaching in New York, China, and a prison in New Jersey.
He loves to help his students, from elementary school to high school, to not only succeed in every aspect of their standardized tests, but also to learn to love to read (closely and actively!) as much as he does. He especially enjoys tailoring the reading he gives his students to their interests, and he is always bursting at the seams with recommendations. When he is not tutoring, he is reading, writing, and taking notes.
Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” This is a tour de force of passion, empathy, storytelling, language, syntax, logic, and persuasion.
Jishou, Hunan Province, China. I taught here for a summer; it was a prodigious moment for feasting on a realm so far from my ordinary existence (food, culture, the pattern and register of my day), and for connecting with students so enthusiastic and so curious as to cast a deep, happy shadow over my memories.
I would invite Alice Munro at every decade of her life, starting at 10 years old.
I can’t stop thinking about the medium of the short story. Also, the weather.