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Lives less ordinary: meet Rabbi and apprentice tailor Yosel Tiefenbrun

Posted at 4:15 pm, October 13, 2013 in Fun London

The Week_YoselJewishTailor0
Photo © Rob Greig

Mate, you’ve left your scissors in your top pocket.
‘I use them for my work as an apprentice Savile Row tailor. I’m working on a coat at the moment, trying to make some pockets.’

And what’s the reason for the scraggy oven glove on your bag?
‘It’s part of a jacket. I’ve been hand padding it from the inside. Takes a long time.’

Fine. Clearly you’re single-minded about tailoring.
‘Actually, I’m also a rabbi. I became one a couple of years ago, and now I do a lot of work in east London. I teach, I help at services. I’m on call whenever, and I pray three times a day.’

Any idea why we don’t get more rabbis who are also tailors?
‘Well, finding the time to do both is difficult, but I make it one lifestyle. Once I’d become a rabbi I wanted to follow my creative dreams too. So here I am – a rabbi and a tailor.’

Anyone ever told you that you’re pretty fly for a rabbi?
‘People generally like the way I dress – I’m often asked for style advice. Sometimes those in the religious world look and say “he’s dressed differently”, because I’m not in the traditional black and white. But I like pushing boundaries.’
Interview: Flo Wales Bonner

Read more insights into interesting Londoner’s lives.

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