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Community Rallies Behind London Barber

After Aaron Biber’s barbershop was looted, he received an outpouring of support

Stephanie Butnick
August 11, 2011
A restaurant window following a night of rioting in London.(Jim Dyson/Getty Images)
A restaurant window following a night of rioting in London.(Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

Aaron Biber, an 89-year-old barber whose Tottenham barbershop was looted last weekend during the riots sweeping London, has no insurance. The popular barber does, however, have a grassroots movement that began raising money to help him get back to work in the barbershop he’s operated for 40 years.

So far people have donated more than 5,700 pounds, or about $9,200 to the effort, much of it arriving by mail. Biber, who belongs to the Waltham Forest Hebrew Congregation and is well known in the community, spoke to the Jewish Chronicle after discovering the looting:

“I couldn’t stand up, I was in shock,” he said, still visibly shaken. “They’re meshuggenahs, they stole my kettle and my hairdryer. It’s mindless. I’ve had my window smashed before but nothing like this.

“I was born in Cable Street, in the East End, one of 16 children. That was a real mix of people, but we never had trouble like this.”

Barber shop horror for Tottenham’s Aaron Biber [Jewish Chronicle]
Appeal to keep Tottenham barber Aaron Biber cutting after riot damage [Jewish Chronicle]

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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