2,000 year old perfume bottle given to Sylva Gelber from the United Jewish Appeal of Ottawa on May 11th 1976, in tribute to her distinguished service to Canada; Ancient oil lamp recieved from the Public Service Division United Jewish Appeal of Ottawa in tribute to Sylva's service to the jewish co…
2,000 year old perfume bottle given to Sylva Gelber from the United Jewish Appeal of Ottawa on May 11th 1976, in tribute to her distinguished service to Canada; Ancient oil lamp recieved from the Public Service Division United Jewish Appeal of Ottawa in tribute to Sylva's service to the jewish community; Plaque awarded by the Canadian Labour Congress on March 1976 in recognition of Sylva's service to working women of Canada; Parchment given by the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance on May 25th 1999, conferring upon Sylva the title of honorary trustee of the academy; Award given by the Canada-Israel Foundation, in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel, on November 1996 paying tribute to Sylva Gelber's support of the arts in Israel and Canada.
Sylva Malka Gelber was born in Toronto in 1910.
She was a distinguished Canadian who served Canada in various capacities, most notably as Director of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labour and Canadian representative on the UN Commission for the Status of Women (1970-1974).
She spent 15 years as a medical social worker and government administrator in British-mandate Palestine. She published an award winning memoir, "No Balm in Gilead", based on these events.
Sylva was an outspoken advocate of women’s rights who helped to introduce equal-pay legislation, maternity leave and women’s pension benefits into Canadian society.
She held many international appointments during her lifetime, including that of the Canadian Delegate to the United Nation General Assembly (1976-1978).
Sylva Gelber was a patron of the arts who had a love of music. She established her Foundation, The Sylva Gelber Music Foundation, as a means to help young musicians at the beginning of their professional careers.
She died December 9, 2003 in Ottawa.
1. See Ottawa Jewish Historical Society fonds for interviews about her life.
2. http://www.sylvagelber.ca/home/ - The Sylva Gelber Music Foundation website
3. http://www.billgladstone.ca/?p=2471 - Globe and Mail obituary.
1. Specifically it states the award was given to Sylva in tribute to her, for her distinguished service to Canada on the occasion of her retirement from the Public Service of Canada at the Annual Dinner of the Public Service Division of the United Jewish Appeal.
1. Specifically it states that the lamp was presented for distinguished service to Canada and the Jewish community by the Public Service Division of the United Jewish Appeal of Ottawa.
2. The lamp is sitting in a velvet hollow in an olive wood box. A paper scroll in the box states that the olive wood comes from trees surround Jerusalem, and an inscribed copper plate on the inside of the box is made from copper from the ancient mines of King Solomon in the Negev desert, and that the glass ring holding the scroll was made in Hebron, one of the world's oldest cities (the glass ring is missing).
The scroll also says that the lamp is made of burnt clay and was unearthed in the Holy Land. It dates from the Roman Byzantine period.
1. Specifically it states that the Academy's Board of Directors conferred upon Mrs. Gelber the title and dignity of Honourary Trustee of the Academy in apreciation of her generosity to the Academy and devotion to the State of Israel.
2. Signed by Avner Biron and Jacob Perry.
1. Specifically the award states that the Canada-Israel Foundation in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel pays tribute to Sylva Gelber, O.C., in recognition of Dedicated Support of the Arts in Israel and Canada.
2. Presented at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.