Sylva M. Gelber fonds [multiple media]
Record Information – Brief1
Sylva M. Gelber fonds [multiple media]
- Hierarchical level:
- R5048-0-1-E, MG31-E111
- Type of material:
- Sound recordings, Photographs, Objects (including medals and pins), Stamps and stamp products, Textual material, Art
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
4 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Place of creation:
- Added country of publication:
- United States, Israel, Japan
2.82 m of textual records.
889 photographs : 546 b&w and 242 col. prints; 88 b&w and 6 col. negatives; 5 b&w and 2 col. contact prints.
1 lapel button.
1 match book.
1 postal cover : first day cover.
1 pane (50 postage stamps).
1 audio reel (ca. 30 min.).
1 print : poster.
- Language of material:
- Added language of material:
- English, French, Polish
- Scope and content:
Fonds consists of records pertaining to Sylva Malka Gelber's family life, personal interests and her career as a public servant both in Palestine and with the federal public service. Much of the material documents her work as an advocate of women's rights, health coverage and welfare reform. Related to the latter is material amassed while writing her memoirs on her experience in Palestine during the 1930s and 1940s, "No Balm in Gilead". Files on the Gelber and Morris families, compiled while conducting genealogical research, document both Sylva Gelber's own life as well as those of two prominent Jewish Canadian families and their adaptation to life in Canada. Also found are records pertaining to Gelber's involvement with various cultural institutions, universities and Jewish organizations. Documents from Gelber's charity for the support of young classical musicians, the Sylva M. Gelber Music Foundation, are also included, as are some files relating to awards and scholarships in honour of other family members.
Fonds includes photographs that document Gelber's career development, professional and philanthropic activities, as well as her personal life.
Fonds also includes a recording of an interview with Lionel Gelber.
Fonds has been arranged into four series: General Correspondence and Subject files; Speeches, Articles and Publications; Sylva Gelber Music Foundation; and Photographs.
- Biography/Administrative history:
Gelber, Sylva M., 1910-2003 : Sylva Malka Gelber, was born in Toronto in 1910, daughter of Louis Gelber and Sara Morris. Louis Gelber was a successful businessman in the clothing and wool business. She had five brothers; Lionel became a scholar and diplomat, Marvin a Member of Parliament, Arthur was Chair of the Ontario Arts Council and Michael, the youngest, became a rabbi. Sylva Gelber graduated from Havergal College (for girls) and attended the University of Toronto until 1929. She later attended Columbia University from 1929 to 1930, after which she spent a number of years abroad, particularly in Palestine where in 1932 she began working for the Jewish Community Office, Social Work Bureau, as a welfare worker and probation officer. In 1935, she obtained a diploma in social work from Hebrew University. Between 1937 and 1942, she worked for the Hadassah Medical Organization. In 1942, she became an assistant inspector for the Government of Palestine, Department of Labour. In 1949, Gelber returned to Canada and began her career with the federal public service at National Health and Welfare in the area of health insurance (1950-1968). In 1968, she was appointed Director of the Women's Bureau, Department of Labour and served until her formal retirement in 1975. From 1976 to 1978, she served as a special advisor to the Deputy Minister of Labour. In her various capacities at the Department of Labour, she was the Canadian representative at the International Labour Organization (ILO) conferences (1969 to 1976), Canada's representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (1970-1974), Chairman of the Working Party of the Organization for Economic Cooperative Development (1973-1978), and the Canadian delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1976 and 1978. In 1976, she became a member of Trent University's Board of Governors and served as an honorary member from 1980 to 2003. In 1978, Gelber took on the responsibilities of Vice-President of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation. In 1980, Gelber established the "Sylva Gelber Music Foundation", which was designed to give financial assistance to promising young Canadian classical musicians through an award administered by the Canada Council. She also endowed a prize for students at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. Gelber was an experienced speaker and writer, producing a number of reports, articles and speeches on the topics of labour, health insurance, women's rights and human rights in general. In 1989, she published an account of her early years in the Middle East entitled, "No Balm in Gilead: A Personal Retrospective of Mandate Days in Palestine". A number of prominent universities bestowed honorary degrees upon Gelber and in 1975 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She died in 2003 at the age of 93.
- Finding aid:
Textual records (Electronic) The finding aid is a descriptive file list. Annexed is the photographs descriptions. MSS2008 (90: Open)
http://data2.archives.ca/pdf/pdf001/p000000557.pdfSound recording (Electronic) Refer to MISACS database for item-level description. (90: Open)Graphic material (photo) (Electronic) relating to photographs from 2004-1290 accession. FA-455 (90: Open)Graphic material (photo) (Electronic) Finding aid describes material from RE2005-0071 barcode 2001428311 (90: Open)
- Additional information:
- General Note:
- Received in 1994 and in 1995 from Sylva Gelber at Ottawa, Ontario. Accrual received in 2005 from Sylva Gelber's Estate, Ottawa, Ontario.
- Arrangement note:
- Within the textual series, the records are grouped in chronological or in alphabetical order according to the various subject titles created by Gelber and the documents are arranged in chronological order within.
- Language note:
- Majority of the documents are in English; a few documents are in French and in Polish.
- Subject heading:
- Insurance, Health - Canada Gelber, Sylva M
- Insurance, Health - Bermuda
- Human Rights Canada Council
- Labour Canada. Department of Labour
- Order of Canada Canada. Department of National Health and Welfare
- Palestine Sylva Gelber Music Foundation
- Public Welfare - Canada Canada. Women's Bureau
- Women - Employment - Canada
- Women - Social conditions
- Parker, Jon Kimura
- Former archival reference no.:
- Other accession no.:
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