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GELBER , Canadian family. moses gelber (1876–1940), born in Brzezany, Galicia, settled in Toronto in 1892, where he established a wool importing business. He was a founder of Jewish education in Toronto, serving as first president of the Toronto Hebrew Free School (later the Associated Hebrew Schools). A vice president of the Zionist Organization of Canada, Gelber was among the first supporters of the project to reclaim the Sharon Valley in Palestine. His son edward elisha (1903–1971) was born in Toronto. He studied at Columbia and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and was admitted to the Ontario bar (1934) and the Palestine bar (1937). Gelber played a leading role in Jewish education in Toronto; in the Canadian Jewish Congress; and in the Zionist Organization of Canada, of which he was national president in 1950–52. In 1954 he moved to Jerusalem where he served as chairman of the executive of the Hebrew University, and vice chairman of Yad Vashem.

louis gelber (1878–1968) brother of Moses, was born in Brzezany, Galicia, and in 1896 went to Canada where he was associated in business with his brother Moses. He was a founder of the Toronto Hebrew Free Loan Association. His son lionel morris (1907–1989), born in Toronto, was a writer on international affairs. Lionel Gelber was a Rhodes scholar and studied at Oxford. He wrote Rise of Anglo-American Friendship (1938), Peace by Power (1942), Reprieve from War (1950), American Anarchy (1953), and Alliance of Necessity (1966). He served as special assistant to Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker during 1960–61. Louis' daughter sylva (1910–2003) was born in Toronto. During 1934–37 she was a social worker in Jerusalem and became probation officer in the Magistrate's Court, appointed to the department of labor of the Palestine government in 1942. She joined the Department of National Health and Welfare in Ottawa in 1950, and in 1969 was appointed head of the women's bureau of the Canadian Department of Labour. Her brother marvin (1912–1990), also born in Toronto, was a student of economics and politics. He wrote for various journals and was a Liberal member of parliament for York South (1963–65). He was national president of the United Nations Association of Canada; head of the Canadian delegation to the u.n. Economic and Social Council (1967); and delegate to the u.n. General Assembly (1968). He was closely associated with Zionist and Jewish community activity. Another brother arthur E. (1915–1998), born in Toronto, was a Jewish community leader. He was president of the United Jewish Welfare Fund of Toronto and active in the United Jewish Appeal, Canadian Jewish Congress, and United Jewish Refugee Agencies. He took a leading role in settling Jewish refugees in Canada in the post-World War ii period. Prominent in cultural activities in Canada, he was president of the Canadian Conference of the Arts and the National Ballet. A fourth brother sholome michael (1918– ), born in Toronto, served in the rcaf during World War ii. He then worked for the Joint Distribution Committee in postwar Europe. He served as dean of the Academy for Higher Jewish Religion in New York, and then in 1966 began teaching at New York University in the department of religion. He wrote Failure of the American Rabbi (1961).


A.D. Hart (ed.), Jew in Canada (1926), 133, 319; Who's Who in Canadian Jewry (1965), 310, 387.

[Ben G. Kayfetz]

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