Moses Gelber (1876–1940) was a businessman and a prominent member of Toronto’s Jewish community in the early 1900s. He was born in Brzezany, Galicia on 1 October 1876 to Nathan Gelber and Rosie Altman. In 1894, he immigrated to Toronto where he and his brother, Louis Gelber, opened a clothing business. After operating this business for twenty-five years, Moses and Louis entered the wool industry. Their company, Gelber Bros. Ltd., was located on 217 Richmond St. West.
In 1901, Moses married Sophie Sparber (1882–1907) and together they had two sons: Israel Gelber (1902–1913) and Edward E. Gelber (1903–1970). In 1907, Sophie gave birth to a stillborn baby and passed away a few days later from an infection related to the birth. Moses was remarried later that year to Sophie Gradinger (1879–1953) of Montreal. They lived in Toronto on 483 Huron Street.
Moses was involved in many philanthropic and charitable activities. For instance, during the First World War, he helped raise funds for Jewish people afflicted by the war in Europe and was vice-president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. Moses also had close ties to Canada’s Zionist movement and was vice-president of the Dominion Organization, president of the Central Division of Ontario, and president of Toronto’s Zionist Council. Moses was active in many other Jewish community organizations. He was a member of the board of governors of the University Avenue Synagogue and president of the Talmud Torah and YMHA on Brunswick Avenue. He was also a member of B’nai Zion, IOBB, and the Primrose Club of Toronto. When the Canadian Jewish Congress was formed in 1919, Moses was elected as one of its founding delegates.
Scope and Content
Item consists of a black-and-white photograph of Moses Gelber.
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.