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STORIES / Rosalie Silberman Abella

Rosalie Silberman Abella

Rosalie Silberman Abella was the first Jewish woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. She founded the concept of “employment equity” and shaped the first decision made under the 1989 Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A portrait illustration of Rosalie Silberman Abella.

Canadian Supreme Court Justice
Born in 1946

Rosalie Silberman Abella’s career has been filled with firsts starting with being appointed at the age of 29 to the Ontario Family Court making her Canada’s youngest ever judge. In 2004 she again made history by becoming the first Jewish woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Abella’s illustrious career includes serving the sole commissioner on the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, where she championed equality rights and fought against discrimination.

Abella’s unwavering commitment to the legal system and belief in the transformative power of law in creating a better society has left an indelible mark not only Toronto’s legal landscape but the world.

Explore more women who transformed Toronto.

Further Resources
Supreme Court of Canada’s Page on Rosalie Silberman Abella
Documentary Film (2023): Without Precedent: The Supreme Life of Rosalie Abella

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