Sylva was born in Riga in 1944 into a traditional Jewish family.
1970, she and two of her brothers were among 16 valiant souls, from different parts of the Soviet Union, who planned to take
an empty plane from an airfield (they had their own pilot) and fly it to Sweden, in order for the world to hear that Jews
were suffering in the Soviet Union and wanted to imigrate to Israel. If the plan had gone according to schedule, the plane
would have been abandoned at its destination, and returned to the Soviet Union by the Swedes.
However, the plane never took off. The group learned that the KGB
knew of their plan, but although the penalty could mean labour camp or even death, they sacrificed themselves and went ahead
anyway, in order to get their day in court, where they knew their words would reach out from behind the "Iron curtain" to
the free world. She and her colleagues each gave an impassioned plea at the trial and Sylva ended hers by proudly proclaiming
"If I forget thee oh Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning". She received a ten year sentence. However, because
of their bravery Soviet Jews did indeed start to receive exit visas.
Sylva spent four years in a labour camp in indescribable conditions.
She was released in 1974 in an exchange of'spies' and came straight to Israel. She works as a mechanical engineer.
always had a natural artistic talent, she became seriously interested in painting through the encouragement of knowledgeable
friends. Her art has been honed by great teachers. Portraits are her genre, whether from real life, imagination, or photographs.
She is a member of the "Painters and Sculptors Association of Israel".