Mayer, Sally

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MAYER, SALLY (1875–1953), Italian Jewish leader and philanthropist. Born in Alsheim, Germany, Mayer settled in Italy in 1891 and gave a great impetus to the paper industry of the Vita family, which, thanks to his activity, became one of the country's most important economic concerns. He was also active in Jewish and Zionist affairs. After World War ii, he became president of the Milan Jewish community, the second largest in Italy, to which he devoted himself with great energy. He rebuilt the synagogue of Milan, destroyed in an air raid, and reopened the Jewish school there. All other Jewish and Zionist organizations in Milan and Italy, however, also benefited from his generosity and dynamism. Mayer was also a patron of non-Jewish welfare institutions in Milan and in Abbiate Guazzone, where his paper mills were located.

His son, astorre mayer (1906–1977), born in Milan, graduated as an engineer and carried on and expanded his father's enterprises in both the industrial and Jewish fields. For some years he was president of the Italian Zionist Federation and led the Jewish community in Milan. He also was honorary consul general of Israel there. He was president of the Standing Conference on European Jewish Community Service and other Jewish welfare and cultural institutions. Mayer also promoted important industries in Israel, the foremost being the Ḥaderah Paper Mills, of which he was a founder.


G. Romano, in: Scritti in memoria di Sally Mayer (1956).

[Giorgio Romano]