Our Story

Matana (formerly “Blue Box”) was founded by Canadian-Israeli, Emily Berg. After falling in love with Israel as a teenager, Emily decided that she would live there one day - but it wasn’t until she travelled to India to volunteer with Tibetan refugees that she met and fell in love with an Israeli man and decided to make the move. The first few years were tough but exciting, as she learned a new language and built a new life for herself, eventually finding meaningful work in the non-profit sector as a grant-writer. In the summer of 2014, when Operation Tzuk Eitan broke out, her boyfriend (now husband - that same guy she met in India), was called to reserve duty. He was gone for 40 days, leaving Emily alone in their Tel Aviv apartment to contemplate her life, future and career. One day, she received an email from a Canadian Jewish organization imploring people to buy Israeli products, offering links to commercial products like SodaStream and Bamba, as well as tired looking Judaica. It occurred to Berg that Israel had many mom-and-pop businesses boasting incredible products that did not have access to global markets. And so Matana was born as a way to bridge that gap and offer a meaningful and mutually beneficial exchange between Israel and the Diaspora.