MATZ, ISRAEL (1869–1950), U.S. manufacturer, philanthropist, and patron of Hebrew literature and scholarship. Matz, who was born in Kalvarija, Russian Poland, immigrated to America in 1890. He became an accountant, later entering the drug business. In 1906 he founded the Ex-Lax Company and served as its president. Long an admirer of Hebrew authors, Matz aided Eliezer *Ben-Yehuda in the publication of his Hebrew-language thesaurus. From 1922 to 1925 he was publisher of the Hebrew monthly Ha-Toren, edited by Reuben *Brainin. Matz was also a founding patron and honorary chairman of the Hebrew monthly Bitzaron. He established the Israel Matz Foundation in 1925 for the support of Hebrew authors. A pioneer Zionist, in 1928 he founded a company in Palestine called Gan Ḥayyim for the development of an orange plantation. Matz also contributed to various schools of higher learning.
Orlans, in: Hadoar, 30 (1950), 396–7.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.