Romanian Jew Ephraim Hertzano immigrated to pre-state Israel with his family in the early 1930s. Hertzano developed Rummikub, a game combining elements of rummy, dominoes, mahjong and chess, and made the first tile sets by hand in the backyard of his home.
Hertzano sold the first Rummikub sets door-to-door, or on a consignment basis at local shops. As the game’s popularity gained, the Hertzano family licensed it to other countries, making it Israel’s number one exported game. By 1977, Rummikub was the bestselling game in the United States.