Israeli tech entrepreneurs launch bid to raise $100m for kids orphaned by Hamas war

Led by a group of 20 Israeli founders and CEOs, the Israeli Children’s Fund pledges $100,000 per child along with mentorship and support until age 22

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

A volunteer blows balloons for children from Kibbutz Nir Am, near Gaza, who have fled fighting in the south to the Herods Hotel in Tel Aviv, October 9, 2023. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)
A volunteer blows balloons for children from Kibbutz Nir Am, near Gaza, who have fled fighting in the south to the Herods Hotel in Tel Aviv, October 9, 2023. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

A group of about 20 Israeli tech startup founders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have created a fund to seeking to raise $100 million for children who have lost one or both parents in Hamas’s terror onslaught on southern Israel.

The Israeli Children’s Fund is led by a team including Amit Rosenzweig, founder of Ottopia, an Israeli maker of remote tech for driverless vehicles; Tomer Levy, CEO of AI startup; and Michelle Latzer, co-founder and CEO of fintech company Tweed. Other partners include Tom Livne, CEO of tech unicorn Verbit, and Eyal Niv, a partner in Israeli venture capital firm Pitango.

Israel is into the second week of a war with Hamas following the Palestinian terror group’s brutal assault on Israeli communities on October 7. Hamas terrorists infiltrated towns, murdering residents, erasing entire families, setting people on fire, raping women, killing children and taking about 200 people captive. Over 1,300 people – most of them civilians – were killed, and more than 3,300 injured.

“When we embarked on this project, we had the tragedy and the humanitarian crisis following the brutal Hamas terrorist attack on Saturday, October 7th, 2023, firmly in our hearts and minds,” said Rosenzweig, one of the initiators of the fund. “These children, now forced into a harsh reality, represent our collective future, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to help them overcome and thrive.”

The fund is seeking to raise capital first by a media campaign and crowdfunding, then by speaking with high-net-worth donors, tech companies, family offices and VCs.

“Later we’ll speak with public companies, banks etc. in Israel and abroad,” said Rosenzweig. “Our team is connected to the entire high-tech sector.”

The goal of the fund is to provide immediate financial support for guardian families now responsible for the care of these children who have experienced the trauma of terrorism, and address their ongoing financial needs.

With the commitment of $100,000 for each orphaned child coupled with mentorship and support, the aid will assist children from birth to the age of 22 to transition to foster care, adoptive homes, or legal guardians, all of whom now face additional financial responsibilities, the initiators of the fund said in a statement.

“Despite the country’s support, the scale of the need is unfortunately too vast for the state to address single-handedly,” they said. “Therefore, Israeli high-tech entrepreneurs have taken it upon themselves to shoulder this responsibility.”

All participating companies and firms of the fund will volunteer their resources and serve as virtual mentors and guides, to connect the children to the tech industry and various opportunities while offering as much support as possible.

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