Nvidia raises $15 million to help Israeli and Gazan civilians affected by Hamas war

With a colleague held hostage in Gaza, employees around the world gather funds in the largest humanitarian fundraiser in the US chipmaker’s 30-year history

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

An Nvidia building in Israel. (Nvidia)
An Nvidia building in Israel. (Nvidia)

US gaming and computer graphics giant Nvidia and thousands of its employees have raised $15 million to donate to nonprofit organizations that are supporting Israeli and Gazan civilians affected by the war with the Hamas terror group.

The US chipmaker said the donation marked the largest humanitarian fundraiser in its 30-year corporate history. As part of the fundraising effort, thousands of Nvidia employees from more than 30 countries donated a total of $5 million, which the company matched and doubled to $10 million under a special program introduced to help those impacted by the war.

“We are proud to see such broad support from Nvidia families in Israel and around the world, and are grateful for their prayers and hope for the return of our colleague Avinatan Or, and the other hostages from Hamas captivity,” said Nvidia’s deputy general counsel Gideon Rosenberg.

“We are truly inspired by the genuine care of our employees around the world,” Rosenberg added.

Or, 30, an electrical engineer at Nvidia, was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7 during a massive assault on the Supernova desert rave, where some 360 people were killed. A total of 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were murdered that day and 240 taken hostage.

Or and his girlfriend Noa Argamani hid for several hours, trying to call for rescue forces. They shared their location and let their friends and family know what was happening before being abducted to Gaza. In the aftermath of the onslaught, Israel declared war and started a military offensive aimed at destroying Hamas, removing it from control over Gaza, and releasing the hostages.

Avinatan Or, an Nvidia employee, taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from the Supernova desert rave (Courtesy)

Nvidia said the raised funds will be donated to nonprofit organizations in the region that were chosen by employees, including Asor Fund (JGive), American Friends of Magen David Adom, Doctors Without Borders, Friends of United Hatzalah, IsraAID (US) Global Humanitarian Assistance, the Jewish Agency for Israel, World Central Kitchen, and Zaka.

“Beyond their [employee] donations, we’re proud of their volunteering activities, and their support for our colleague Avinatan Or’s family, while they keep up with their daily responsibilities at work,” the company said.

Nvidia also said it has donated hundreds of computers to families evacuated from the north and south of Israel, and provided thousands of hot meals out of its Yokne’am office cafeteria.

Nvidia is among the international tech giants that have expanded their presence in Israel in recent years. In 2020, the chipmaker bought Israel’s Mellanox Technologies Ltd., a maker of high-speed servers and storage switching solutions used in supercomputers globally, for a massive $7 billion, adding about 1,000 employees to its Israel operations.

Nvidia’s R&D activities in Israel are already the firm’s largest outside of the US. The firm employs more than 3,000 workers, or 12% of its global workforce in seven R&D centers, from Yokne’am, the HQ of Mellanox, to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ra’anana, and Beersheba in the south.

Alongside its R&D operations, Nvidia also runs the Nvidia Inception Program for Startups, an accelerator that works with hundreds of early-stage companies, including 800 Israeli startups, and the Nvidia Developer Program, which allows free access to Nvidia’s offerings for developers.

In May, Nvidia announced that it is developing and building the nation’s most powerful generative AI cloud supercomputer, called Israel-1, which is based on a new locally developed high-performance ethernet platform.

Valued at several hundred million dollars, Israel-1 – which Nvidia said would be one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers – started the first phase of its operations two months ahead of schedule, the chipmaker said in November.

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