Jewish High-Tech Billionaire Donates $36 Million to Rebuild Houston

“He who is generous to the poor makes a loan to Hashem; He will repay him his due.” Proverbs 19:17 (The Israel Bible™)

Michael Dell announced on Friday his pledge of $36 million to his Rebuild Texas Fund, with the hopes of raising $100 million. Dell will immediately donate $18 million to establish the fund and will then match every two dollars donated until midnight on Mondays via a text-to-donate campaign with an additional dollar.

Though the reason behind the specific amount of Dell’s donation, Jews have a tradition of giving gifts in multiples of 18, the gematria (numerological value) of chai (life).

“This disaster is personal to everyone who has roots in Texas,” Michael and Susan Dell said in a statement. “Both of us were born and raised in Texas, and the street Michael grew up on in Houston is under water now.”

 Dell is the CEO and founder of Dell Technologies. Listed by Forbes as one of the ten Jews in the top 50 billionaires on the planet, Dell has an estimated net worth of $20.8 billion. Michael and Susan Dell established the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation in 1999, which supports urban education, childhood health, and family economic stability. In 2014, Dell donated $1.8 million to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. He has visited Israel several times.

Dell’s donation is the largest to date. Other corporate sources have contributed $113 million to disaster relief efforts as of Thursday, according to the most recent estimate from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Fifty-two companies have donated $1 million or more as of that time. Walmart pledged up to $20 million in cash, products and matching donations.Verizon contributed $10 million.

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