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THE SASSOON CHILDREN EDUCATION FUND: EASING THE TUITION CRISIS

By: Kelly Jemal Massry



Our entire community was shaken by the horrific tragedy that took the lives of the seven precious Sassoon children. Since then, we’ve done our best to rebuild, uniting as one in our quest to do more for each other. To that end, The Sassoon Children Education Fund, established in April of 2015 under the endorsement of Rabbi David Ozeri, binds the goodwill and spirit that is so naturally built into our community’s character to addressing one devastating problem – The Tuition Crisis. The goal of the fund is to strengthen the abilities of our most deserving families to pay their tuition bills, and to strengthen our schools in the process. In its first year, $150,000 of tuition assistance, raised through various community-wide events, was distributed by the Fund directly to our community schools. The financial aid served as a tremendous boon to despairing families.

Now, in its second year, the Fund will renew its focus on delivering a benefit that is more tangible to families who have fallen very far behind on their tuition payments due to
extenuating circumstances.

Money for the Fund has been raised through a series of family friendly functions put together by tireless community members. These have included:

Meaningful Dough comprised of six young mothers who devote their time every Thursday and all of the ingredients needed to bake and sell challah loaves as an act of hesed. Each week, the loaves are sold in a variety of flavors, with all of the proceeds going to The Sassoon Education Fund. So much love has been put into this endeavor and the response has been tremendous! To show your support and place an order, call 917-693-5407. 

An annual carnival in memory of Rivkah Sassoon created by her classmates. All of the original and creative booths are products of their own design!

On the 11th month yahrzeit of the Sassoon children’s passing, “The Power of One Word Uniting Many” was held in Shaare Zion. Close to 1,000 community members were educated on the importance of just one word – amen.

The brilliantly executed Purim Initiative, in which children boasted costumes comprised of signs that urged people to donate to the Fund. Door to door, they beseeched others on behalf of our community schools and with costumes so ingenious they could hardly be turned away!

“A Simply Special Day” held during Hol Hamoed Sukkot on the premises of Gesher Yehuda and YDE, which was a huge success! Many thanks to YDE for the use of their preschool building and Gesher Yehuda for their open space.

Already in the works is this year’s Hanukah program, where children will get to decorate their own doughnuts, make their own dreidels, and enjoy the storytelling talent of Rebbe Hill.

Although these programs have been wonderful, and have raised money to great effect, we should not think of them as fundraisers. From the outset, the founders of the organization were against Chinese auctions being a part of their platform. It was so important to them that every child came home a winner, enriched by these celebratory activities. The Sassoon Children Education Fund wants parents to feel good about the time they spend with their children at these events. In the same way, they want to make the outcome of these events transparent.

Phase II of the Fund’s efforts will focus specifically on making the Fund finances more tangible so that:

(1) The donors will get a real sense of where their money is going.

(2) The beneficiary families receiving assistance will actually see their burden eased. 

(3) School administrators will have access to funds they have all but given up on collecting.

The Fund was envisioned as an act of hesed and the hope is that many women will continue doing hesed in the Sassoon children’s name. To that end volunteers who work on projects and events for the Fund will be able to share 30% of the money that the Sassoon Children Education Fund generates from their efforts. This money will be divided amongst the women on these committees, who can then proceed to apply the money to the tuition bill for the school their children attend. It is the hope of The Sassoon Education Fund Board that this new initiative will serve as great incentive for more people to get involved in this wonderful cause. Greater participation ensures that more families, including their own, have an easier time paying for school.

The Sassoon Family Education Fund is truly a win-win-win situation for our donors, our beneficiaries, and our schools.

Those interested in getting
involved in the organization

can email sassoonseven@gmail.com

To make a donation, go to: sassoonfund.com

Tax deductible charitable contributions can also be mailed to:

Sassoon 7 Inc. | 1820 Avenue M Box 207 | Brooklyn, NY 11210

(Attn: Education Fund)  EIN#:81-1423501