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Ivanka Trump Donates $1K to Project for 7 Children Killed in Brooklyn Fire

By Eddie Small | December 12, 2016 4:07pm | Updated on December 12, 2016 8:18pm
 Ivanka Trump has made a $1,000 donation to a fundraiser for a learning center in honor of seven siblings who died in a March 2015 Brooklyn house fire.
Ivanka Trump has made a $1,000 donation to a fundraiser for a learning center in honor of seven siblings who died in a March 2015 Brooklyn house fire.
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MIDWOOD — Ivanka Trump has donated $1,000 to a project meant to honor the seven children — all siblings — who passed away in a tragic house fire in Brooklyn last year.

The GoFundMe page for what has been dubbed "The Sassoon 7 Project" aims to raise $1 million to build a community facility at 3371 Bedford Ave., where a devastating fire in March 2015 caused by a hot plate killed seven children of the Orthodox Jewish Sassoon family between the ages of 5 and 16.

The facility would include a library and a men's and women's learning center, and it has so far raised $126,734 of its $1 million goal.

The project's GoFundMe page was launched on Nov. 24 on behalf of Gayle Sassoon, mother of the seven deceased children, and Trump made her donation to the cause on Friday, according to the website.

Although contributors to GoFundMe campaigns have the option to make their donations anonymously, Trump made hers under her full name, and GoFundMe confirmed that the donation did indeed come from the president-elect's daughter.

The devastating Brooklyn fire tore through the Sassoons' Bedford Avenue house on March 21, 2015, and was caused by a hot plate that the family had left on to keep their food warm during Shabbos, according to the FDNY.

The fire killed three girls — 16-year-old Elaine, 11-year-old Rivkah, and 8-year-old Sara — and four boys — 12-year-old David, 10-year-old Yeshua, 8-year-old Moshe and 5-year-old Yaakob — but the mother and her then 14-year-old daughter were able to escape by jumping out of a rear window on the second floor of the home, officials said. Sources said the family's father was away at a conference at the time.

Gayle Sassoon's cousin Heather Fallas, who is helping to spearhead the project, said she was thrilled that Trump had taken the time to donate to her cause and thought she may have done so because she is a New Yorker, and every New Yorker was touched by the tragedy.

"I thought that was beautiful," she said. "She’s a busy woman. She has her own life, her own family. She didn’t have to stop to do that. That, to me, was very touching."

In response to an inquiry about the donation from DNAinfo New York, Trump said in a statement that she decided to contribute after reading about the fundraiser in the media and being inspired by the mother's determination to create something good out of such a tragic situation. She declined to comment about other GoFundMe causes to which she has donated.

Although Donald Trump lost New York City handily during his presidential campaign, he did perform well in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in parts of Crown Heights and Williamsburg, and Fallas defended him as pro-Israel.

"I love the Trumps," she said.