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JNF’s Fire Scouts Program Honors Memory of 16-Year-Old

Contact: Ariel Vered • JNF Communications Manager • 212-879-9305 ext. 227 •

January 18, 2011 – New York, NY – Jewish National Fund (JNF) has joined with Friends of Israel Firefighters (FIF) to establish a sponsorship fund for the Fire Scouts program in memory of Elad Riven, the 16-year-old fire scout who lost his life in the Carmel Mountain blaze.

The story of Elad Riven is one of true heroism. The long-awaited only son of his parents, at age 14 he, along with about 1,000 other kids his age, joined the Fire and Rescue Services for his community service requirement. After the requisite 60 hours of training, he decided to stay on as a volunteer firefighter, even paid for his own uniform, and helped to train others.

On the day the Carmel fires broke out he went home from school to help fight the fires. He waved down a passing fire truck and asked them to take him to his unit, but along the way they were called to help the bus of prison wardens that was caught in the fire. He died doing what he loved.

The Fire Scouts program gives high school students the opportunity to fulfill their community service requirements by volunteering at their local fire stations. This transformative program instills in its participants the value of helping others, shaping them into better citizens and better people. Volunteers learn that they are responsible not just for themselves, but for their entire crew, their family at the station, and the residents of their community. They devote about four hours a week after school to the program during 10th grade. Numerous fire chiefs and high-ranking firefighters began their careers as scouts.

Each volunteer must be outfitted with specialized protective gear, making the Fire Scouts program costly to run. The sponsorship fund will support and enable the expansion of the Fire Scouts program. A contribution of $1,800 will completely outfit one scout with state-of-the-art protective clothing that meets stringent safety standards, including coats, pants, heavy-duty suspenders, gloves, helmets, and boots.

For more information on the Fire Scouts Sponsorship Fund, please contact Ariel Vered at 212-879-9305 ext. 227 or

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit


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