Nov 26, 2012  By Jewish National Fund  Category: Environment,

I work for the firefighters!

My three boys think I have the coolest job.  No, I'm not a firefighter but I work for the Israeli fire fighters - a JNF partner here in Israel. We work to make sure that the firefighters have the best equipment, the best most modern trucks, the finest programs that could be offered, and I love every single second of it. 

Last year JNF-FIF started an amazing program - a special program targeted especially for the young fire scouts. The Fire Scouts Program was established in 1959 by Israel's Fire and Rescue Services. The program gives high school students the opportunity to fulfill their community service requirements by volunteering at their local fire stations. The new JNF-FIF 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 fire station, and the residents of their community. They experience success and failure and understand what it means to be part of a team. Personal pride and motivation are stressed and every scout feels important. Working on this program, developing it and shaping it into something that truly makes a difference in these kids lives has been something that will stay with me for a long time. The most amazing moment last year was seeing all 350 kids from the program dressed in uniform that we bought them all with their new logo as well as the JNF logo - standing together at Neot Kedumim, planting trees. The sense of pride that these kids had and to see just how incredible they all look together was something wonderful. 

I always hoped I would work at something that would make me happy. This program did just that. So when I walk around with the sweatshirt that we bought the kids and people look at me and ask are you a fire fighter? I say no...  but I work for them.

Yael Levontin lives and works in Israel and is the JNF liason to the Friends of Israel Firefighters