South Florida Firefighter Who Volunteered in Israel After October 7 Speaks at Young Professionals Event in Boca


BOCA RATON, Fla., March 18, 2024 — On March 3, 2024, young professionals united in Boca Raton for an exclusive event featuring a South Florida firefighter who recently volunteered in Israel after the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7.


The event’s keynote speaker was Lt. Aston Bright, a volunteer firefighter with the Plantation Fire Department and a member of the Emergency Volunteers Projects, a disaster relief & rescue organization whose primary mission is to send volunteer teams to Israel in times of crisis. Lt. Bright has been deployed to Israel three times, including post-October 7, where he was in charge of all American firefighters in the country during his two-week tour of duty.


Jake Selvin, Alison Selvin, Hooman Dilamian, Ashley Rifkin, Lindsay Shapiro, JNFuture Palm Beach President Carly Schwartzwald, Lt. Aston Bright, Matthew Franzblau, JNFuture Palm Beach Campaign Executive Jessica Kaplan, Kayla Gubov, Justin Lakritz, Jordan Linn, Justin Cohen


Bright shared his experience in Israel as a Lieutenant and discussed his efforts be an ally to the Jewish Community.


“When I got the call to serve just three weeks after the Hamas terrorist attack, it was a matter of how soon I could get there,” Bright said. “Me being there meant that an Israeli firefighter got to go home for a couple of hours to his family and to rest.”


The intimate event hosted by Jewish National Fund-USA’s JNFuture community of young philanthropists ages 22-40, also highlighted the organization’s Fire & Rescue operations in Israel.


Since 2006, Jewish National Fund-USA has supported Israel’s Fire and Rescue Authority, outfitting their firefighters and rescuers with state-of-the-art training, equipment, vehicles, and facilities. This support is vital during times of calm and in times of conflict, when firefighters are called upon to respond to routine emergencies, as well as terror attacks. From the threat of wildfires, to flash floods in the desert, to the proliferation of rocket attacks both along the Gaza border and in the north, the need for fire and rescue services across Israel is constant.


Post-October 7, Jewish National Fund-USA has provided additional firefighting and protective equipment for civil defense, including radios, bulletproof vests, helmets, tactical clothing, fire trucks, rapid response vehicles, and more, all of which have significantly impacted Israel’s response capabilities since the “Black Shabbat.”


“When our family in the Negev needed us the most, we were already in the region providing crucial aid,” said JNFuture Campaign Executive, Palm Beach, Jessica Kaplan. “That’s our secret. We were there yesterday, we are there today, and we will be there tomorrow.”


Local leaders also presented Bright with a Jewish National Fund-USA certificate stating an orchard had been planted in Israel in his honorand with gratitude for his service.


For more information about JNFuture, Jewish National Fund-USA’s community of young professionals ages 22-40, or to learn about upcoming events in Boca Raton, visit contact Jessica Kaplan at JKaplan@jnf.orgor 202.750.3217 x843.




Media Contact:

Jennifer Milton

561-447-9733 x875


About Jewish National Fund-USA

Jewish National Fund-USA builds a strong, vibrant future for the land and people of Israel through bold initiatives and Zionist education. As a leading philanthropic movement, the organization supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south as it develops new communities in the Negev and Galilee, connects the next generation to Israel, and creates infrastructure and programs that support ecology, people with disabilities, and heritage site preservation, all while running a fully accredited study abroad experience through its Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Learn more at