B’nai B’rith today Haifa Clubhouse Honors Fallen Fire Scout By Seth Shapiro E lad Riven was a straight-A student at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa. So when he called his mother, Tzvia, to pick him up from school in the middle of the day on Dec. 2, 2010, you could be sure he had a good reason. Riven was a member of the Fire Scouts, teenagers 15–18 who volunteer alongside professional firefighters. Even though he was not on duty when a wildfire broke out on Dec. 2 in the Carmel moun-tain range in northern Israel, Riven felt an obligation to help put out the blaze. After Tzvia picked her son up from school in the middle of the day and drove him to the fire station, Riven donned his Fire Scout uniform and joined a group of firefighters from Afula, a city in northern Israel. Along with three other firefighters on his truck, Riven died as his team was overcome by the conflagration. In all, 44 people died in the fire. Almost a year after Riven lost his life in the fire, B’nai B’rith and the Haifa Fire Department built the Fire Scouts clubhouse, dedicated in his memory. The clubhouse was inaugurated on Oct. 23, 2011, with a special cer-emony—it was the day after what would have been Riven’s 17th birthday. “You, represented here today—firefighters, police and Fire Scouts and the Riven fam-ily—all lost friends, comrades and loved ones [in the fire]. This tragedy was not lost on 44 Spring 2012 A fire engine outside the newly inaugurated Haifa Fire Scouts clubhouse. the Jewish communities of the Diaspora who suffered along with you and also sought to make its contribution to healing the wounds and rebuilding,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin at the ceremony in Haifa. “B’nai B’rith is proud B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin speaks at the Haifa Fire Scouts clubhouse inauguration ceremony on Oct. 23, 2011. to play its significant role in this process by funding the building of this facility.” After Riven died, Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusa-lem, wanted to do something to honor his memory. “When I learned that he died in the fire, my thought was to do something for or with the Fire Scouts,” he said. Schneider conferred with Captain Avi Cohen, the Haifa Region Fire Scouts officer, and learned that it had “been a dream of his for some time that that the Fire Scouts have their own clubhouse,” Schneider said. B’nai B’rith used $80,000 from its Israel Emergency Fund, which was initiated in December 2010 to assist relief efforts after the Carmel wildfire charred an estimated 10,000 acres of forest and mil-lions of trees, and put it toward the creation of the clubhouse. Since firefighters, both pro-fessional and volunteer, never know precisely when they’re going to be called to action, they’re used to having down-time on their hands while on duty at the fire station. For the Fire Scouts, during their idle time on duty, they typically do schoolwork or relax with some of their peers. Not only is the clubhouse equipped so the scouts can train, but there are places for recreation and studying as well. “Elad loved volunteer-ing with the firefighters and providing assistance to those who help others. Elad did not waste time, and, when he went for his shift, took books along so that he could study during free time, and the results showed in his excel-lent grades at school,” Tzvia Riven, Elad’s mother, said at the clubhouse inauguration ceremony. “Therefore, it is important that with the inau-guration of the clubhouse, the scouts will have a place to study, rest and unwind.” The Fire Scouts clubhouse represented a continuing effort on the part of B’nai B’rith to help assist the areas devastated by the wildfire to recoup. In May 2011, B’nai B’rith used $25,000 from its Israel Emergency Fund to provide 10 satellite phones to search and rescue teams. In addition to purchasing the phones, the $25,000 also paid for two years of service. The satellite phones, which the teams had desired but were too expensive for them to afford on their own, have helped better facilitate ground communication dur-ing relief efforts.