Written and Produced by Betty Astrizky, Corresponding Secretary, National Conference of Shomrim Societies
NATIONAL SHOMRIM NEWS AND INFORMATION
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…School’s back in session! For our Shomrim parents and Shomrim educators, although summer has been fun, with great vacation memories, sunshine and lazy days, it’s also time to get everyone back into routines and set schedules, and that includes Shomrim, too. We are getting back into our annual cycle of events for our Shomrim chapters, as well as continuing to finalize our plans for the National Shomrim Convention on board the Celebrity Silhouette, sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel and The Cayman Islands on January 7, 2018. We will be meeting to discuss important National Shomrim business, and will be having elections for our next Executive Board. Pursuant to our by-laws, the slate must be presented no less than 30 days prior to the Convention. The following candidates have presented their credentials for positions on the Executive Board:
- President – Scot Pomerantz
- Executive Vice President – David Rosenzweig
- First Vice President – Ari Bleifeld
- Second Vice President – Jason Kalan
- Treasurer – Marty Turetzky
- Recording Secretary – Murray Ellman
- Corresponding Secretary – Betty Astrizky
- Sergeant-at-Arms – Henri Portner
The Regional Vice Presidents will be voted upon by the chapters in their respective regions.
It is important that we have as many chapters possible represented at the Convention so that we can have a quorum for voting on this and other important National Shomrim business. If any other members in good standing wish to present their credentials for any of these positions, please email current National Shomrim President Larry Wein at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your name for consideration.
To attend the Convention on board the Celebrity Silhouette, please contact our official National Shomrim cruise planner, Tony Lostumbo, at (954) 384-7245 or email at email@example.com to book the cruise. If you’ve cruised with National Shomrim in the past, you know that it’s a great time with the Shomrim members from all over the country. If you’ve never been, this is the time to join us! Besides being in the sunny Caribbean during the dreary, cold winter, you will meet Shomrim members with whom you will share similar experiences in many areas of public service. We also have amazing lectures on topics that are important to all our work and private lives. We are always looking for speakers, so if anyone has experiences in any field, including law enforcement, the military, health, travel, any topic that our members would find interesting and informational, we would love to have you attend and share your thoughts. Please email our cruise coordinators, Murray Ellman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marty Turetzky at email@example.com.
As a reminder, chapters must be in good standing to vote at the Convention, so if you haven’t paid your 2017 National Shomrim dues of $100 please do so before the convention. Associate members are also asked to send in their 2017 dues of $18.00. Please contact the treasurer, Marty Turetzky, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to determine if your chapter and associate membership is paid up.
There will be a National Shomrim meeting immediately after the NYPD Shomrim Breakfast on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at Temple Emanu-El, 1 East 65th Street (corner of Fifth Avenue), New York City. It is important that we have as many chapters as possible represented so please email Corresponding Secretary Betty Astrizky at BAstrizky@aol.com to confirm your attendance at the meeting, tentatively scheduled for 11:00 a.m.
As you may have heard, over the summer the Holocaust Memorial in Boston was damaged and a local teenager was arrested and charged for that crime. Our associate member in Massachusetts, Jed Nitzberg, has given us the information of the officer who made the arrest and National Shomrim president Larry Wein plans on traveling to Boston to honor him. Once those plans are finalized we will advise the dates of travel and anyone who wants to join Larry is more than welcome to attend and thank this hero for standing up to hate.
Since it’s never too early to begin planning, the Celebrate Israel Parade will take place in New York City on Sunday, June 3, 2018. Start planning now to join us as we march up Fifth Avenue in the largest celebration of Jewish pride in the nation.
CHAPTER NEWS AND INFORMATION
The Ner Tamid Society of the FDNY advises that all Shomrim members, their families and anyone wishing to commemorate the 16th anniversary of September 11th is invited to attend a memorial service at the New York City Fire Museum, 278 Spring Street (between Houston and Varick Streets), New York. The memorial service begins at 11:00 a.m., but the museum will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is no charge to enter and view the exhibits or attend the ceremony. FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and other high ranking members of the FDNY will be in attendance to honor the supreme sacrifice made by 343 members of the Fire Service on 9/11. The Museum houses a permanent memorial to these fallen firefighters as well as items and newspaper articles surrounding the events of that tragic day. If you wish to attend please contact Ner Tamid President Nicholas Malter at email@example.com.
Shomrim of Illinois will be having their annual reception on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Hotel, located at Madison & Halsted, in Chicago. This year’s “Person of the Year” is Amy Stoken, Director of the American Jewish Committee, Chicago branch. The “Police Officer of the Year” is Shomrim member (Sgt.) Brian Berkowitz. Tickets for this event are $100.00 per person. The Shomrim Society of Illinois Endowment Fund is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization; therefore, donations to this dinner are tax deductible. The Endowment Fund provides educational scholarships to the children and grandchildren of members and allows them to donate to various charitable causes. You can pay for dinner tickets and ads using PayPal or a credit card on their website at www.shomrimillinois.org. If you have any questions or comments about the reception please contact the General Chairman, David Appel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On September 19, 1992, Baltimore Police Officer Ira Weiner was shot in the line of duty while on patrol in West Baltimore. Officer Weiner died two days later from his injuries. The Shomrim Society of Maryland is commemorating the 25th anniversary of Officer Weiner’s death with a brief graveside memorial service on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Shomrim of Maryland, along with members of Officer Weiner’s family, will gather at the Oheb Shalom Memorial Park located at the intersection of Nicodemus Road and Berryman’s Lane in Reisterstown, Maryland. All are invited to join Shomrim of Maryland in this remembrance of a public servant who gave his life to protect others.
Shomrim of Maryland President Jeremy Silbert and their chaplain Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum also advise that the Jewish Uniformed Services Association of Maryland will be having their Law Enforcement and Military Appreciation Awards Dinner on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, at the Fifth Regiment Armory, 219 29th Division Street, Baltimore, Maryland. The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be honoring three deserving individuals, including fallen Baltimore Police Officer Ira Weiner. If anyone would like to attend please contact Shomrim of Maryland President Jeremy Silbert at email@example.com. To reserve tickets please go directly to their link www.jewishusamd.org/dinner.
The NYPD Shomrim Society will be holding their annual Fellowship Breakfast on Sunday, October 29, 2017, at 8:00 a.m. at Temple Emanuel, 1 East 65th Street (corner of Fifth Avenue), New York City. Tickets are $35.00 in advance, $40.00 at the door. For information contact NYPD Shomrim President Joe Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org. or Breakfast Chairpersons Murray Ellman at email@example.com or Marty Turetzky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The South Florida Shomrim Society will be holding their annual dinner dance on Thursday, November 9, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Aventura Turnberry Isle Jewish Center, 20400 NE 30th Avenue, Aventura, Florida 33180. The cost for the dinner is $90.00 per person in advance, $95.00 if you pay with a credit card or paypal, or $100.00 at the door. If you wish to attend please contact their president, Harvey Meshel, at email@example.com.
Shomrim of Philadelphia advises that the Philadelphia Police Dept. will be accepting applications for Police Officer from September 25, 2017 thru October 20, 2017. The starting salary is $49,477.00. Please go to the following website for details on how to apply: www.joinPhillyPD.com. If anyone has specific questions about the Philadelphia Police Dept. please direct them to Howard Lebofsky, President of Shomrim of Philadelphia, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nassau Shomrim advises that Nassau County, NY will be having an open competitive exam for Police Officers in late 2017 or early 2018. Anyone interested can preregister at www.pdnc.org/test. For specific questions about the Nassau County Police please contact Howard Friedberg at email@example.com.
NYPD Shomrim and Shomrim of Illinois are co-sponsoring a trip to Israel April 16 thru 25, 2018. There are flights that will be leaving from either Miami, New York or Chicago to spend springtime in our ancestral homeland. This trip will visit areas normally not seen by the average tourist and will meet leaders of the country and law enforcement. To sign up or for more information please contact the following: in Florida, Gordon Nash at (561) 632-7764; in New York, Sam Miller (347) 723-6708; in Chicago, Elliot Cohen (847) 778-7272. Seats are filling up fast, so make your reservations for this amazing trip.
Nassau Shomrim has uncovered a genius and easy way to generate income. Any Shomrim Society that has tax exempt status can receive donations thru Amazon. When purchases are made the customer selects the organization they want to receive their donation. A percentage of the purchase is donated at no additional charge. It is thru the charity division of Amazon. Sign on by using Smile.Amazon.com. You can sign in using your regular Amazon.com sign in. On the top there is a “set up” option. Put in the Nassau County Shomrim Society Foundation Inc. (or any other Shomrim organization that has registered their organization). It should take about two minutes. From then on all purchases thru Smile.Amazon will generate .005% of all your purchases. Sure, it seems small, but think about it – if every organization signed up and notified their family and friends to purchase thru Smile.Amazon, steady income would be flowing into every Shomrim treasury.
On Sunday, August 20th, NYPD Shomrim commemorated the 29th anniversary of the line of duty death of Police Officer Joseph Galapo. Together with his widow Lana, members of NYPD Shomrim, the NYPD Ceremonial Unit and friends paid tribute to Officer Galapo’s memory. NYPD Shomrim Chaplain Rabbi Dr. Alvin Kass gave an emotional speech and said the kaddish, along with a minyan of Shomrim members.
CHAPTERS!!! Please send in your Chanukah plans so they can be included in the next newsletter. Email these and any other upcoming Shomrim events to Betty Astrizky at BAstrizky@aol.com.
MEMBER NEWS AND INFORMATION
Arty Pincus, past president of the former Gonen Society (NYC Transit Authority) and past board member of National Shomrim, is looking to reconnect with members that he might have worked with, both in the Gonen Society and in National Shomrim. If you would like to contact him here’s his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Brian D. Fixler upon being sworn in as a Police Officer for the City of Cleveland. Brian is the son of Gene H. Fixler, former president of Shomrim of Ohio and member of both South Florida Shomrim and National Shomrim. Brian has been a part of Shomrim since he was born when, as an infant, he was awarded a plaque for being the first male born to a member of the newly formed Shomrim of Ohio. Brian is also a member of National Shomrim.
Are you a police officer, fire fighter, employed by a school system, sanitation worker, work in any public agency in New York State and plan to receive a pension from New York State? Then you are encouraged to VOTE NO to opening the Constitutional Convention (ConCon), which will be on the November 7th ballot in New York. All former New Yorkers who live out of state and have family and friends who still live in New York, please tell them to VOTE NO as well. The question will be on the back of the ballot, so please turn it over when you are in the voting booth. Do not let Governor Cuomo get his hands on our hard earned pensions!
What are some of the important provisions currently in the state constitution?
The New York State Constitution currently contains certain provisions important to the quality of life, such as free public education, collective bargaining, workers compensation, social welfare, and environmental protections, including forever wild, among others.
Are there provisions in the constitution that directly affect public retirees?
Yes. Article 5, Section 7: Public pensions cannot be reduced once an employee is enrolled
Article 16, Section 5: Public pensions are exempt from state income tax
Delegates to the ConCon could include lawyers and judge who could, unbelievably, fatten their own pensions while taking away ours! At the 1967 ConCon 4 out of the 5 delegate were career politicians, attorneys and Albany insiders. All leaders were sitting legislators. Not only that, experts estimate that assembling a ConCon could cost $50 to $100 million in taxpayer dollars. It’s a waste of money.
The last time the ConCon was on the ballot in 1997 it was overwhelmingly rejected, with 62% voting against it. Although 4.2 million votes were cast in that election, 1.7 million voters (40%) did not vote on the ConCon question. It should also be noted that the last time the ballot question was approved, in 1965, the vote was 1,681,482 in favor and 1,468,341 opposed. An additional 2.9 million people (approx. 48%) voted in that election but skipped the ballot question. (Statistics provided by RPEA).
So what did you do on your summer vacation?
Judi Buch, past president of Shomrim of Philadelphia, “Paddled for Pink” for a breast cancer fundraiser in June. Judi is a survivor and is a strong advocate for womens health. There were 9 boats filled with survivors and their friends who were paddling for a cure.
Bob Clearfield, of Shomrim of Philadelphia and Mid-Atlantic Region Vice President, is also battling the beast, but spent his summer days filled with family and friends. After a cruise to the Caribbean, he had a 30th anniversary camp counselors reunion at Camp Canadensis, where he swapped campfire stories. Bob also passed the FCC Amateur Radio Technician class, and is now an official “Ham Operator.” Is that kosher, Bob?
Harvey Meshel, President of South Florida Shomrim and his wife Randi, the brains behind the organization, also took a cruise to the Caribbean in July. There were alot of adult only beverages in her Facebook posts…hmmm…
Scott Bresalier, past National Shomrim President and past Nassau Shomrim President, and his wife Bonnie celebrated as their youngest son Ian graduated from college. Other milestones for the Bresaliers included eating at the world’s largest McDonald’s in Orlando, and having coffee at 8:00 a.m. on Sundays while ogling muscle cars near their home in West Palm Beach.
Betty Astrizky (your corresponding secretary and First Vice President of Port Authority Shomrim) and Murray Ellman (Recording Secretary, National Shomrim and Financial Secretary, NYPD Shomrim) traveled to Europe in June where they had the privilege of meeting members of the Jewish National Police of the Netherlands in Amsterdam. Betty and Murray were given special access to Jewish historical sites in Amsterdam and had a private meeting with one of the special events coordinators of the Anne Frank House, who gave them insight into one of the most famous symbols of the Holocaust. The JNP of the Netherlands would love to show off their beautiful city to any Shomrim member visiting them, and even suggested that they would be willing to coordinate a National Shomrim trip to Amsterdam. They will also try to attend our events here on our side of the world.
Betty also went to summer camp…well, for one day. The rebbetzin of her synagogue in Florida runs a summer camp for girls in Lake Worth and arranged for the ladies of the Young Israel-Chabad to have lunch with the girls and hang out with them for a few hours. Amazingly, Betty met the daughter of the Port Authority Shomrim Chaplain, Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, who was attending the camp from New Jersey!
Esther Feldman of Nassau Shomrim attended the 40th reunion of her graduating class of Oceanside High School class of 1977 on Long Island on August 5th. Esther said it was alot of fun going down memory lane with her former classmates. She’s also a huge fan of theatre and musical shows, having seen Neil Diamond, Elvis Spectacular, Genessa (a Selena Tribute Show), the last show of On Your Feet, the Gloria Estefan musical, and sat in the third row of Hello Dolly, where she got to shake hands with the lead actress, the Divine Miss M herself, Bette Midler (another nice Jewish girl!)
Port Authority Shomrim President Scot Pomerantz spent two weeks at Boy Scout camp with his son, tying knots and earning badges. Then he was off on a family vacation to the Magic Kingdom.
The Portner boys – Stu, Henri and Doug – all took a road trip to Fenway Park in Boston to see the Red Sox. Henri also took a trip to Seattle to watch the Red Sox play the Mariners in Safeco Field.
in July. Enjoy these boys weekends now, Henri, before the big day!
Betty and Murray also attended a meeting of the South Florida Shomrim Society, where their President Harvey Meshel outlined plans for their dinner dance. Bagels and hot coffee were available for all attendees, and it was greatly appreciated on a rainy Sunday morning.
As we have been seeing on the news and on Facebook, Instagram and all social media, the flooding in Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas have devastated those cities and have left millions homeless, with nowhere to go and nothing to wear. So many organizations have stepped up to contribute goods, services and money (in the form of gift cards) to people who are currently living in shelters, stores, etc. Our friends from South Florida Shomrim mobilized their members to donate to a local family who obtained a truck and is driving to Houston to distribute much needed food, personal care items, clothes, etc. We know that many police departments throughout the country are in Houston with relief supplies and are helping with rescue and recovery efforts. Alot of people have been acting locally, packing supplies, donating to specific charities, etc. Many of the New Yorkers who lived thru Hurricane Sandy can absolutely relate to what the people of Houston are experiencing now. We have been in touch with Shomrim of Texas. Thankfully their members are in cities not affected by the hurricane and we have asked them to let us know how we can help them.
National Shomrim is also stepping up, as we always do, to help the Jewish community in Houston. We plan on setting up a separate bank account for donations. If chapters and associate members can send a check in any amount, payable to National Shomrim, and write in the comment box on the bottom of the check “Hurricane Harvey Relief,” we will take all those monies and send one check to a charity that we will be assured goes to help the victims. Please send your check in any amount to National Shomrim Treasurer Marty Turetzky, 264 East Broadway, C1905, New York, NY 10002. I am sure all chapters and associate members will, as always, step up and help out.
Here are two charities that you can donate directly to that we have been assured all the monies will go directly to help the victims:
Chabad of Houston has been providing kosher meals, 24/7, since the start of the hurricane, to Jews who are living in shelters and are stranded in their homes. Kosher food has always been in limited supply in Houston, but now it’s a major struggle for those in need. You can contribute to them on the following website: www.chabadhouston.com/hurricane
The Jewish Federation of Houston is a major organization that provides funding to many synagogues, nursing homes and community centers in the Houston area. They will be distributing all monies received to these institutions that have been directly affected. You can contribute to them at houstonjewish.org.
In the meantime, here are two organizations that you can also donate to with confidence that the full amount will go to help victims:
Chabad of Houston has been working nonstop since the flooding, preparing and delivering kosher meals to Jews in shelters. Houston has always had a limited amount of kosher food available, and from Facebook posts, it’s starting to run out. Their website is ChabadHouston.com/hurricane.
Jewish Federation of Houston is an umbrella organization that distributes monies to numerous synagogues and community centers in and around the Houston area. Their website is HoustonJew
Some of you may remember Brian Weiss and his wife, Brooke. Brian is a retired captain from New Orleans who tried to start up a Shomrim chapter in that city many years ago but was unsuccessful (not enough Jews there). Brian and Brooke and their three daughters lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. Once he retired they moved to Houston where, unbelievably, they have lost everything again. They have started a Go Fund Me page where any monies donated will go to help their family and other families they know who need help to rebuild their lives. Although not a member of National Shomrim, we would never turn out backs on a Jewish brother in blue. If you can help them out please do so. On the Go Fund Me page, enter Brian Weiss in the search box and his name will pop up. Any amount you can contribute will be more than appreciated.
We want to give a warm welcome to our colleagues in the Jewish National Police of the Netherlands. You can friend them on Facebook, Joods Politie Netwerk, and their President, Michel Theebom, and don’t worry, they speak perfect English, better than some of us!
Also want to give a shout out to Richard Padwell of the West Yorkshire Police in the U.K. I read about Richard thru a news article the Jewish National Police of the Netherlands posted on their Facebook page that the West Yorkshire Police was actively recruiting to hire more Jews for their department. After finding him on Facebook, it turns out he attended John Jay College in 2003 on a Police Fulbright Fellowship. We hope to meet Richard and the other Jewish members of the West Yorkshire Police and the Jewish police officers throughout the U.K. sometime in the not too distant future.
Please remember, in your travels or day to day routine, if you meet any Jewish members in the public service that don’t know about National Shomrim, whether it’s because they’re in an agency with minimal Jewish representation or an area with a small Jewish population, to get their contact information and forward it to Betty Astrizky so she can get in touch with them. We’re always looking for new members!
All chapters are reminded that $100 dues for 2017 should be sent in as soon as possible. It is important that your chapter remain current for voting rights at upcoming meetings.
Please send in your dues of $18.00 for 2017. Your membership is especially important to our organization, as you are our link to areas where there is a minimal or nonexistent Jewish population. We hope to meet you soon!
All dues should be mailed to National Shomrim Treasurer
Marty Turetzky, 264 East Broadway, C1905, NY, NY 10002
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF
THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF
WISHES ALL OUR CHAPTERS,
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES
A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY 5778
MAY WE ALL BE INSCRIBED IN THE BOOK OF LIFE