The Executive Board of the National Conference of Shomrim Societies wishes all our chapters, associate members and their families a very Happy New Year 5781 May we all be written and sealed in the book of life with good health, happiness, peace and prosperity
ZOOM National Shomrim Meeting
Sunday, September 27, 2020
1200 EST (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 899 0933 2110
Dial by your location:
+1 646 876 9923 (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 (Chicago)
+1 408 638 0968 (San Jose)
+1 669 900 6833 (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 (Houston)
MESSAGE FROM HENRI PORTNER, PRESIDENT
Much has changed in our world and, for the first time in our organization’s and our chapters’ histories, all the events that we have looked forward to attending, hosting and participating have not taken place this year. It is heartbreaking to know that we could not celebrate our Jewish pride marching in the Celebrate Israel Parade, or come together at various chapters’ dinner dances and bbqs, or remember our fallen colleagues during National Police Memorial Week or at the 9/11 Memorial Service. It is tough to think that we have not been able to see our Shomrim friends face to face, but have still managed to connect thru Zoom, which has been a lifesaver. In spite of these uncertainties and challenges we are still moving forward with plans for our National Shomrim convention on board the Celebrity Edge cruise ship in January 2021. I am very happy to report that National Shomrim Corresponding Secretary/Port Authority Shomrim First Vice President Betty Astrizky has accepted my invitation to co-chair the National Convention with Marty Turetzky, taking over for Murray Ellman, may he rest in eternal peace. Truth be told, Betty always worked with Murray in the background on the convention, so it was natural for her to take his place and work alongside Marty. I know Betty will do a great job and that Murray, who we all continue to miss, will be helping her now from above.
We will be having a Zoom meeting on Sunday, September 27, 2020, at 1200 EST, so all chapter presidents, associate members and past presidents, please make every effort to participate. We last met in May, and although the summer has gone by quickly, I am hoping everyone enjoyed the nice weather and have above all stayed safe. Our profession is under attack and we have been targeted daily by those who seek not only to harm us but take our lives. I cannot stress enough to all of you who put on the uniform, whether you are police officers, fire fighters, or serve in any public safety capacity – be careful. Watch out for each other and go home to your families and loved ones at the end of your tours. One day this will all pass and we will be respected again.
NATIONAL SHOMRIM NEWS AND INFORMATION
Our convention co-chairpersons have been in regular contact with our National Shomrim Cruise Planner Tony Lostumbo about our convention, which is scheduled to take place on board the Celebrity Edge cruise ship on January 10-17, 2021. There is still a “no sail order” for all cruises until September 30, 2020, and although the final payment for our convention is October 1, 2020, attendees do have options in the event the cruise is cancelled. Attendees who have put down a deposit and choose not to make a final payment can request a full refund before October 1, 2020. If final payments are made and the cruise is cancelled, then all attendees will be offered a 125% cruise credit that will be applied to the 2022 Shomrim cruise convention, including all the perks we have on the 2021 cruise. Once a final decision is made all attendees will be notified what the plans are for the convention. If you wish to cancel you must contact our National Shomrim cruise planner Tony Lostumbo directly at (954) 258-0088.
Regardless of where the convention will be held, whether it will be on the cruise, in a different location or on Zoom, National Shomrim business will be conducted. At our upcoming National Shomrim Zoom meeting, the main item on the agenda will be the upcoming elections for the incoming Board of our organization. We will discuss this topic as well as other items, so if chapter presidents have any items they would like discussed please forward them to the Corresponding Secretary to place them on the agenda. Any member of a chapter who has an item they would like discussed should submit it to their chapter president. As a reminder, the National Shomrim meeting will be an open forum but any voting rights will be for chapter presidents whose chapters are in good standing, or their designees.
CHAPTER NEWS AND INFORMATION
FDNY Ner Tamid Society held a bbq on Wednesday, September 9th, at the Howard Beach Judea Center, for their members and several friends of their organization. Despite the clouds and the threat of rain, Ner Tamid members treated guests to hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and more. Everyone socially distanced and their special invited guest, FDNY Chief Tom Richardson, reminded all the firefighters to keep focused and do their jobs during this turbulent time in New York City and above all to stay safe.
The Shomrim Societies of the Mid-Atlantic Region – which are comprised of Shomrim of Maryland, Shomrim of DC and Shomrim of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley – invite members of all chapters to a pre-Rosh HaShana virtual Zoom service and shofar blowing on Sunday, September 13, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. Shomrim of Maryland Chaplain Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum will officiate and offer meaningful explanations of the upcoming high holidays and the mystical sounds of the shofar. To participate please contact Shomrim of Maryland President Jeremy Silbert at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom meeting code and password.
Shomrim of Illinois will be having a Zoom membership meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. If you would like to participate please contact Bruce Rottner at email@example.com. At their last Zoom meeting they welcomed new members P.O. Trevor Miller, Sgt. Bryan Mallin and P.O. Adam Weiner. Great to know that their membership is growing in spite of these trying times. Their Facebook page has an awesome picture of former Shomrim of Illinois President and retired Chicago Police Sergeant David Welbel when he provided dignitary protection to the legendary Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal whenever this hero traveled to Chicago. They also wished a hearty Mazal Tov to their member Matt Kroll on his engagement to Mollie Campbell.
Shomrim of Georgia invites all to a Zoom Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur service hosted by Guardians of the Torah. Rabbi Richard Baroff will lead services and conduct a shofar blowing, along with a discussion on the various prayers and traditions of the holidays, each day of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. If you’d like to participate in this meaningful event please email Rabbi Baroff at firstname.lastname@example.org or text (770) 286-3477. Donations to Guardians of the Torah can be sent to POB 767981, Roswell, GA 30076. Please “Like” their Facebook page, Guardians of the Torah.
The Maccabee Society, NYC Dept. of Corrections, has a special request. They are looking for a uniformed member of any of the police or fire depts. in NYC to blow shofar on Rosh HaShana at Rikers Island. If there is any member willing to perform this sacred duty for the incarcerated Jewish inmates please contact the president of the Maccabee Society, Michael Picard, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the volunteer will be asked to report to Rikers Island in uniform. Social distancing will be observed.
Chief of the Lincolnwood (IL) Police Dept. and Shomrim of Illinois Board Member Jay Parrott and the officers of the Lincolnwood PD received a gesture of appreciation from members of the local Orthodox Jewish community who offered a drop-off meal delivery. This was the fifth delivery to the area. Citizens of Lincolnwood picked up meals from various restaurants and bakeries, showing their gratitude to the police officers while supporting local businesses, who also need the support during these trying times.
Mazal Tov to retired Chicago PD Sergeant and longtime Shomrim of Illinois member Jeff Sacks. Jeff was elected as National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States. He served in the military and was deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield in 1991. A detailed biography of this American hero can be found on the National Shomrim Facebook page.
NYPD Shomrim and Shomrim of Illinois is still hoping to have their annual Mission to Israel, scheduled for October 18 to 20, 2020. Please contact trip organizers Elliot Cohen in Chicago at (847) 778-7272; Sam Miller in NY at (347) 723-6709; or Gordon Nash in Florida at (561) 632-7764 to find out if the trip will go on as planned.
South Florida Shomrim Society is also going ahead with their plans for the annual dinner dance for Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at 6:30 p.m., at Temple Solel, 5100 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, FL 33021. Advance tickets are $90 per person, and a table of ten is $875.00. For tickets please contact them directly at www.southfloridashomrim.com, or chapter president Harvey Meshel at email@example.com.
The Port Authority Shomrim Society will showcase their unique menorah, designed especially for their organization, on the eighth night of Chanukah, Thursday, December 17, 2020, at their annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting. Details on the location and time for this special celebration will be in a future newsletter, so save the date.
Shomrim of Maryland Chaplain Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum has been busy! Between his duties as the chapter’s spiritual leader, his work with the Jewish Uniformed Services Association, and planning his son’s Shua’s bar mitzvah, Rabbi Tenenbaum has not let the virus stop him from doing his important work. He recently responded to West Baltimore where there was a gas explosion with many injuries and destruction. His comforting presence to the Baltimore City Fire Dept. and the Baltimore PD surely helped them face the scene of devastation and sadness.
Congratulations to Lt. Abe Englard and Retired FDNY E-250 Barton Fendelman as they co-share the position of president of FDNY Ner Tamid Society. Immediate Past President Nick Malter takes over as Treasurer of the organization. Congratulations to the new board! Congratulations also go out to Lt. Abe Englard, as he was promoted into his current position in May.
Port Authority Shomrim has face and neck coverings available for purchase. Made of a lightweight, breathable material, in black or grey, the chapter’s logo is discretely displayed on the face covering. Reasonably prices at one for $10, two for $15 and three for $20, you can add a Shomrim challenge coin for $10. Payment is easy on either Venmo: PAShomrim; or paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures of the face covering is on the National Shomrim Facebook page. Show off your Shomrim pride! For more information please contact JShrybman@panynj.gov.
Shomrim of Massachusetts was sad to report the passing of their life member Jason Miller in May. He was a retired Sergeant from the Brockton Police Dept. A 32nd degree Shriner, Jason was a brother Mason in his Lodge. He served our country in the U.S. Air Force. His legacy lives on with his wife Ellen and his children, grandchildren and a great grandson. Rest in peace Jason.
NYPD Shomrim said goodbye to longtime life member Archie Sayles in July. Archie was a World War 2 veteran, a member of the greatest generation who served in the U.S. Navy, and joined the NYPD in 1948, retiring in 1974. He lived to see an adored great grandson, Marty, born to his beloved grandaughter Marcie Lebovic Gelber, wife of NYPD Shomrim Society Second Vice President Sgt. Ben Gelber (also National Shomrim Second Vice President). Archie was a recipient of the NYPD Shomrim Society Asser Levy Award in 2014. He was blessed to share a wonderful life with his wife Mildred, three daughters and four grandchildren. He was eulogized by his close friend, NYPD Shomrim Past President Harold Schiffer. Rest in peace Archie. We know that you’re with your Shomrim buddies now, having some laughs and sharing stories of the job.
Mazal Tov to NYPD Shomrim and National Shomrim Second Vice President Ben Gelber and his wife Marcie, and their son and now big brother Marty, as they welcomed baby Arabella Jo to their family this past week.
Jeremy Silbert, President of Shomrim of Maryland, reached a milestone in July when he commemorated 20 years of service with the Baltimore Police Dept. Mazal Tov Jeremy, and stay safe for the remainder of your career!
Nassau Shomrim honored their longtime chaplain Rabbi Barry Dov Schwarts with a birthday drive by at his home in July. Rabbi Schwartz turned 80 and members and Nassau County Police Dept. cars showed their appreciation and respect for his work with the department over the years. Mazal Tov Rabbi Schwartz, and til 120!
Nassau Shomrim also welcomed three new members – NCPD Police Surgeon Cary Pollack, Ret. Sgt. Kevin Matthews, 4th Precinct P.O. Jason Gellar and Long Island Regional Security Director for the JRCC Liron Filiby. They also celebrated simchas with their former president Gary Shapiro (also former National Shomrim President) who announced his son Zach’s engagement; member Sherman Payami and his wife Tracey who welcomed a baby girl Jasmin; and Detective Stu Roberts, who was promoted to Detective Sergeant. They also mourned with member Detective Sergeant Bob Merfogel on the passing of his father.
Past NYPD Shomrim President and Past National Shomrim President Steven Litwin celebrated three great milestones this past summer. He graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the finest criminal justice school in the nation and the alma mater of many of the New York members; turned 62 years old; and was honored by his temple, the East Midwood Jewish Center, on August 2nd. Steve is a board member of the temple and worked tirelessly on legal and security matters for them over the years. He was honored in a Zoom gala the temple held. All well deserved Steve! Til 120!
Shomrim of D.C. member Sgt. Bertram Marks passed away in July. A member of the greatest generation, Bert and his four brothers, who predeceased him, bravely fought for our country in World War 2. He leaves behind his devoted wife of 69 years, Arlene Cohen Marks, four children, 12 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. As a Detective Sergeant with the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Dept, Bert received many commendations and had a stellar reputation among his peers. He was appointed in 1957 and retired in 1980. Rest in peace, and may the Marks family be comforted by wonderful memories of their beloved patriarch.
National Shomrim welcomed four new associate members! P.O. Daniel Wilkenfeld, who was recently appointed to the Union County (N.J.) Sheriff’s Office (and the son of associate member Don Wilkenfeld, retired detective with the Hillside, NJ PD); David Cheesman who is a Deputy Sheriff (Active Reserve) and Chaplain with the Buncombe County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office; Mitchell Weston, Captain of Detectives with the Danbury (Connecticut) Police Dept.; and Michael E. Pollack, a retired sergeant with the NYS Dept. of Corrections. Welcome to all our new associate members, and we look forward to meeting you at an upcoming event!
Mazal tov to our associate member Jonathan Regan, who was promoted to Sergeant with the Union County (NJ) Sheriff’s Dept. Jonathan has done some research and believes he might be the first Jewish police officer in his department to be promoted to a supervisory rank. We need more Jewish officers in that department, Jonathan, to rise up the ranks with you! Recruit!
Associate Member Daniel Scharfman recently made aliyah to Israel to be closer to his daughter and grandchildren. We’ll miss you Dan, and keep us posted on this new chapter in your life in our ancestral homeland.
Shomrim of D.C. co-president Brett Parson recently uncovered what might be their first member killed in the line of duty. In July 1919 Home Defense Officer Isaac Halbfinger was shot and killed as he and his partner attempted to question a man during the 1919 race riots. The suspect immediately produced a pistol and shot Officer Halbfinger in the chest, killing him. His partner struggled with the suspect and was also shot and seriously wounded. The suspect fled the scene through an alley and was pursued by a witness. Both officers were armed with only riot sticks, not guns. Home Defense League Officers were volunteer special officers who assisted the Metropolitan D.C. Police during World War 1. Officer Halbfinger was survived by his wife and two daughters and is buried in Adas Israel Cemetery in Washington D.C.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES! All members are reminded to “Like” our National Shomrim Facebook page. Job opportunities are posted there regularly, so it’s important that everyone ask to join the Facebook page so they can see the latest career choices. Not all of them are in law enforcement or fire fighting. Jobs have been posted with various agencies and the private sector as well. They are open and available to all members and their families. And if anyone hears of job openings, entrance exams, recruitments, please post it on the National Shomrim Facebook page and it will be approved.
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! Two important reminders for our chapter presidents – please forward the newsletter to your membership, and if you haven’t done so, please pay your chapter’s dues for 2020. It is important to keep your chapter active, because it will allow you or your designee to be represented at National Shomrim events and vote on matters at upcoming meetings. Please let us know if there has been a change to your Executive Boards. We were recently notified of one chapter that has a new board, and were able to update our records. So if your leadership has changed, please notify the Corresponding Secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com and she will make sure the changes are made. And remember to encourage your members to “Like” our National Shomrim Facebook page.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! We heard from several associate members who were planning on joining us at this year’s Celebrate Israel Parade that they were disappointed it was understandably cancelled. The parade is one of the highlights of the National Shomrim event calendar, and we’re always so happy that chapter members and associate members drive in or fly in to march up the historic Fifth Avenue in New York City with our delegation. We are all hoping that the 2021 parade will take place so we can see our chapters and associate members again. Although we have been at a standstill, we are asking all associate members to please pay their dues of $18.00 for 2020. It’s so important to keep your membership active. There are several associate members who are the lone Jewish representative in their departments, who have been on the front lines of the chaos, protecting their cities and their colleagues. Our admiration for them is tremendous, and we thank them for being so strong in the face of hate. Not all associate members live or work in big cities where there is a large or well represented Jewish community. Although our travels have been limited, it is always worth reminding everyone that if they hear of a Jewish police officer, fire fighter, EMT, court/corrections/parole/probation officer, DA/ADAs, as well as civilians of government agencies, please tell them about National Shomrim and get their contact information. We want our great organization to grow and we want to show our Jewish pride everywhere.
Chapter dues and Associate Member dues go to the work of the chapters and National Shomrim. A majority of chapters, including National Shomrim, are 501 (c)(3) charities, so dues go to charitable events and other important causes. It is very important now, as we head into the Jewish High Holy Days, that dues are paid, as we know members will be asking for accommodations for religious observances. Sometimes they are met with resistance by their departments and agencies, and that’s when chapters and National Shomrim have to get involved and remind the employers that they cannot refuse anyone asking for time off to observe the holidays. This is the reason all Shomrim chapters were created, and is the reason they still exist and that National Shomrim exists. We must do all we can to ensure all members are treated fairly by their departments, so please pay your dues.
Donations in honor or in memory of all members are gratefully welcomed! We have been privileged to receive these contributions and are always proud that not only our members but outsiders support National Shomrim. If you would like to make a donation, please send it to the Treasurer and we will make sure your generosity is acknowledged.
Finally, please remember to”Like” our National Shomrim Facebook page. It is updated daily with job opportunities, news, member information, chapter events, so it’s important for all chapters and associate members to ask to join the Facebook page. Just ask to join and one of the administrators will approve you. Additionally, members sometime recommend friends and colleagues to join the National Shomrim Facebook page. Please remember that anyone who asks to join should be a member in good standing of a chapter. We recently had quite a few people ask to join the Facebook page, which is a closed group. Some of those individuals weren’t members of a chapter, nor were they Jewish. If anyone recommends that a friend join, please make sure they meet the basic requirements. Check out our website, too, www.nationalshomrim.org, for past newsletters, pictures, our Executive Board and membership information.
Don’t let your chapter membership or associate membership lapse!
All membership checks and chapter dues checks, as well as any donations, should be made out to the National Conference of Shomrim Societies and mailed to:
Treasurer Marty Turetzky
1503 S. Ocean Blvd.
Unit W-4, Boca Raton, FL 33432
Please Thumbs up our Facebook page, the National Conference of Shomrim Societies, as well as the Facebook pages of our chapters!
Tell your members to join our Facebook group!