MESSAGE FROM NATIONAL SHOMRIM PRESIDENT HENRI PORTNER
We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, with the lifting of the mask restrictions and the reopening of certain venues, allowing people to gather once again. The main event that we have proudly participated in for many years – the Celebrate Israel Parade, held the first Sunday in June – has been cancelled for the second year in a row. The Parade was our signature event and was always the kickoff for many chapter activities. Our National Shomrim Zoom meeting on Sunday, June 13, 2021, will be in lieu of an in person meeting that we would have held prior to the Celebrate Israel Parade, and I encourage all chapter presidents to join us. As always, our associate members are welcome to log on. Chapter members are welcome too, and if you have any questions please forward them to your chapter president. We want to see as many of you as possible at our Zoom meeting! Our Sergeant-at-Arms Dave Appel has arranged for a guest speaker that will give a short presentation after our meeting concludes. Jay Greenberg is an Deputy Assistant Director in the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. DAD Greenberg leads the FBI’s efforts to combat civil rights violations, public corruption and financial crimes. As an Agent, DAD Greenberg was initially assigned to the Washington Field Office, where investigated civil rights, public corruption and government fraud. He worked with the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and District of Columbia to investigate and prosecute numerous hate crimes and color of law violations. DAD Greenberg previously held leadership roles in the FBI’s Dallas and Chicago offices. He will take a few questions at the end of his talk and we’re grateful he’s taking the time to talk about important issues facing us today.
I am very excited to report that National Shomrim will have its first event in over a year. Team Israel, the nation’s Olympic team that is headed to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in August, will be playing the New York Boulders, a Frontier League baseball team, in an exhibition game on Monday, July 12, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. at Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona, NY. A limited amount of tickets are available at on a first come, first serve basis at $50.00 each. We have reserved two luxury suites with a fully catered kosher buffet with hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, fruit, dessert and soft drinks (alcoholic beverages are not included and are available for sale at the ball park). This is a family friendly event that will allow us to show our Jewish pride and our support of Team Israel. National Shomrim Secretary Betty Astrizky is the point of contact for information on this great event, so please email her at BAstrizky@aol.com to reserve your tickets. Don’t delay!
NATIONAL SHOMRIM NEWS
Now that the CDC has given some guidance on how cruise ships can potentially sail, we are hopeful that our National Shomrim convention, scheduled for January 21 thru 30, 2022 on board the Celebrity Equinox, will take place. There are still some cabins available at our exclusive lower rate, so if you’re thinking about joining us, please book now before the deadline of October 31, 2021. We have special perks and other great plans for our group, so contact our official cruise planner Tony Lostumbo at (954) 384-7245 or email@example.com to make your reservation.
NYPD Shomrim continued the tradition of the annual Rabbi Jack M. Sable Passover Distribution on Sunday, March 21, 2021, with members fanning out across NYC to deliver food packages to needy families. Though the weather didn’t cooperate, members delivered warmth and good feelings to recipients along with Passover food supplies. NYPD Shomrim is also hoping to bring back another favorite event, the Father’s Day Picnic, on Sunday, June 20, 2021, details to be determined once restrictions are worked out. They are still planning their Annual Mission to Israel, rescheduled for October 2021. Anyone wishing to travel to our ancestral homeland must contact the following individuals for details: Elliot Cohen in Chicago at (847) 778-7272; Sam Miller in NY at (347) 723-6708, or Gordon Nash in Florida at (561) 632-7764. Check their website, www.nypdshomrim.org, for information.
Nassau Shomrim was thrilled to report that their annual Passover Food Drive was a success. Members Cheryl Garber, Alan Garber and Adam Scheiner planned and coordinated food deliveries to over 70 needy families in Nassau County, New York. Many volunteers stepped up to assist with packaging and delivering Passover supplies.
Nassau Shomrim members attended a memorial service for their longtime member Mal Tarkin, OBM, who passed away in 2020. An outdoor ceremony was held at the Jericho Jewish Center’s Memorial Garden on April 25, 2021, Mal’s synagogue, where he served as their Director of Security and was lovingly referred to as “The General” or “Our General.” Mal was a Korean War Veteran and was a Four Star General with the U.S. Disaster Relief Command, a group dedicated to civic emergency support.
South Florida Shomrin was recently contacted by representatives of the Community-Police Relations Foundation of South Florida. They heard about 5 year old Jacob Schwartz who is suffering from cancer. Jacob is the son of their member Kevin Schwartz, a Biscayne Park police officer, and his mom is a Miami-Dade state attorney. Through their board members, one of whom is the Chairman Emeritus of the local Make A Wish chapter, they donated a pool to Jacob so he can enjoy himself in between treatments. The CPRF is non denominational whose goal is to foster positive relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve. They look to support Jewish police officers and organizations wherever possible. There is nothing better than helping to make a child happy and doing a great mitzvah at the same time.
With sadness, South Florida Shomrim announced the passing of Gladys Weberman, the beloved wife of their longtime spiritual leader and personal friend Rabbi Pinchas Weberman, on April 30, 2021. Rabbi Weberman is also chaplain to many agencies in the area. Mrs. Weberman was flown to Israel and laid to rest in the Holy Land. Blessed is the true judge.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 30, 2021, at Washington Cemetery in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, for Jerome “Jerry” Schneider, the founder and first president of Port Authority Shomrim. Jerry passed away in April 2020 and due to covid restrictions his family was only able to have a short graveside service. Jerry’s widow Mildred, also a Port Authority retiree and Shomrim member, and other family members will be in attendance to remember their beloved husband and father. Without Jerry and the vision of the other officers of the Port Authority Police their Shomrim chapter probably wouldn’t exist.
Welcome to two new members of National Shomrim!
- Geoffrey Wingard is a retired Patrol Officer in the Rockland Police Dept. and the Old Town Police Dept in Maine. Originally from Boston, his family relocated to New Hampshire and then to Maine, where he attended the University of Maine, graduating with a degree in anthropology. Geoffrey took some college courses in criminal justice and had an opportunity to ride along with conservation officers. His first public safety job was as an Assistant Ranger for the Maine Dept. of Conservation. In 1996 Geoff was hired as a patrol officer for the Rockland Police Dept. and he believes he was the first Jewish officer in that department. As Rockland is a coastal city, and because he spent high school and college years in the maritime industry, he applied and was accepted into their Harbor Patrol Unit, where he was also able to complete field training with the Coast Guard. He switched careers and transferred for the Old Town Police Dept., close to his alma mater, the University of Maine. Geoff was a patrol officer there until 2004, when he switched careers and became a high school teacher and completed training in school policing. He serves as an advisor on school safety to two school districts. Geoff believes he’s one of a handful of Jewish police officers in the state of Maine. Geoff, now you’ll be part of a huge family of police officers!
- Beverly Wright is a Special Investigator (independent contractor) for the U.S. Department of State since 2010. Bev retired from the FBI as a Special Agent with 18 years conducting foreign counterintelligence investigations and five years managing the Domestic Terrorism Civil Aviation Security Program. As an active member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, she served as national secretary for two years and manages the Washington, D.C. chapter’s newsletter, email lists and webpage. As a former Chesapeake Bay sailboat owner, Bev served as the Herrington Harbour Sailing Association’s Commodore for two years and helped coordinate their womens sailing/racing program for six years. She and her Havanese pups, Tanner and Cookie, now live in Maryland’s Eastern Shore, in Berlin, MD, often voted American’s “cooled small town.” Maybe one day we’ll welcome “Commodore Bev” at our annual Shomrim Convention at Sea!
Our National Shomrim Facebook page is continuously updated with new job opportunities in many police and fire departments across the country. There have been posts about internships and summer jobs for our Shomrim teens and information about police explorer opportunities, a great way for young people to learn about how great and fulfilling police work can really be. Our Facebook page sadly features police officers killed and injured in the line of duty. In today’s anti-police atmosphere it’s important to remember that when our members go out every day to do their jobs, it comes with real danger. We pray for our brothers and sisters in blue and red who have made the ultimate sacrifice or have been injured and want them to know that we stand with them. If you haven’t asked to join our Facebook page, please do so now. We approve all active and members in good standing of all our Shomrim chapters as well as our associate members. There have been several occasions when members have asked friends to join the Facebook page, and while we welcome supporters of Jews in law enforcement, we have to be careful that they aren’t trolls or hackers looking to harass and intimidate our members. So please remember that it’s only for our members and immediate family.
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! As restrictions are lifted, we expect to hear that you are able to plan activities and meetings based on your local area’s conditions. You’ve tried your best to keep in contact with your members, and we all applaud your hard work and efforts. If your leadership has changed, please notify the Corresponding Secretary so we can keep our records updated. Your chapter dues of 2021 should be sent in as well, so contact the Treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, please forward the newsletter to your members so they can be encouraged to participate in National Shomrim and chapter activities.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! A gentle reminder to please send in your 2021 dues of $18.00. We want all our associate members to be up to date and active with National Shomrim. We don’t want to drop anyone for not paying dues. As a reminder, Chapter dues and Associate Member dues go to charitable events and other important causes. National Shomrim and many of our chapters are 501(c)(3) organizations, so dues are tax deductible. Just as critical, our chapters are there to advocate for our members when necessary.
Donations in honor or or in memory of members are gratefully welcomed. We appreciate your thoughtfulness and your generosity will be acknowledged in our newsletter and at our meetings.
Finally, recent events in our ancestral homeland of Israel has caused our sworn enemies to become more vocal in their desire to destroy us. They have taken to the streets of many American cities with their horrific hate speech and violence directed at Jewish communities and institutions. As much as we want to respond to them, there is no doubt that all of us, especially our members in law enforcement who are sworn to protect, will perform their responsibilities, as always, with the upmost professionalism and respect and will never dishonor their departments. Our members are the best of the best, and we pray for their safety during these continued turbulent times for law enforcement.