Written and produced by Betty Astrizky, Corresponding Secretary National Conference of Shomrim Societies
NATIONAL SHOMRIM MEETING
SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2022 – 1000
1 EAST 65th STREET, NYC
(AFTER THE CELEBRATE ISRAEL PRE PARADE COLLATION)
MESSAGE FROM NATIONAL SHOMRIM PRESIDENT HENRI PORTNER
I was privileged to have been sworn into my position at the recent NYPD Shomrim dinner. Joining me to accept these responsibilities were first Vice President Ben Gelber, Treasurer Marty Turetzky, Recording Secretary Scot Pomerantz, Corresponding Secretary Betty Astrizky and Marshall Shevy Berkovits. All our board members will continue to work hard for National Shomrim and we plan to rededicate ourselves to getting our great organization back to its full slate of activities.
Our 2023 convention is selling out fast. The excitement of sailing on a brand new ship, Celebrity Beyond, with an all female crew, including the first ever female captain of a major cruise ship, has not only set our convention attendees talking, but the ship and Captain Kate McCue have been front and center in the cruising world news. On January 22-29, 2023 National Shomrim will be sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic). National Shomrim’s price remains at $3,727.90 for two in a balcony cabin thru the month of April. Three perks are included: classic beverage package for two, prepaid gratuities and internet for two. Put a deposit down now. The final payment is due by October 1, 2022, and of course if the price goes down your price goes down too. Please contact our National Shomrim cruise planner Tony Lostumbo directly at (954) 258-0088 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. And it’s never to early to submit your name for our Signature Speakers Series. If you would like to speak on a topic of interest at our 2023 Convention – can be anything from law enforcement, Jewish history, entertainment, health – please contact our Convention Co-Chairs Marty Turetzky at email@example.com or Betty Astrizky at BAstrizky@aol.com. Molly Golubcow, National Shomrim Mid Atlantic Region Vice President Merrill Kelem’s better half, will be speaking about her book, “The Hotel on St. James Place: Growing Up In Atlantic City in Between the Boardwalk and the Holocaust.” Molly has been an in demand speaker at temples and JCCs, telling stories about the colorful characters who stayed at her Holocaust survivor parents’ Atlantic City hotel. It’s a great memoir and Molly will be entertaining our Shomrim convention attendees with these fascinating stories. I hope you will join me once again as Shomrim sails the world!
The annual Celebrate Israel Parade is back on for Sunday, May 22, 2022. The National Shomrim delegation proudly marches up the world famous Fifth Avenue in New York City in the greatest celebration of Jewish pride in the world. There’s still time to make plans to join us, we want to have the largest contingent at the parade. We’ve already heard that our friend, Michel Theeboom, President of the Jewish Police Association of the Netherlands, will be joining us. Shelia Lambie, who has been working hard to form a chapter in Minnesota, will also be marching with us. Shomrim of Illinois president Dave Appel will be bringing his daughter to the parade. He’s starting her off the right way! An email was sent to all chapter presidents asking if they will have a delegation at the parade. Please respond ASAP to Corresponding Secretary Betty Astrizky at BAstrizky@aol.com We want all chapters represented and as many associate members as possible to join us. There will also be a National Shomrim meeting after the pre parade collation and before we leave to step off for the parade. Info is at the top of the newsletter. The pre parade collation will take place in the ballroom of Temple Emanuel, 1 East 65th Street, NYC, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Please note that the Temple is requiring all attendees to have either a negative covid test or proof of vaccine to enter. Temple Emanuel will not admit anyone who does not have one of these options. This is their rule and we cannot circumvent it. The Celebrate Israel Parade will step off at 1100 and National Shomrim will line up in formation at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 57th Street. It will be a great day to be Jewish!
The iconic NYPD Shomrim Dinner Dance, which was paused for the past two years, resumed on Thursday, March 24th, with over 200 guests attending, reuniting to once again enjoy a night of delicious food, great music and celebrating the swearing in of the executive boards of NYPD Shomrim and National Shomrim. Incoming NYPD Shomrim President Phil Weisbord greeted the presidents of three chapters, including Port Authority Shomrim president Scot Pomerantz, South Florida Shomrim president Harvey Meshel and Macabee Society president Michael Picard. We met National Shomrim Associate Member Jonathan Regan at the dinner dance, and introduced our colleague Leah Rosenblatt, a NYS Trooper, to the Shomrim world. Dinner Dance Committee Co Chairmen Larry Wein and Joe Cohen presented past Dinner Dance Committee Chairman Marty Turetzky with a plaque honoring him for his many years of coordinating the dinner dance, and Marty’s wife Rebecca was given a beautiful bouquet of red roses for her patience while Marty spent many days and hours working on the dinner dance with his partner, Murray Ellman. Joe and Larry also gave a beautiful bouquet of red roses to Murray’s life partner, Betty Astrizky, and thanked her for Murray’s tireless work on past dinner dances.
Port Authority chaplain Rabbi Mendy Carlebach read the megillah on Purim for Port Authority employees at 4 WTC on Thursday, March 17th. Agency leaders were invited and learned about the importance of Purim and the explanation of the story of Queen Esther. Everyone enjoyed delicious hamantashen too!
South Florida Shomrim had a great bbq on Sunday, April 3rd! About 75 hungry Shomrim members and supporters came and bellied up to the big buffet. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, chili, spaghetti, salads, fruit, desserts, all the fixings – supplied by their chaplain Rabbi David Weberman – were enjoyed by the crowd. The kids had fun at the bounce house and face painting. The big boys had their toys, too, with fire trucks, classic cars and police vehicles on display. Randi and Harvey Meshel made sure all the attendees were well fed and welcomed their guests and friends from all walks of life. There was great Shomrim representation, with Shomrim of D.C. Secretary and official National Shomrim photographer Sheldon Levi and his wife Deby who drove down from their home in The Villages. Merrill Kelem and Molly Golubcow joined in the fun, as did past National Shomrim President/Past National Shomrim President Scott Bresalier and his wife Bonnie. Scott’s therapy dog Jamie was a big attraction. Longtime friend Rabbi Stuart Berman and his wife Audrey were present, as was Marty Turetzky, past NYPD Shomrim/National Shomrim President, and his wife Rebecca. Marsha Fixler came with her daughter Lindsay and her grandsons, but without Gene, who sadly had to fly back to Cleveland as his brother Carl passed away after a long illness. We send our condolences to Gene and his family. May they know no more sorrows.
Passover is quickly approaching and our chapters will continue the great mitzvah of distributing food to the needy. On Sunday April 10, 2022, Nassau Shomrim will hold their Passover food drive at Nassau Provisions, 700 Furrows Road, Holtsville, NY. The packaging and distribution begins at 1000. Please contact Gary Koffsky at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a donation or to help with the packaging and distribution. The NYPD Shomrim/Rabbi Jack M. Sable Passover Packaging and Distribution will be in the community room of 477 FDR Drive in NYC. The packaging will be on Friday, April 8, 2022 and the distribution will take place on Sunday, April 10, 2022. Please contact NYPD Shomrim president Phil Weisbord at email@example.com if you’d like to help out.
The NYCD Maccabee Society invites all to the 55th Annual Mickey Marcus Memorial Ceremony at the West Point Military Academy. It will take place on May 1, 2022, at 1000. For more information please contact their president Michael Picard at Michael.Picard@doc.nyc.gov or call (917) 885-3097. For those who would like to go with the Maccabee Society transportation will be provided from Rikers Island.
Shomrim of Illinois has a full slate of activites coming up. They will hold their Lox and Bagel Shoot on Sunday, May 15, 2022, from 1000 to 1300. Their Annual Picnic is scheduled for Sunday, July 31, 2022 at Apachi Day Camp in Northbrook. Golfers are invited to their 24th Annual Golf Outing tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 8, 2022, at the Arboretum Club at 401 Half Day Road in Buffalo Grove (corner of Route 22 and Buffalo Rove Road). They want everyone to save the date for their 61st Annual 2022 Endowment Fund and Reception on Thursday, November 3, 2022. It will be held at the Hilton DoubleTree in Skokie, Illinois. They are also planning to resume in person meetings at the Bernard Horwich JCC in Chicago. Please contact Elliot Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bruce Rottner at email@example.com for information on all these great events. You can also check their website, www.shomrimillinois.org.
Shomrim of Northern California will be hosting a wine tasting in the Napa Valley on Sunday, July 17, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. at Hagafen Cellars, the region’s only kosher fine winery. Please contact member Niles Goldstein at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Congratulations to NorCal Secretary Saul Jaeger on being selected to attend the FBI National Academy, Session 282.
Nassau Shomrim member Hanna Kuvshynova is spearheading a drive to aid families in her native Ukraine that are suffering amid the terrible conflict happening there. Everyone is asked to please consider donating to Nassau Shomrim, a recognized 501 (c)(3) charity, where all monies will go towards food, clothing, medicine and other necessities. Donations can be sent via Venmo or PayPal at email@example.com, and make sure to include “Ukraine Relief Fund” in the memo or description. A check can also be sent to Nassau Shomrim president Gary Koffsky, 96 Udalia Court, West Islip, NY 11795, also indicating “Ukraine Relief Fund” in the memo line.
National Police Memorial Week will be held this year from May 11 to 17, 2022, in Washington D.C. The annual Kaddish service is being organized by Shomrim of D.C. for Friday, May 13, 2022 at 0900, with a breakfast following the Kaddish service at the FOP Lodge 1, 711 4th Street NW, Washington D.C. For more information please contact Shomrim of D.C. president Jay Gruber at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sheldon Levi at email@example.com. For a full schedule of National Police Memorial Week events please visit their website www.nleomf.org.
NYPD Shomrim and Shomrim of Illinois are hoping to continue their annual trip to Israel that has been postponed several times in the past two years. The new proposed travel date is October 18 to 28, 2022, an eleven day trip to the must see sights including the Dead Sea. The total price includes round trip airfare, hotel accommodations, breakfast and dinner and admissions to all attractions. There are additional costs for tips, possible Covid tests and travel insurance, which is highly recommended. Flights will departing from New York, Chicago and Miami. Please email Elliot Cohen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for prices and information.
NYPD Shomrim was shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Detective First Grade Mordechai Dzikansky on March 18, 2022, in Ranaana, Israel. Morty was appointed to the force in 1983. The Brooklyn born son of a rabbi, his career took him to various commands and ultimately was assigned to Israel as the NYPD Intelligence Liaison to the Israeli National Police. Morty’s ability to speak fluent Yiddish led to his work as the lead investigator on a rash of synagogue burglaries that led to the formation of the Torah Task Force. Morty reported to the NYPD on terrorist attacks in Istanbul, Moscow, Madrid and Eqypt. After his retirement, Morty became a respected lecturer on global security, terrorism awareness and prevention, often appearing on mainstream media discussing his views on how to combat these threats. He co-authored three books, including his memoir, “Terrorist Cop: The NYPD Jewish Cop Who Traveled The World To Stop Terrorists.” Morty was often on sold out book tours across the USA and he shared his vast knowledge with eager Jewish communities around the country. Morty is survived by his wife Meryl and three children. His funeral in Israel was zoomed and his family and many friends in the USA were able to mourn along with his family. May Morty’s soul be bound up in the bonds of life, and may he rest in eternal peace.
Condolences are sent to former Shomrim of Illinois board member Ellyn Weiss Schmitz and her family on the passing of Ellyn’s dad, Ben Weiss. May his memory be for a blessing for Ellyn and her family.
We were so proud of Past National Shomrim President and Past NYPD Shomrim President/First Grade Detective Larry Wein as he was instrumental in the apprehension of a suspect in the brutal killing of an Asian woman in February. Larry and his NYPD colleague were featured in local New York newspapers taking the suspect into custody.
Congratulations to National Shomrim Sergeant-at-Arms Jeff Grossman who was recently received his certificate in Forensic and Investigative Services Level II from Texas A&M Engineering University/Extension Services. We’ll see Jeff at the Celebrate Israel Parade.
Fifty years ago Bruce Rottner of Shomrim of Illinois walked into the police academy in Chicago to begin, as he described it, an adventure that lasted over 39 years. Bruce was one of five college graduates in a class of 250 cadets, most were Vietnam veterans, some were street tough guys and there were no women. Times have changed but Bruce still has lifelong friends from his academy class. Congratulations for achieving this great milestone, Bruce! The best is yet to come!
Nassau Shomrim Chaplain Rabbi Barry Dov Schwartz has written a book chronicling his experiences in his over 50 years of being a pulpit rabbi and a police chaplain. “A Man of Spirit: A Rabbi Navigates a Half-Century of Sweeping Change,” is about how Rabbi Schwartz adapted to the many changes in our country from his early days to our modern day society. This fascinating hardcover book is available on Amazon, so order it now and read about the delicate balance a rabbi must cultivate in the modern world.
We welcomed three new associate members to National Shomrim!
- Stephen Rosen of The Villages, Florida. Steve is the president of the Ocean Pines Fire Dept. and was recommended for membership by National Shomrim photographer Sheldon Levi.
- Rabbi Brian Denker, a member of the New York State Chaplain Task Force and a chaplain for the New York State Fraternal Order of Police, and a member in good standing of the International Federation of Rabbis. Brian is a native New Yorker and has worked in various leadership roles throughout the Jewish community in the NY metropolitan area. An openly gay rabbi, Brian works to ensure there are policies and programs for diversity, acceptance and inclusion. He believes our strength as a Jewish people is through flexibility, willingness and courage of conviction, while maintaining and honoring our traditions, teachings and practices.
- Rabbi Robin Rubinstein is a chaplain for the U.S. Chaplain Task Force. Robin received her ordination in December 2020 from the Jewish Theological Seminary and has a Master’s Degree in Education and a PhD in Educational Neuroscience as well as a California Teaching Credential in Science. Her path to becoming a rabbi started as a leader in junior congregation and teaching Hebrew classes. Judaism has always been strong in her life and Robin saw teaching and counseling as the best way to integrate her dedication to her faith with her background. Currently ministering to domestic violence victims, Robin also conducts life cycle events and continues to teach as Morah Robin.
Thank you to members Sonny Lukatsky and Robert Cutler for their donations to National Shomrim. It shows that you believe in our organization and our mission, especially during the past two years. Birthday blessings go out to Sonny Lukatsky, who recently celebrated with his great friend of many years, Bruce Rottner. Til 120!
NYPD Patrolman Julius Mirell was shot and killed on Tuesday, March 9, 1948, with his service revolver while attempting to arrest a burglary suspect who specialized in looting coin boxes of apartment house washing machines. While walking his beat with his partner, Patrolman Jacob Zuckerman, in an area that had been plagued by numerous burglaries, Patrolman Mirell observed a suspicious man near the cellar entrance of 714 West 181st Street. As he approached, the suspect ran down the cellar stairs. Patrolman Mirell drew his service revolver and chased the suspect down the cellar stairs. As he got to the bottom of the cellar stairs, the suspect, who was waiting out of sight, grabbed Patrolman Mirell’s revolver and fired one shot, striking him in the neck. Patrolman Zuckerman was shot twice in the stomach. The suspect fled on foot but the wounded patrolman was able to fire off five shots at the suspect, striking him in the leg. The suspect managed to escape but was apprehended the next day and charged with murder. He was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 35 years to life. Patrolman Mirell was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department’s Medal of Honor for his actions. He was 26 years old and served with the NYPD for 3 years and was assigned to the 34th Precinct. He was survived by his wife and two children. The Coin-Metered Washing Machine Operators Association donated $250 to his widow as an expression of sympathy. Patrolman Zuckerman, who was wounded by the thief, received $100.00. Patrolman Julius Mirell is buried in Old Montefiore Cemetery in Springfield Gardens, New York.
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! This can’t be stressed enough – please get your chapters on social media! Appoint a tech savvy member to be your social media coordinator – usually a younger member – and set up a Facebook page and Instagram page and other social networks that will attract new members and keep your current membership up to date. There are chapters that update their Instagram pages regularly so members can see the latest news. It’s critical in the era we’re living in. And it’s critical to growing your membership. Please remember to post your activities and events to the National Shomrim Facebook page. And of course as soon as the newsletter hits your new mail it should be forwarded to your membership. Once again we’ve met members that say they don’t get the newsletter and have no information about their chapters. If you want your members to be active and involve, you need to show that you’re active, involved and up to date. Please send in your National Shomrim chapter dues of $100.00 as soon as you’re able.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! Now that restrictions are loosening and its safe to travel, we are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at any of our events, especially at the Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, May 22, 2022. Chapters will send several members, but we want our associate members to show their Jewish pride too, in the full dress uniforms of their departments, so that the cheering crowds will see that Jews are represented in public service across the USA!
Donations are gratefully accepted. National Shomrim is a 501 (c)(3) organization so your donations are tax deductible. Your chapter dues and associate member dues go to the work of National, publications, events, and we also make donations to important causes when necessary. Donations in honor of or in memory of or to celebrate a milestone are so special and your generosity will always be acknowledged in our newsletter and at our meetings.