“Chanukah O Chanukah, Come Light the Menorah!”
NATIONAL SHOMRIM NEWS AND EVENTS
We are counting down to our National Shomrim Annual Convention on January 28, 2024. Approximately 70 Shomrim members and their families and friends will meet up on the Celebrity Ascent, a brand new ship, setting sail to the beautiful blue Caribbean islands of St. Kitts, Tortola and San Juan (Puerto Rico). We have two great speakers lined up and our exclusive Shomrim activities are being finalized. We’ll give you a recap of the Convention in a newsletter that will be sent out in February 2024, after we return.
We have preliminary plans for our 2025 Convention. The Celebrity Ascent will host National Shomrim in January 2025 and although it seems far away, if you want to attend, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible for this reason – Celebrity will be eliminating the perks that we have gotten in the past. Our group currently receives free wifi, the classic beverage package and prepaid gratuities. For 2025, Celebrity will not give us all those perks. If you are thinking about attending the next Shomrim Convention in 2025, book it now because you will get the three perks, If you book later, they might not be available to you. Please email our official National Shomrim cruise planner Tony Lostumbo at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more information and to book the 2025 convention.
As mentioned in previous newsletters, we will be electing a new National Shomrim Executive Board for 2024 at the Convention. The candidates that have been nominated and have expressed an interest in serving National Shomrim are a great mix of our different chapters. Here’s the slate:
- President – Shevy Berkovits, Nassau Shomrim
- Executive Vice President – Dave Rosenzweig FDNY Ner Tamid (retired)
- First Vice President – Dave Appel. Shomrim of Illinois
- Second Vice President – Ben Gelber (NYPD Shomrim)
- Treasurer – Marty Turetzky, NYPD Shomrim (retired)
- Recording Secretary – Scot Pomerantz, Port Authority Shomrim
- Corresponding Secretary – Betty Astrizky, Port Authority Shomrim (retired)
- Sergeant-at-Arms – Jeff Grossman, Texas Shomrim
- Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms – Jonathan Schneider (Port Authority Shomrim)
- Marshall – Stacy Barasch – South Florida Shomrim
We will accept nominations for any positions on the Executive Board from the floor of the Convention. Chapter Presidents, if you are not attending, and if there is a member of your chapter attending the convention, please designate that person as the National Shomrim Delegate to your chapter. If no one from your chapter is attending, please send in a proxy to any current National Shomrim Executive Board member to vote on behalf of your chapter. Please email BAstrizky@aol.com as soon as possible for the email of any board member you wish to represent your chapter at the convention.
Make plans to attend the Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 2, 2024, in New York City. The theme for the parade will be “Lev Echad, V’Am Echad,” – One Heart and One People. The parade will pay tribute to the IDF as well as the many organizations and groups that came to the immediate help of Israel in the early days of the war and continue to help in so many ways. We know many Shomrim chapters immediately began fundraising efforts for the war, and FDNY Ner Tamid sent a delegation of EMTs and others to assist their overworked medical facilities and teams. We all hope and pray that the war will be over soon and our hostages will be freed so that we can celebrate a great victory over our enemies. National Shomrim always has a large delegation marching up Fifth Avenue, with many chapters and associate members flying in from other parts of the country to join us. For those who’ve attended the parade in the past, you know it’s an amazing day. For those of you who’ve never marched with the National Shomrim delegation, this is the year you should be joining us as we march up Fifth Avenue. This parade will be one of the most important events National Shomrim participates in during the year and the most important Celebrate Israel Parade in its history. Make your plans now to join us.
Our chapters continue to raise funds and send equipment to Israel to support them in the war against terrorism. Chapters have done a great job in fundraising for several great causes and purchasing equipment that goes directly to the IDF, to Magen David Adom, to Hatzalah and many other organizations where it will go directly to where it’s needed the most. Chapter members and associate members, please continue to donate to your chapters or to any of these organizations or any other charities and funds that you feel will make the most impact in the war. We know it’s an incredibly emotional time for the Jewish people. Many of us have families there and we fear for their safety. But giving tzedakah and doing great mitzvos will always be the strongest weapon we have.
CHAPTER CHANUKAH EVENTS
- NYPD Shomrim will hold their Anniual Chanukah Menorah Lighting on Thursday, December 7, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. at One Police Plaza, NYC. There will be a collation right after the ceremony with traditional Chanukah foods, so if you’d like to attend please RSVP to email@example.com. There will also be a Children’s Chanukah Party on Sunday, December 10, 2023, at the Laser Bounce Family Fun Center, 80-28 Cooper Avenue, Glendale, NY. The fun starts at 11:30 a.m. and is $35.00. Please RSVP to NYPD Shomrim member Josh Zucker at JoshuaZ@nypdshomrim.org.
- On Sunday, December 10, 2023, Shomrim of Illinois will have a festive luncheon at the Bernard Horwich JCC, 3003 W. Touhy Avenue, Chicago. Please RSVP to their president Dave Appel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- FDNY Ner Tamid will have their Celebration of Chanukah on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at 4:00 p.m., at FDNY Headquarters Auditorium, 9 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, NY. Join them for a special menorah lighting and light refreshments and hear about their experiences in Israel as they responded and sent a delegation from their chapter to assist in saving lives. Please RSVP to Diversity.Inclusion@FDNY.NYC.GOV if you would like to attend. They’re also reporting they recently has 21 new members join their chapter. Great job! Make sure they join the National Shomrim Facebook page!
- Port Authority Shomrim will hold their Annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting on Thursday, December 14, 2023, the eighth night of Chanukah, at 5:45 p.m. at the Oculus at the World Trade Center. Their original, one of a kind menorah will be on display for the thousands of tourists and employees who walk thru the Oculus every day. It contains a piece of original WTC steel incorporated into its design. For security reasons, please RSVP to email@example.com if you plan on attending.
- Nassau Shomrim will have two Chanukah celebrations! On Wednesday, December 13, 2023, at 5:30 p.m, they will have their annual Menorah Lighting at NCPD Headquarters Auditorium. Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder will join them for this special ceremony. For security reasons please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. The next day, Thursday, December 14, 2023, Nassau Shomrim will have their annual Chanukah dinner at Colbeh Restaurant in Great Neck. A delicious Persian Chanukah buffet dinner will be served. To purchase tickets please go to https://mp.gg/4swnwbcij.
CHAPTER AND MEMBER NEWS
Check out the Facebook pages of Shomrim of Illinois and South Florida Shomrim Society for pictures of their respective dinner dances. Shomrim of Illinois honored past president retired PO Steven Marchfield and South Florida Shomrim honored two local firefighters who volunteered to go to Israel to help them. Great nights for both chapters!
Nassau Shomrim, in a joint effort with Fund The First, raised over $15,000 that was donated to the families of the 57 police officers who were killed in the early days of the war, defending their communities and their country. They proudly presented a check to Gal Sharon, the president of the Israel Police Association, and want to thank everyone who contributed. The fundraising continues, so please email them at email@example.com for information on how to donate to this important cause. The families of our fallen police heroes and heroines in Israel need our help. Give what you can.
Birthday blessings to Nassau Shomrim chaplain Rabbi Simcha Lefkowitz on November 14, 2023. Mazal tov to Nassau Shomrim Vice President Keith Cohen and his wife Chelsea on the birth of their baby on November 15, 2023.
At the Nassau County Fire Commission meeting on Monday, November 13, 2023, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and the Fire Commissioner honored five members of the Nassau County Fire Service for volunteering in Israel by providing assistance with firefighting and EMS operations. Among them was Ner Tamid member Shani Weiner, a nurse/EMT and volunteer firefighter with the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department.
Congratulations to Port Authority Shomrim Board Member PO Jacob Shrybman and PA Shomrim member PO Alex Takhalov for being honored by the Port Authority for their lifesaving actions. Both were awarded the agency’s medical award for actions in saving an individual unresponsive on the bathroom floor in the WTC. PO Takhalov and his partner, PO DiRubbio, were flagged down by WTC security while off duty and when they responded to the bathroom began applying life saving measures until the EMTs showed up. In the meantime PO Shrybman also responded and continued with CPR, also keeping the unresponsive man alive. For their actions they were honored at the recent Port Authority Medal Awards Ceremony.
On December 11, 2023, there will be a street naming ceremony in memory of the late chaplain of South Florida Shomrim, Rabbi Pinchas Weberman, OBM, hosted by the City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County at 7055 Bonita Drive, Miami Beach. The ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. and is a great honor, as Rabbi Weberman was an historical figure in the area.
Many chapter members from across the country, and associate members, too, attended the March for Israel Rally in Washington D.C. on November 14, 2023. We’re so proud that our members traveled to join close to 300,000 proud Jews to support Israel and the hostage families. Our strength comes from them.
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! If you are not attending the National Shomrim convention in January but have a member attending, please designate that individual as a delegate to the convention so they can vote in the upcoming election. If you do not have a member attending the convention and wish to give your proxy to any National Shomrim Executive Board Member attending the convention, please email BAstrizky@aol.com and indicate who you wish to give your proxy to for voting purposes. Also, please begin sending in your 2024 chapter dues of $100.00. Address is at the bottom of the newsletter. Chapter members, please pay your chapter dues. Your chapter president and their boards work hard to ensure that events, meetings and their recent charity drives for Israel are successful and that all members know their dues go to many worthwhile causes, including donations to Israel in support of their war effort. Don’t forget to ask to join the Facebook page of the National Conference of Shomrim Societies. We’re always posting jobs, news, chapter events and updates on recent news, especially with the rise of antisemitism. Your local chapter and National Shomrim are 501(c)(3) registered charitable organizations.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! We have a handful of members who have not sent in their 2023 National Shomrim Associate Member dues of $18.00. And sadly we’ve had to drop several members who haven’t responded to request for back dues. We hate to do that, because all our members are important to making our organization successful. Additionally, it’s time to send in your 2024 Associate Member dues. Please send them in as soon as possible. Check the bottom of the newsletter for the address.
IMPORTANT! We recently had many suspicious people trying to join our Facebook page. Apparently one or more members’ Facebook pages were hacked, resulting in these suspicious people asking to join the National Shomrim Facebook page. When the administrators realized those requests were fake, they were immediately deleted. Please recommend only Shomrim members for the National Shomrim FB page. Let them know they must answer all the questions and must include a member of a chapter as a reference. Otherwise they will not be accepted.