Another summer over! Where does the time go! And the Jewish High Holidays are weeks away! Well, we hope everyone had a fantastic summer. Now let’s look forward to some great events coming up for the rest of this year and in 2024.
There are still a few cabins available for our National Shomrim Convention in January 2024. We are sailing roundtrip on the beautiful, brand new ship Celebrity Ascent on Sunday, January 28, 2024, for seven days to the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico (San Juan), Tortola (British Virgin Islands), St. Kitts and Nevis. There’s no better place to be in the winter than in the sun and warmth of the Caribbean with your Shomrim friends, enjoying delicious meals, participating in our private Shomrim events, our Shabbat service, taking in the breathtaking scenery and the blue waters on these island, and of course, the ship! The Ascent will be put into service in a few months, and as mentioned in previous newsletters, will have two brothers serving as co-captains, a first in the cruise industry. The Ascent also announced the ship will have two godmothers, another first in the cruise industry. Captain Sandy Yawn, of Bravo TV’s reality show “Below Deck,” and her sister Michelle Durham. Captain Sandy is a superyacht captain and an advocate for women in the maritime industry. Michelle is the founder and executive director of a nonprofit school for children with autism, which she started to help her own son, who has autism. The Ascent continues to break boundaries, both with the ship and its personnel. Join us for our convention. The final day to secure your cabin is October 1, 2023. Once that date passes our official cruise planner, Tony Lostumbo, will have to return any cabins not booked for our group to Celebrity. If you choose not to book before that date and change your mind after October 1, you will be paying the higher published fare. So make your reservation today. We want as many members as possible to attend. Bring the kids too, for Celebrity’s Kids Camp at Sea. Contact Tony at email@example.com to book your cabin with National Shomrim.
We’re also looking for presenters for our Signature Speakers Series. We’ve had great speakers at past conventions, covering topics such as history, health, Israel and current events. If you have a topic you think would be interesting for our group, please email Marty Turetzky at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll put you into the speakers circuit.
At the 2023 National Shomrim convention we will be holding nominations for our next Executive Board. As per our constitution, the slate must be published 90 days prior to the convention. In the next newsletter we’ll present the list of individuals who wish to serve on the National Shomrim Executive Board. We encourage all members in good standing, as well as Associate Members in good standing, to please step up and serve. We are always looking for new ideas and new energy, so don’t stand on the sidelines. Get involved. National Shomrim is for all of us. Please submit your name and the position you are interested in to BAstrizky@aol.com no later than September 30, 2023.
The Celebrate Israel Parade date has been announced. It will be held on Sunday, June 4, 2024. This is the time to make plans to join us as National Shomrim marches up the famous Fifth Avenue in New York City. You’ll get a better airfare and hotel rate the earlier you book. It’s a great day and our delegation is always enthusiastically cheered on by the crowds.
Mazal tov to Cantor Alan Edwards as he retires as co Chaplain of National Shomrim. We thank him for his dedication and the time he devoted to our Organization and our members. We wish him and his wife Norma the best as they enjoy their life in Florida.
As a reminder, all chapter members should ask to join the National Shomrim Facebook page. Please remember that you should not invite friends to join the Facebook page that have no association with Shomrim. We’ve recently turned down people who are not in the public service and are not members of a Shomrim chapter. We know you want to share how great Shomrim is, but we have to be careful that we don’t have people who have less than good thoughts and intentions to us and to the Jewish community.
CHAPTER NEWS AND EVENTS
NYPD Shomrim Society will hold their 98th Annual Louis Weiser Memorial Service, Scholarship and Awards Breakfast on Sunday, October 29, 2023. Details will be on their website, www.nypdshomrim.org. They are planning their Chanukah Party for Sunday, December 10, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. at the Laser Bounce Family Fun Center in Glendale, NY. Please register with Josh Zucker at JoshuaZ@nypdshomrim.org.
Shomrim of Illinois’ Annual Reception at the Doubletree Hotel in Skokie will take place on Thursday, November 9, 2023. Cocktails are at 6:30 p.m., with a buffet dinner at 7:30 p.m. Among the honorees are retired Chicago PD PO Steven Marchfield, who will be presented with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Steve is still very active with their chapter and attends as many National Shomrim events as he can, including representing Shomrim of Illinois as Past President of their chapter at the Annual Convention. Tickets are $135.00 and are tax deductible, as they are a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Please contact Bruce Rottner at Bruce.Rottner@gmail.com for information, or purchase tickets on their website, ShomrimIllinois.org.
South Florida Shomrim will hold their Annual Dinner Dance on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at Temple Solel in Hollywood, FL. As in past years they will honor individuals who have shown dedication to the South Florida community and to the Jewish communities. Look for information on their website, southfloridashomrim.com, or their Facebook page, South Florida Shomrim Society. Recently Harvey Meshel, the chapter President, along with Randi Meshel, the Treasurer, and Co-Secretary Stacy Barasch volunteered at the Robert Parker 1st Annual Golf Tournament, an organization dedicated to eradicating the myths and misconceptions about mental illness thru education. They hold charitable events and activities throughout the year. Their namesake, Robert Parker, was a dedicated public servant who led the Miami-Dade Police Department as its Director.
Shomrim of Illinois and NYPD Shomrim have once again partnered for the Annual Shomrim Mission to Israel. This iconic trip is scheduled for April 30 thru May 9, 2024. Information is on the NYPD Shomrim website, nypdshomrim.org.
Shomrim of Illinois had a great turnout for the 25th Annual Golf Outing at the Arboretum Club in Buffalo Grove. The weather cooperated as 70 golfers played on a beautiful course, enjoyed a delicious dinner and won prizes. Thanks to golf chair and Shomrim Trustee Sonny Lukatsky as well as to volunteer Stan Lerner and the others who made the event happen. Visit their Facebook page, Shomrim Society of Illinois, for pictures and all other info on events.
Nassau Shomrim recently purchased a memorial paver at the Holocaust Museum Children’s Memorial Garden in Glen Cove, NY. A quiet place of contemplation and beauty, the Garden memorializes the 1.5 million children murdered in the Holocaust as well as all the children who lost their lives in WW2. Nassau Shomrim has also been on top of the investigations being conducted by the Nassau County Police Dept. on the recent uptick of anti-semitic incidents and graffiti found in several locations in Nassau County, NY., including at a synagogue and in a park. There have also been incidents of “swatting” in Nassau County, where an anonymous individual calls 911 to report there is a crime at a local synagogue. These incidents all turn out to be false and Nassau Shomrim and the Nassau county PD are determined to bring all these perpetrators to justice for these hate crimes.
FDNY Ner Tamid welcomes their newest member, Probationary Firefighter Aron Cagan to their ranks and to their chapter. National Shomrim joins them in sending a huge mazal tov to retired member Barton Fendelman and Carisa Schloeman on their recent marriage. If you’d like to attend the next FDNY Ner Tamid meeting, it will take place on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at the Howard Beach Judea Center, 162-05 90th Street, Howard Beach, NY. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. and they always have a nice dinner spread available. Their Annual Chanukah Celebration will take place on December 12, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. at FDNY Headquarters. Members are asked to attend in Class A uniforms. If you’d like to attend any of these events, please email them at FNDYNTS@gmail.com.
Port Authority Shomrim also welcomes 12 new members to their chapter! They’re looking forward to meeting all the current Shomrim members and getting involved in Shomrim activities. And save the date for the Port Authority Shomrim Annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting on Thursday, December 14, 2023, the 8th night of Chanukah. It will be held at the Oculus at the World Trade Center and will feature the chapter’s custom made Menorah that has a piece of original WTC steel as part of its design. Watch this page for information.
Shomrim of Illinois is very proud of their 1st Vice President, Justin Homer, and their 2nd Vice President, Jon Reeder, on their promotions to the rank of Sergeant in the Chicago Police Dept. And a very happy 91st birthday to founding member and past Shomrim of Illinois President (Sgt.) Leroy Levy. Leroy held every office in the Shomrim Society and rarely misses a meeting. Many of the events they currently hold have roots in Leroy’s vision and love for Shomrim. Birthday blessings, Leroy, and til 120!
Mazal tov to FDNY Ner Tamid member FF David Kusinitz on his well earned retirement in August. Dave served the City of New York for 23 years, with 19 years in South Jamaica, Queens. Prior to his joining the FDNY Dave was an NYPD PO in the 109th Precinct in Flushing, Queens. Congratulations Dave, and welcome to the check of the month club.
Congratulations to NYPD Shomrim member PO Samuel Winsbacher as he graduated as the valedictorian of the recent NYPD Police Academy with an overall average of 99.59 percent, the highest in the class of over 500 cadets. PO Winsbacher also won the Mayor’s Award and the First Deputy Commissioner’s Award, besting his classmates with an academic average of 99.3 percent. An orthodox Jewish resident of Monsey, NY, he was the only member of his class to wear a kippah during training. He will be assigned to the Transit Police district 11, which serves the area around Yankee Stadium.
The Consul General of Japan recently visited the 109th Precinct in Flushing, Queens, to thank NYPD Shomrim member PO Ross Goldberg and his partner PO Mirabile for their efforts in saving a Japanese female who was scammed and unlawfully imprisoned in an apartment in Flushing.
NYPD Shomrim remembered fallen Police Officer David Guttenberg, EOW December 28, 1973. His family and the 68th Precinct held a 45th Anniversary Memorial Service in his memory on Sunday, August 6, 2023, at Temple Emanu-El in NYC. The service was presided over by NYPD Chief Chaplain Rabbi Dr. Alvin Kass.
Tributes were also paid to fallen 101st Precinct NYPD Shomrim member PO Scott Gadell, who was shot and killed in June 1986 when he paused to reload his revolver during a fierce gun battle with an armed suspect. His death was not in vain, as the NYPD approved getting speed loaders for revolvers after his tragic murder. Members of the 101st Precinct bowed their heads and with Scott’s son in attendance, marked the 37th anniversary of his line of duty death. NYPD Shomrim also commemorated the tragic day in July 2007 when Detective Russel Timoshenko was murdered while protecting the citizens of Brooklyn. He was remember at 0200 at the corner of Rogers and Lefferts Blvds., the time and place of his death. His heartbroken parents were there for the sad remembrance.
NYPD Shomrim congratulates their members PO Morritt and PO Rosenwasser on their well deserved promotions to Detective 1st Grade and Sergeant.
Mazal tov to Past Nassau Shomrim President Gary Shapiro and his wife Sue on their birth of their newest grandchild.
Congratulations to Zach Koffsky, son of Past Nassau Shomrim President Gary Koffsky, who recently graduate from Officer Candidate School in Georgia.
Nassau Shomrim Past President Inspector Alan Hirsch, of the Nassau County Police Department, was recently named Commanding Officer of the 8th Precinct in Nassau County, NY.
Anniversary blessing to Shomrim of Northern California President Jerome Cobert and his wife Yvonne as they recently celebrated 30 years of wedded bliss.
Sending Shomrim birthday blessing to Nassau Shomrim President Joe Oginski, member Danny Gluck and to Nassau Shomrim Chaplain Rabbi Barry Dov Schwartz, who celebrated his 83rd trip around the sun. Mazal tov Joe, Danny and Rabbi Schwartz, and til 120!
Happy 95th birthday to retired Port Authority Shomrim member Mildred Schneider! Mildred celebrated with her daughter and son in law over a delicious dinner in New Jersey, where she lives. Mildred’s late husband Jerome was a founding member and first president of Port Authority Shomrim. Birthday blessings Mildred, and til 120!
Eitan Hamber, the son of retired NYPD Shomrim member Barry Hamber, is eagerly continuing his quest to join one of the many police departments in the NY/NJ area. Eitan has been taking exams when they are announced, and his dedication to public service is deeply rooted in a commitment to make a difference in his community. He is currently a Class 1 Police Officer in Long Branch, NJ, learning police duties, preparing for the next step in what he hopes will be a fulfilling career in law enforcement. He’s also eagerly looking forward to joining a Shomrim chapter.
With sadness, we said goodbye to several Shomrim members, family and friends over the summer.
- The mother of Past National Shomrim President/Past NYPD Shomrim President Stuart Portner, Betty Portner, went to her rest after a lengthy illness on July 1, 2023. Graveside services were held at New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, NY. Betty Portner was also the grandmother to Past National Shomrim President Henri Portner. Donations in her memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
- On July 11, 2023, with a broken heart, we learned of the passing of official National Shomrim photographer and Shomrim of D.C. member Sheldon Levi, of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a rare and aggressive blood cancer. He never spoke about it and never complained about having this illness. Sheldon was a true friend to many in Shomrim. When Sheldon first came to National Shomrim, he was the police chief in Occoquan, Virginia. We later learned he was the entire force, as well as their emergency management coordinator. He spent over forty years as the Fire Company Photographer for the Fair Oaks Volunteer Fire Dept. in Fairfax, VA. When Sheldon and his wife Deby moved to the Villages in 2018, he joined their Public Safety Dept as their Photographer. Sheldon was never happier than when he was taking photos of fire incidents, motor vehicle accidents, and training exercises. His proudest achievement was fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer at the age of 56. He gave two presentations at past National Shomrim conventions, both about his life’s passion, fire and accident photography. Donations in Sheldon’s memory can be made to the American Cancer Society. He will be missed more than words can express.
- Dr. Howard Lerner, brother of National Shomrim Associate Member Phillip Lerner, was taken to his resting place near his parents after a long battle with cancer. The funeral was held on July 21, 2023.
- NYPD Shomrim Honorary Police Surgeon and Honorary Member Dr. Ira Rothfeld succumbed to cancer on July 25, 2023. Appointed as an Honorary Police Surgeon in 1983, Dr. Rothfeld received the NYPD Shomrim Person of the Year Award in 2015. Dr. Rothfeld served in the US Air Force, and the funeral took place on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, with full military honors at the Union Field Cemetery in Queens, NY. Dr. Rothfeld leaves behind his wife Angela.
- Retired Shomrim of Maryland member Major Sidney R. Hyatt, a career Baltimore Police Department officer who rose from patrol to lead the 911 Communications Center and Central Records, died July 29th. Beginning as a patrolman, he joined the BPD’s tactical section in 1966 and in 1968 moved over to Central Records. Quickly moving up in rank, he was known for issuing tickets and became a recognized authority on radar operations. Retiring in 1995 as a Major on the BPD, many of his former coworkers remember him as a kind, caring person and was ahead of his time, speaking out in favor of equality and inclusion. A founder of Shomrim of Maryland, he mentored many of the chapter’s younger officers. Services were held on August 1st, and Major Hyatt is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elaine Plaut, and his daughters Debbi Hyatt and former Baltimore County police chief Melissa Hyatt Dolan.
- Nassau Shomrim member Wayne Resnick passed away on August 1, 2023. Burial was in Pinelawn National Cemetery on Long Island. Wayne started with the Nassau County Police dept. in the Communications Bureau in 1994. Condolences to his wife Trish and his family.
May the memories of Betty Portner, Sheldon Levi, Dr. Howard Lerner, Dr. Ira Rothfeld, Sidney Hyatt and Wayne Resnick be a blessing to their families, and may the Portner, Levi, Lerner, Rothfeld, Hyatt and Resnick families be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Blessed is the True Judge.
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! It’s time to begin your recruitments in full force. You must begin to build up your chapters with newer, younger individuals who will take your chapters well into the future and bring in fresh thoughts and ideas. They can set up the only way communication is done now, thru social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. No chapter uses “snail mail” anymore and certainly no flyers are printed and handed out. Don’t let your chapters languish in past practices that will not help. Don’t be stubborn either. Ask for help. You’ll be surprised when people step up. And if you have events coming up, please post them to the National Shomrim Facebook page. Emailing them to any one of the National Shomrim board members doesn’t help because the newsletter is only sent out every few months and if your event is time sensitive, the fastest way to get it out there is on the Facebook page and all social media. Post updates about your chapters and your members. Remember, if it’s not posted then no one will know. Chapter members, please pay your chapter’s dues and get involved. Shomrim is for all of us.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! If you haven’t paid your 2023 Associate Member Dues of $18.00, please do so immediately. We don’t want to drop you but after sending emails, texts and IMs, and getting no responses, we’ve had to remove a handful of associate members for nonpayment of dues. That’s upsetting to us because we want all our associate members to stay active and more importantly, get involved. There’s so many activities and events posted throughout the year, there’s no reason to not attend at least one. If you can make it to the Celebrate Israel Parade in June 2024 we guarantee you a great time. And definitely consider attending our Convention. We want to meet all of you soon. If you’re unsure if you paid your dues, please contact National Shomrim Treasurer Marty Turetzky at email@example.com. Donations are also gratefully accepted.