Facebook: National Conference of Shomrim Societies
Another great National Shomrim convention in the books! Over 80 Shomrim members, their families and friends attended the convention on board the beautiful Celebrity Beyond cruise in January. We had great weather, great ports of call and great times catching up with our Shomrim friends. Our Signature Speakers Series was a hit. The wait for Molly Golubcow to discuss her book, The Hotel on St. James Place, was well worth it. Molly was scheduled to talk about her book at last year’s convention but had to cancel at the last minute. This year over 50 people came to hear about her memoir of growing up in Atlantic City in the 1960s and 1970s, living in the hotel that her parents, Holocaust survivors, owned and operated on St. James Place. It was a fascinating topic of an era and a city that has legendary status and her family’s place in its history. We also heard from retired NYPD Sgt. Brian Reilly about his assignment to the Chaplain’s Unit and within a day of his starting there he and the chaplains had to respond to the World Trade Center to assist on 9/11. Brian told inside stories of how the chaplains unit rose to an unprecedented level to give spiritual aid to families, friends and all the rescuers at the site, as well as the day to day workings of the chaplains and how responsibilities and assignments are handled. Retired Chief Sheldon Levi, currently the National Shomrim official photographer and the official photographer of The Villages Fire Dept., gave a presentation on Fire Photography and its importance as an investigatory tool to determine if a fire was accidental or suspicious. Sheldon also showed how color can change the perception of a fire scene, with either black and white or different color spectrums. Overall three great presenters!
Our Friday night Sabbath service on June 27, 2023, led by Betty Astrizky, coincided with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Lt. Scot Pomerantz of the Port Authority Police gave a short description of a program that he was approached to develop for academy recruits. The agency wanted to have a Holocaust survivor speak to new recruits about that terrible time in history and how they survived the concentration camps. With the assistance of Port Authority Shomrim Chaplain Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, they have been escorting a Holocaust survivor to each academy class for the past two years. It was a meaningful and spiritual service, brought to a higher level, knowing that our group, along with many Jewish passengers on the Celebrity Beyond, were able to understand our common shared history. The ship provided delicious challahs for everyone to enjoy as well, along with wine to make kiddush. Rabbi Stuart Berman gave the blessing over the wine, and Marty Turetzky made the motzi over the challah.
Business was also conducted at the convention, and we voted in the next executive board. We are proud to present them to you now.
- President – Spenser Strauss, NYPD Shomrim
- Executive Vice President – David Rosenzweig, FDNY Ner Tamid (retired) First Vice President – Ben Gelber, NYPD Shomrim
- Second Vice President – David Appel, Shomrim of Illinois
- 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 (in formation)
- Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms – Shevy Berkovits, Nassau Shomrim
Captain Kate McCue, Master of the Beyond, accepted our invitation to swear in the new Executive Board of National Shomrim and she came with several senior officers to our private cocktail party and took dozens of pictures with the attendees and the Board. The Beyond was a beautiful ship, with stunning architectural features, delicious food and great entertainment. The bartenders at the martini bar put on a show every night, juggling bottles, doing trick pouring drinks, and having fun with the guests. And on the last night of the cruise Captain Kate came down to the Martini Bar, stood on it in her Loubouton heels and poured martinis from a stack of shakers into a pyramid of martini glasses. It was so much fun and everyone at the bar cheered her. She’s super down to earth and loves mingling with the passengers.
The 2024 convention has been set! We will hold the next annual National Shomrim convention on board the brand new Celebrity Ascent cruise ship, January 28, 2024 thru February 4, 2024. We will be sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tortola (British Virgin Islands) St. Kitts and Nevis.
Details are as follows:
- There is a $250.00 refundable deposit prior to the final date of payment on October 1, 2023.
- There are special low rates for our group in different cabin categories, tax of $127.30 per person. Our prices include the classic beverage package, WiFi and prepaid gratuities. If new promotions are offered by Celebrity then our rates will be adjusted.
- Book now to secure your cabin! Contact our National Shomrim Cruise Planner Tony Lostumbo at either (954) 384-7245 or email him at email@example.com.
- For the 2023 convention we had approximately 80 attendees. We want all our chapters to attend, with as many of your members as possible, to the 2024 convention. Associate members, you should join us too. You’re an important asset to National Shomrim and we want you to become as active and involved as possible. The convention is a great opportunity to meet your Shomrim colleagues and make new friends. Book now before the prices go up. There are still a few cabins left at our rate, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
- We are also looking for speakers for the 2024 convention. Please contact Marty Turetzky, Convention Co-Chairperson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be considered to give a presentation at the Convention. There have been many diverse topics that have been presented at past conventions, so if anyone has a topic that you think might be good for our group, contact Marty directly.
- Our next big National Shomrim event will be the Celebrate Israel parade on Sunday, June 4, 2023. We always have a large delegation that marches up 5th Avenue in New York City, with representatives from various Shomrim chapters as well as associate members, many who fly into NYC to march with their
Shomrim friends. Please make every effort to join us. It’s a great feeling to see the love from the Jewish community to our delegation. And you can make it a long weekend in NYC, a nice vacation for you and your family and friends, as on Thursday June 1, 2023 will be the annual NYPD Shomrim dinner dance. Details will be in a future newsletter. So make your plans now to join us at the Celebrate Israel Parade and the NYPD Shomrim dinner.
National Police Week will be held this year May 14-20, 2023, and as soon as details are set for the Annual Kaddish Services that are being organized by Shomrim of D.C., they will be posted in a future newsletter. National Police Week is one of the most important events that recognize the sacrifices of our law enforcement across the country, and all chapters and associate members should attend.
Several chapters have great events coming up, so save these dates in your calendars:
- Sunday, March 26, 2023, South Florida Shomrim will be having their annual free bbq and picnic at TY Park, Corporate Shelter 12, in Hollywood, Florida. This all kosher bbq, generously donated by the Weberman family, will begin at 1100. All attendees must pay the entry fee to TY Park and if you are driving a car for display in their car show, vehicle registration will be $10.00 per car. Please RSVP to South Florida Shomrim no later than March 14, 2023, to email@example.com. They are also looking for sponsors for the picnic, as well as goods and services. All donations, including monetary, are tax deductible, as South Florida Shomrim, like many of our chapters and National Shomrim, is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.
- NYPD Shomrim will be having their annual Passover Packaging on Friday, March 31, 2023 and the Distribution on Sunday, April 2, 2023. Both events begin at 0900 and it’s NYPD Shomrim’s finest hour, as they donate tons of Passover food to those who have food insecurity. If you would like to join them in this great mitzvah, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are also asking for donations to help offset the costs of purchasing the food items, so please help out by sending in any amount. It is a tax deductible donation, as NYPD Shomrim is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
- As mentioned above, NYPD Shomrim will be holding their annual Dinner Dance on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at Da Mikele Illagio in Queens, NY. Their new executive board and the Executive Board of National Shomrim will be officially sworn into their positions. Details will be in a future newsletter.
- Thursday, November 9, 2023, is a popular date for dinners, as both South Florida Shomrim and Shomrim of Illinois will be holding their annual dinner dances. When information is available on both events we’ll publish them in a future newsletter.
- Port Authority Shomrim wants everyone to save Thursday, December 14,2023, the 8th night of Chanukah, for their annual Menorah Lighting at the Oculus in World Trade Center.
As more chapters plan events for 2023 they will be published in future newsletters. Chapter presidents, email your plans to Betty Astrizky at BAstrizky@aol.com as soon as they are set.
FDNY Ner Tamid Society was thrilled to announce the birth of a baby boy to their treasurer and past president Abe Englard and his wife on January 17, 2023. Parents and baby, who weighed in at 7.12 pounds, are doing well.
Huge Mazal Tov to Immediate Past National Shomrim President Henri Portner and his wife Brenna on the birth of their first baby, a beautiful boy named Lucca Alexander on January 31, 2023 at 10:43 p.m. Lucca weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz and has completely captured the hearts of his parents and his grandparents, Stu and Marcia Portner. And if Henri needed more reasons to be proud, he was promoted to Lieutenant recently. All great news and congratulations again, Henri.
Port Authority Shomrim is so proud of President Scot Pomerantz as he was promoted to Deputy Inspector. Scot got the news while attending the convention on board the Celebrity Beyond. He will be assigned to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Scot received his new shield on Monday, January 30, 2023. We expect Scot to be Chief someday!
Port Authority Shomrim members PO Jacob Shrybman and PO Jonathan Schneider recently represented the chapter at the agency’s Societies and Club Days for the 120th PAPD Academy Class. They were able to sign up a few new members to join Port Authority Shomrim.
Congratulations to NYPD Shomrim members, two of NY’s Finest, Sgt. Tal and Det. Hametz, on their recent promotions.
We have been trying to locate associate member Howard Cooperman, who summers in Maplewood, NJ and winters in Boca Raton, FL. All mail that has been sent to him has come back as “undeliverable” and all the phone numbers we have called are not in service. If anyone has any contact with Howard please tell him to email the Corresponding Secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com. We’re hoping he’s ok.
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! Now is the time to begin recruitment and to start up your chapters again. But the only way to keep up is if you transition to social media. The younger members of police and fire departments, and all agencies, now communicate almost exclusively via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We understand that you may be reluctant to go with social media. But the old way isn’t working for you anymore and your chapter will not survive unless you embrace these new ways of communication. Letters and phone calls are no longer a productive way to get your members involved. Create a whatsapp chat group for your members so they can all post messages, events and meeting notices. You must also update your websites and your Facebook pages. Appoint a younger member of your chapter, or a member who is great with social media, to set up any or all of these suggestions and let them run with it. It is a guaranteed way to get your chapter restarted and to bring new members on board. Set up dues payments thru Zelle, Paypal or Venmo. Dues can be sent directly from banks too. Don’t hesitate, don’t be afraid, and most importantly, don’t be stubborn. And to the chapter presidents who aren’t involved, turn your chapter over to a member or members who want to keep it going. Your stagnation and indifference is not helpful and is killing your chapter. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to step aside. You’ve done what you could. It’s time to let the next generation take over. And encourage your members to join the National Shomrim Facebook page. It’s continuously updated with job opportunities, news about members, chapter events and our recent convention at sea.
Another reminder to all chapters to attend each other’s events, whenever possible. Bring a delegation to march with National Shomrim at the Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 4th. There will probably be a National Shomrim meeting prior to the parade, so please make plans to attend. You have time to check flights, reserve hotel rooms and encourage your members to join us in the largest celebration of Jewish pride in the nation.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! We want to thank all the associate members who have sent in their 2023 dues. However, we still have several associate members who haven’t sent in their 2022 dues and a handful who haven’t sent in their 2021 dues. We have reached out to these associate members and several have caught up. There are still a handful of members who haven’t responded and we will have no choice but to drop them, something we really don’t want to do. Please send in your dues and if you’re unsure whether or not you’re up to date, email our treasurer Marty Turetzky at email@example.com. Just as important, we want you involved and active in National Shomrim. Please attend meetings, events, and of course march with us in the Celebrate Israel Parade. If you can, join us at our convention at sea in 2024. You will not regret attending any chapter or National Shomrim event.
Please “Like” the National Conference of Shomrim Societies Facebook page and the Facebook and Instagram pages of our chapters
Send in your chapter dues and associate member dues to National Shomrim Treasurer Marty Turetzky, 1503 S. Ocean Blvd., Unit W-4, Boca Raton, FL 33432