Horrified and heartbroken barely describes how we all feel watching the war raging in Israel. In less than one day – less than a 24 hour period – we have seen terrorists invade our ancestral homeland, murder, shoot, beat, gang rape, torture and kidnap innocent Israelis. Old people, Holocaust survivors, children, babies, adults from every age group and every spectrum of Israeli society – no one was spared from being brutalized by terrorists whose only goal is to destroy the State of Israel and to kill all Jews. We can attend rallies expressing our support for Israel, we can attend prayer vigils to read Psalms, beseeching the Almighty to end this war and bring the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces and all the hostages home safely. While we feel helpless, we are not. Several Shomrim chapters have established temporary accounts for donations that will go directly to the immediate need in Israel. This is the time when Shomrim steps up and does what we do best – respond in times of crisis and come together as one to support the people of Israel in any way we can.
- Port Authority Shomrim has set up a special account where you can donate, secure that 100% of all monies raised will go to families in tremendous crisis in Israel right now as well as security and military personnel in the conflict zones. Started by PA Shomrim Board Trustee PO Jacob Shrybman, who served in the IDF prior to joining the Port Authority Police, Jacob used his contacts in Israel and has arranged with a local Israeli charity, http://www.ahimlaneshek.org, to get funds to those in critical need. Jacob and PA Shomrim President Scot Pomerantz, with help from the Chabad of Rutgers students and Shomrim Chaplain Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, packed duffel bags filled with over 700 lbs. of medical equipment that will be sent to front line troops. They are continuing to accept donations so more supplies can be sent, so please donate any amount you can to venmo@pashomrim.
- South Florida Shomrim is coordinating with various vendors to send desperately needed items to the brave soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces. You can donate to them as well, and all money will go directly to purchasing all sorts of military equipment (tactical gloves, ballistic vests, etc.). Email them at Treasurersouthfloridashomrim@gmail.com.
- NYPD Shomrim encourages donations to Magen David Adom, who provide immediate emergency care in Israel. You can visit their website, nypdshomrim.org, and donate directly thru them. In May 2023, NYPD Shomrim donated an ambulance to Magen David Adom in Israel after several years of fundraising for this life saving organization.
- NorCal Shomrim President Jerome Cobert, who made aliyah to Israel about two years ago, is doing everything he can for the soldiers going into battle. Email Jerome at email@example.com, or go to his Facebook page and IM him. He’ll respond as soon as he can and will let you know how to help.
- Nassau Shomrim (Long Island, NY) has been front and center at the many rallies in support of Israel in their county, providing protection and support. There was recently a large gathering at Eisenhower Park, with Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman as the main speaker. Blakeman, who is Jewish, has been front and center in support of Israel and has been making the rounds of the synagogues in Nassau County. Nassau Shomrim President Joe Oginski also spoke at a rally at Firefighter’s Park in Great Neck alongside Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip, an orthodox Ethiopian Jewish woman who emigrated to Israel when she was 12 years old. Mazi served in the IDF. Her three sisters live in Israel. Their members also helped load supplies and medical equipment that will be shipped to Israel.
- Shomrim of Illinois members are supporting Israel with donations to Friends of the IDF, United Hatzalah of Israel, the Lone Soldier in memory of Michael Levin, and the Leket Food Bank of Israel. They are also raising funds for Magen David Adom, so please contact their president David Appel at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is also an initiative under discussion now for National Shomrim, as one organization, to send funds to the families of the Israeli Police Officers who were murdered in the terrorist attacks. It is in the planning stages and once all the logistics are set we will provide information on where to donate money, ensuring that all funds go to the families of those Israeli Police Officers who made the supreme sacrifice.
There are so many other worthy charities where you can donate to in Israel. Unity Warriors, Friends of the IDF, United Hatzalah, Chabad.org all have an Emergency Israel Relief Fund. All the hospitals in Israel are in desperate need as well. If there is anyone who is willing to travel and offer medical services (doctors, nurses, techs, etc.) and bring badly needed medicine and supplies, please contact them directly:
- Barzilai Hospital in the south was one of the first hospitals to receive victims within hours of the terror attack
- Hadassah Hospital has been treating wounded soldiers and civilians
- Soroka Medical Center is seeking funds to purchase high tech equipment to treat the wounded
These are a few suggestions. Whatever you decide, whatever amount you can contribute, it will help ease Israel’s struggles right now. As a reminder, all donations are tax deductible, as the Shomrim chapters and the organizations mentioned are all 501(c)(3) registered charitable organizations. We thank you for your generosity and let’s all continue to pray for an immediate end to this war and that the soldiers of the IDF are victorious over our enemies.
Chapters and members, please post all your fundraising activities to the National Shomrim Facebook page. We know how generous our members are when one of our own is in need. With several chapters heavily involved in fundraising for Israel, we want everyone to have an opportunity to contribute to one of the many worthy charities where all contributions go directly to Israel.
We are extremely grateful to the National Fraternal Order of Police for their public statement condemning the Hamas attacks on Israel. The Baltimore Police Dept. also released a statement that they stand in solidarity with Israel and pray for a peaceful resolution to this conflict. The Jewish War Veterans of the USA issued a statement, condemning the massacres and standing in solidarity with Israel. And the Executive Director and the Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released a joint statement, standing firmly by Israel as they go thru their own 9/11. We thank the many elected officials across the country who have stood up and denounced the unspeakable acts against innocent Israelis and proclamations in support of Israel.
National Shomrim News
We are pleased to present the slate for the 2024 National Shomrim Executive Board:
- President – Shevy Berkovits
- Executive Vice President – Dave Rosenzweig
- First Vice President – David Appel
- Second Vice President – Ben Gelber
- Treasurer – Marty Turetzky
- Recording Secretary – Scot Pomerantz
- Corresponding Secretary – Betty Astrizky
- Sergeant-at-Arms – Jeff Grossman
- Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms – Jonathan Schneider
- Marshall – Stacy Barasch
As you can see, we have three chapter members who are interested in joining the Executive Board. Shevy Berkovits, who held the office of President of Nassau Shomrim, has been nominated to lead our organization by his chapter president Joe Oginski. PO Jonathan Schneider of the Port Authority Police has been nominated by PA Shomrim President DI Scot Pomerantz to the position of Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms, and Sgt. Stacy Barasch of the Miami-Dade PD has been nominated by Harvey Meshel, President of South Florida Shomrim, to the position of Marshall. If elected, we’ll be lucky to have them and know they’ll be a great addition to our organization.
As mentioned in the previous newsletter, the slate must be presented 90 days prior to the National Shomrim Convention. Nominations for the Executive Board are closed. The slate will be presented to the chapters and/or their representatives for voting at the 2024 convention. We will accept nominations from the floor of the convention if there is anyone who would like to be considered for any position. Chapter Presidents, if you cannot attend the convention, and if you have a member of your chapter attending the convention, please assign them to vote on your behalf. If no one from your chapter will be present, then please email your proxy as soon as possible, designating a National Shomrim Board member of your choice to vote on your behalf.
There will be a National Shomrim meeting on Sunday, October 29, 2023, immediately following the NYPD Shomrim Memorial Service. A quorum is required for an official meeting, so please email National Shomrim President Spenser Strauss at email@example.com no later than Monday, October 23, 2023, if you plan on attending the meeting. It will be held at Temple Emanu-El, 5th Avenue and 65th Street, NYC.
This is the last call for the 2024 National Shomrim convention on the Celebrity Ascent cruise ship. We set sail to the beautiful warm Caribbean Islands of Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Tortola on January 28, 2024, with chapters, members, families and friends for a week of great events (our private cocktail party, our Sabbath service and our highly regarded Signature Speakers Series) with beautiful and historic ports of call. Please contact our official National Shomrim cruise planner Tony Lostumbo immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a cabin at our special rate.
As mentioned above, NYPD Shomrim will hold their 98th Annual Louis Weiser Memorial Service on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at 8:00 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 5th Avenue and 65th Street in NYC. There will be a breakfast following the service where they will be honoring several worthy individuals and awarding scholarships to NYPD Shomrim members children. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door and can be purchased on line at TheTicketing.Co/E/Shomrim98. You can always go old school and send a check to NYPD Shomrim, P.O. Box 918, Planetarium Station, NY, NY 10024.
South Florida Shomrim invities all members to their Annual Dinner Dance on Thursday, November 8, 2023, at Temple Solel in Hollywood, Florida. The dinner begins at 6:30 with an open bar, music and dancing. Cocktail attire is requested and black tie is optional. Tickets are $135 in advance and is available for purchase on their website, http://www.southfloridashomrim.com/dinner-dance. They will be honoring several worthy individuals who have contributed to creating a positive environment in their communities. Donations of goods are also appreciated for their silent auction. If you have items you can donate, or wish to donate to them directly, please email Treasurer Randi Meshel at email@example.com. All ticket purchases and donations are tax deductible, as South Florida Shomrim is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Shomrim of Illinois will have their 62nd Annual Community Heroes Award Reception on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Skokie, IL. Cocktails will be served at 6:30, followed by a buffet dinner and ceremony. Longtime Shomrim of Illinois member and Past President PO Steve Marchfield (retired, Chicago Police Dept.) will be honored with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Tickets are $135 per person and can be purchased on their website, ShomrimIllinois.org. Click on “Events” for information. Their Annual Endowment Reception provides college grants to the children and grandchildren of first responders. Please email Past President Bruce.Rottner@gmail.com for information and if you’d like to attend. Shomrim of Illinois is a 501(c)(3) registered charitable organization, so all tickets purchased and donations to their chapter are tax deductible.
NYPD Shomrim invites all to their annual Menorah Lighting at One Police Plaza on Thursday, December 7, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. Please RSVP to them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are also planning 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.
Port Authority Shomrim will hold their Annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting on Thursday, December 14, 2023, the eighth night of Chanukah, at 5:30 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 the design. RSVP details will be in a future newsletter.
Nassau Shomrim will hold their Annual Chanukah celebration on Thursday, December 14, 2023, at Colbeh Restaurant, 75 North Station Plaza, Great Neck, NY. Tickets are $45 per person and $54 for non members. Please email them directly at email@example.com if you’d like information on how to purchase tickets.
Baltimore Police Dept. Chaplain Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum recently attended the Bar Mitzvah of David Bloch, the great-great grandson of the first known Jewish Baltimore Police Dept., Officer Barney Berman. The Jewish Museum of Maryland has an exhibit of the early days of the Baltimore PD, and in one picture PO Berman is pictured standing by a wall after an explosion in a building on February 7, 1904.
Retired ARFF Sgt. Barry Daskal of Port Authority Shomrim continues his work with Beyond the Badge, an organization that is dedicated to breaking the stigma of mental health and suicide within law enforcement. He is participating in “Outrun the Stigma” 5K run and walk on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. Once the run/walk is completed there will be an afterparty. Please contact Barry directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to participate or donate to this extremely important cause.
National Shomrim Associate Member Leah Smith Kates has designed a line of t shirts with a portion of the sales going to JGive, a platform created by two prominent Israelis, including Natan Sharansky. The t shirts are white with a blue design on the front with the Israeli flag and the now famous phrase, “I Stand With Israel.” Please contact her directly via her FB page, Creations by Mommy Cubed, and PM her if you’d like to order a t shirt that shows your support for Israel and pride in our heritage. Even if you don’t order a t shirt, you can still donate to JGive at http://www.jgive.com/new/en/ils/donations-target. All monies raised on JGive goes directly to victims of the war and are tax deductible.
Please continue to daven for past Shomrim of Southern California President Barry Poltorak as he continues to battle Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. We all wish Baruch ben Devorah a complete and immediate refuah shelemah.
The Shomrim Society of the NYS Court Officers was saddened to announce the passing of founding member and their Past President Barry Feiner in May of this year. Barry was a Vietnam Veteran, NYS Court Officer and dedicated to K’lal Yisroel in his life and his workplace. Services were held in Delray Beach, Florida. May Barry Feiner’s memory be a blessing for his family, friends and the members of the Shomrim Society of the NYS Court Officers.
We are grief stricken to report that two Shomrim members have lost family members in this war on Israel.
- Condolences to retired NYPD Shomrim member PO Mark Mekler, who learned that two cousins who lived in Ashkelon were murdered, one of the first areas attacked by Hamas.
- Norm Turenshine, President of Shomrim of NYS Court Officers, learned that his cousin, IDF Major Itay Yehoshua, fell in battle while freeing hostages in the Be-eri Kibbutz in southern Israel. Before his death he managed to gun down two Hamas terrorists before he was shot in the back and murdered. He leaves behind his wife Dafnie and 2 year old daughter. They were recently in NY, visiting Norm and his family.
There aren’t enough words to describe our sadness. May the memories of these innocent souls be a blessing and a light for their families and the Jewish people everywhere.
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! As mentioned above, if you are not planning on attending the National Shomrim Convention in January 2024 and have a chapter member attending, please designate that individual to vote on your behalf. If you don’t have a chapter member attending the convention, please email the National Shomrim Executive Board Member of your choice your proxy, allowing that person to vote on your behalf. It is important that we receive these proxies no later than December 21, 2023. If you need a Board member’s email, contact Betty Astrizky at BAstrizky@aol.com.
It is also important that you send out this and all newsletter as soon as you receive it. Please do not let it sit in your new mail. There is time sensitive information in every newsletter that needs to reach your members immediately. Please forward the newsletter within a day or two, no later. Also remind your members to ask to join the National Shomrim Facebook page. It has all up to date information on job opportunities, chapter events, members and news that’s relevant to us. Get into social media! Set up Instagram pages and ask a member to update it regularly with your chapter’s events and pictures. You are only keeping your chapter in the dark ages if you don’t join the current way to communicate.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! We still have a handful of members who have not sent in their dues for 2023. At this critical time in Jewish history, your membership in National Shomrim says that you care and you want to be an integral part of an organization that is much more than events. You’ve read about our fundraising efforts for Israel. National Shomrim always responds when there is a critical need. That’s what we do as Jews. If your address, including your email address, has changed, or your phone number, or if you’ve retired or switched careers, please notify the Corresponding Secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com. Please send in your dues to the Treasurer, which are tax deductible as National Shomrim is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization.